The Hippo


May 24, 2020








Superior samosas
A young foodie considers the potato-and-pea-filled pocket

By Harry Fladd

Editor’s Note: Harry Fladd, age 12, is an adventurous eater, perhaps a trait he got from his dad, Hippo writer emeritus John Fladd (who wrote the column “Almost Gruntled” as well as much of the Hippo’s food coverage in the paper’s early years). Now a seventh grader, Harry first appeared in the Hippo (via ultrasound photo) in an Almost Gruntled column. Harry’s current favorite foods include fettuccini Alfredo and avocado toast. Below, Harry considers the samosa and recounts his experiences (yours may vary) with five local approaches to the dish.

I like samosas. Why samosas? What are samosas? Samosas are like Indian deep fried potato and pea dumplings. I chose samosas because they’re crispy, chewy and delicious. The potato is almost always warm, the peas give a nice flavor and the spices give a nice kick. 
I’m comparing samosas from five different restaurants. My criteria for judging them were in three categories: how crispy the pastry is, whether they have the right level of spiciness and their overall deliciousness. The perfect samosa is crispy, chewy, spicy (but not too spicy) and the filling is just yum.
Kathmandu Spice (379 S. Willow St., Manchester): The filling could be spicier, the pastry is nice and crispy but not all the way around.  The texture is really good. The filling goes down nicely. It has almost a creamy texture and feels nice on the throat. The staff are amazing and incredibly nice.  
Pastry 9/10, Spiciness 8/10, Filling 9/10
Overall Score 26/30 
Royal India (575 South Willow St., Manchester): The spiciness level is a bit too spicy for me. The pastry is perfect, crispy and flaky. It is a little like pie dough. The filling is good, it tastes a little tinny and metallic. The texture is really good — smooth and easy to swallow. 
Pastry 10/10, Spiciness 7/10, Filling 9/10
Overall Score: 26/30
Taj India (967 Elm St., Manchester): The dough at Taj India Is a bit thicker than the others but otherwise very good. It’s pie-crusty and not as crisp as at other places.  The filling is a bit too spicy to taste like much of anything. The filling could have been better. Again, the potatoes tasted a bit tinny.
Pastry 7/10, Spiciness 6/10, Filling 8/10
Overall Score: 21/30
Whole Foods (121 S. River Road., Bedford): Whole Foods isn’t actually a restaurant, but they do make samosas, so I thought it was a good idea to check their samosas out. Overall, they were only OK. This samosa was kind of meh. This is the type of samosa most people have tried. The filling wasn’t spicy enough for me. There were too many types of spices. When I ate it, the spices all hit my nostrils and it was confusing. The crust was a little limp.
Pastry 8/10, Spiciness 7/10, Filling 7/10 
Overall Score: 22/30
Asian Kabab & Grill (376 Massabesic St., Manchester): This was my very favorite samosa. The crust was crispy all the way around — kind of like an eggroll. The filling has a subtle spiciness. There are mild spices which make it taste really good, with just a little bit of hotness at the end of each bite. This has a higher than usual potato-to-pea ratio, which is important, because the inside of the samosa is supposed to be more pillowy than crunchy and blech. Pastry 10/10, Spiciness 10/10, Filling 10/10
Overall Score: 30/30
All the samosas I tried were pretty good. There weren’t any bad ones. How good you think any of these are depends on your personal taste. I had my dad drive me to all these places and we didn’t agree about scores. 

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