Afia’s Gluten Free Samosas! – Review

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One of my great summer memories was at Reading Festival a few years ago. I wasn’t gluten free back then but it was still surprisingly difficult to find vegan food. Luckily Waitrose was just a ten minute walk from our campsite and I found massive vegan samosas in their chilled section that I ate all weekend. Sadly a gluten free samosa is hard to come by, especially a vegan one!

Enter Afia’s, a traditional indian company that specialise in gluten free samosas, pakoras, achaar (indian pickles) and chutneys. While their range includes some meat products, five of their Samosa fillings are vegan! I recently had a chance to try some of their traditional vegetable samosas and spicy parathas so I snapped it up!

Their samosas and parathas come frozen and ready to put in your freezer. This means they’re ready to cook anytime! They also come with cooking instructions it’s pretty impossible to get wrong. I oven cooked mine as I don’t have access to a deep fat fryer. I brushed them with oil and baked them for 10 minutes as instructed and they came out absolutely beautiful.

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The inside of the samosa seemed to be mainly potato but there were also peas and sweetcorn in there. It was lovely and soft with a kick from the masala spices. The pastry was something else! I would never have thought it was gluten free! Most gluten free pastry I try turns out dry and crumbly but this was crispy and made a gorgeous contrast to the filling. This is definitely something I’d eat again.

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I have to admit I’d never heard of a Paratha until now. After a quick google I discovered that they could be used like a wrap and eaten with salad or any other fillings. I had mine on the side of my aubergine curry which was a good choice because I needed the rice to cool my mouth down! These wraps are made with gram flour, corn flour, potatoes, green chillis and other spices. They are extremely delicate and mine broke in the pan but this may have been because it had defrosted slightly. It was really tasty but slightly too spicy for my taste buds. I’m not known for my ability to handle spice!

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What makes this company so great is the fact they can cater to all sorts of different dietary requirements. One of the ladies is coeliac herself which definitely puts my mind at ease! Next I’ll definitely be ordering more samosas and some chapatti’s too.

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Have you tried Afia’s? What did you think?

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Fruity Friday (MOFO #5) – What to do when it all goes wrong…

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Welcome to day 5 of Vegan MOFO! I’m continuing with my theme of making recipes from pre-vegan cookbooks both vegan and gluten free!

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Sometimes when you’re adapting a recipe it can go wrong. Horribly wrong. I am a big fan of blueberries so when I saw the blueberry tart in Linda’s Kitchen I knew it would be one of the recipes I’d be trying. I made my own gluten free pastry and cooked up the blueberries following the exact recipe. The tart that emerged was one of the most beautiful foods I’ve ever seen. The blueberries were a glistening purple colour and a gorgeous vanilla scent was wafting off them. I cut a slice and took it off to bed to enjoy!

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I was back downstairs a few minutes later grabbing a packet of crisps. This tart was not good. The berries were gorgeous but the pastry recipe I’d used turned out dry, floury and generally disgusting. I didn’t want to lose the blueberries so I scooped them out and froze them ready for a day when I could try again.

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Salvation finally came at the weekend in the form of a blueberry and peach pie. I used a recipe from Simply Gluten Free which worked like a charm and produced a perfect, crunchy pie crust. After filling my tart case with blueberries I realised that not all of them had survived the bad tart experience and there was very little fruit compared to pastry. A dig in the fridge revealed a punnet of peaches which needed using and the pie was born!

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And the motto is… if it all goes wrong just keep trying!

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What do you do when your recipe fails?