My low cost bento features Quick and Dirty (and cheap) Samosas. I absolutely love samosas, and they are usually too much work for me, so I decided to come up with a more simple recipe that mimics traditional samosas.
1 bag of microwave steam-in-bag peas (1 serving)
2 servings of instant mashed potatoes (made with a bit of extra flakes for a dryer texture)
4 Goya Discos (pre-packaged frozen dough circles)
1/4 onion chopped finely
cayenne pepper powder (just a pinch)
oil for frying
jarred Mango Chutney (watered down to be more of a dip than a jelly)
Prepare the potatoes according to the directions except add a few extra spoonfuls of potato flakes to make the texture thicker. Then microwave the peas according to the directions. Mix the potatoes and peas with the finely chopped onion, salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Then add a generous spoonful of both cumin and garam masala (an indian spice. If you can't find it, just omit it). The mixture should be brown from the spices. Wrap them up in the goya discos and pan fry them until they are browned on both sides. It is also a good idea to throw them in the oven for a few minutes to make sure the dough is thoroughly cooked. For this lunch, using a 5th disco, I cut out mini gingerbread men shapes to decorate the samosas.
I have estimated that the lunch pictured above cost approximately $1.50 taking into consideration the jumbo store-brand instant potatoes. They may not taste exactly like real samosas, but they are loaded with Indian spices and are very filing. I usually like to have a healthy balanced meal full of fresh veggies, but occasionally a cheap and yummy samosa lunch is o.k. too.