Expanding Calgary's food scene one Samosa at a time

Sep 24, 2015

The Calgary world food scene is getting better and with that we’re seeing more local producers creating delicious products to help everyone experience these delicious new flavours.

Thumbs Up Foods started in 1996 in a Calgary basement and has been growing ever since. They produce some fantastic East Indian foods and we’re excited to be carrying their samosa wrappers just in time for Ramadan this week.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During the whole month, faithful observers of Islam fast from sunrise (Sahour) to sunset (Iftar). During the fast, no food or drink is consumed. Meals are served before sunrise and after sunset, and eaten with family or with the local community.

This means that the foods served in the evenings are feasts of some of the best foods.

“For the month of Ramadan, Serenna’s samosa wrapper sales are at their highest,” says Fauzia Kanji, Director and CFO of Thumbs Up Foods. “Samosas are a simple and tasty favourite and they go with just about everything from being an appetizer served with one of Serenna’s tasty chutney’s to a main meal served with a nice soup, salad or fries!”

These wraps are now carried in Calgary Co-op where everyone can try this dish and experience something new.

“With the popularity of social media and "trending", more and more people are being introduced and are enjoying new things from other cultures,” says Kanji. “Food is by far the most popular way to experience ethnic culture, and our sales to different types of people from all walks of life have flourished.”

While it may seem a bit stressful to try new styles of food the wrappers give a step up and actually make this a relatively easy dish to create. With the one-of-a-kind meat we have in Alberta we’re definitely spoiled to some perfect filling.

“When it comes to filling, our all-time favourite comes from the heart of Alberta,” says Kanji. “Alberta raised beef is of the highest quality and makes for the tastiest filling.”

That doesn’t mean you’re limited to one type of filling. These wrappers give you the opportunity to experiment a little and create something totally new.

“Alternatively, we recommend turkey or tuna to change things up,” says Kanji. “For the vegetarians in the crowd, a spicy aloo gobi (potatoes and cabbage) filling is right up your alley.”

So take this opportunity and try something new. Thumbs Up Foods is aiming to make the samosa a household name for everyone. Kanji has some advice for first time Samosa cooks:

“The most important advice I can give to first time samosa cooks is that whatever filling you plan on using, ensure that it is dry. This keeps the samosa from becoming soggy once they are fried. Also remember to fully seal all three corners of the samosa to prevent oil from seeping into the filling during frying. To achieve the best results, always fry from frozen; your samosas will be at their crispiest!”

- Jeff Clemens

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