One of the great cheap vegetarian meals of the city is a pair of potato samosas–it would be vegan, too, if you ignored the green sauce on the upper left.
The samosa is one of India’s great culinary achievements. Though it has antecedents in Turkey and Central Asia, the little hand-held pie that could is uniquely Indian in its composition, but most especially in its shape.
The vegetarian version of the pie contains potatoes and peas, and the crust is probably inspired by pastry crusts the English brought to India. The pie is thus fusion food, par excellence.
The version served at Curry in a Hurry in Manhattan’s Curry Hill is excellent, and cheap. (Make sure to order the vegetarian, and not the meat-filled rendition.) The vegetable filling is slightly spicy, and flecked with cumin seeds.
The shape of the pie is striking, a skewed tetrahedron with triangular faces, a shape unique in the culinary realm. The shape makes it possible to easily store, transport, and set the pie down on any surface. Moreover, like the cornish pasty that partly inspired it, the pie can be cooked without a pie pan.
Samosas are available in many neighborhoods in town, making it a convenient and delicious vegetarian meal. 119 Lexington Avenue, 212-683-0900
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