Normally I write about entire meals but there is one street vendor in one corner of Bangkok that sells a single item that is so good, that my mouth waters as I write this. The vendor, Raspal Singh, makes samosas, the deep fried Indian pastry filled with a potato mixture and served with a complementary sweet and sour sauce.
Mr. Singh’s stall is nothing more than a single cart parked alongside a wall in a small soi (alley) immediately to the south of India Emporium, a small shopping center in Pahurat (Little India) on Chakrapet Road. This is not far from Bangkok’s Chinatown and the Old Siam shopping center.
All day long he prepares batch after batch of the samosas (they also prepare tikki – which is the filling fried up without the pasty wrapper) and you can only get them to go. They’re so tasty, though, that eating them by the side of the road is perfectly acceptable. Why would you want to wait and let them get cold?
The filling is made of potatoes mixed with loads of spices. It is a great example of vegetarian food that has rich, satisfying flavors.
The secret to any successful fried food is that the oil has to be fresh and at the proper temperature. Too hot and the outside burns before the inside cooks. Too cold and the whole thing becomes greasy. Mr. Singh is the master of the boiling oil-filled wok, turning out an endless stream of perfectly cooked, crispy but not greasy samosas.
If you find yourself in the heart of old Bangkok, craving a snack that will satisfy but leave you eager to return, you should head down to Little India and seek out Mr. Singh’s samosas.
Many thanks to Chawadee Nualkhair (www.bangkokglutton.com), author of Bangkok’s Top 50 Street Food Stalls, for leading me to this gem.