Samosas are available in most places in the world as little triangle pastries filled with a variety of fillings – but only a few places make them the traditional Indian style. They can be made as vegetarian or non-vegetarian fillings. They are eaten as a snack with a cup of tea, served as a starter at some meal or served up in a miniature version at posh receptions and serve as canapés.
I spent about an hour looking at videos on YouTube to see if any one made them the way they should really be made and I couldn’t find one. So here’s my recipe for the traditional samosas – the way I was taught by my dad years ago and I follow the same recipe even today. The recipe is not difficult to make but as with most cooking – preparation is the key to making a good product. Pastry Schools can help you if you want to learn more about proper food preparation and handling.
Ingredients for about the filling:
- 3 potatoes
- 3 carrots
- One cup of frozen peas
- Half yellow pepper (optional)
- A handful of frozen soya bean (optional)
- I onion
- A teaspoon of blended ginger
- 2 or 3 green chillies (can be reduced or missed out if you do not like hot food)
- Small bunch of coriander
- Half tea spoon salt
- Half tea spoon chilly powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon
- Half teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
Please note: Some of the spices can be adjusted to suit your personal taste. Also you do not add tumeric to samosa filling.
For the pastry or samosa pad
- 1 bowl of plain flour
- quarter teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of lemon
1. Add salt and lemon to the plain flour. Add some warn water to the flour to make a dough. (My photograph will give you and idea of how firm to make the dough). Cover and rest the dough.
2. Dice the potatoes, peppers and carrots. (My photograph will give you an idea of how small to chop the vegetables). Add the peas and soya beans to the mixture. Wash the vegetables and leave them in a colander. Dice the onion finely, chop the green chillies and coriander finely but do not add them to the vegetables.
3. Warm the sunflower oil in a saucepan, add the cumin seeds. Once they start to go golden brown, add the vegetables to the oil. Add in the ginger, salt, chilly powder and sugar. Let this mixture cook gently. Try not to add any water to the mixture. Wash your vegetables just before you add them to the hot oil so that there is enough moisture to enable the vegetables to cook. You can cook the vegetables in the microwave if you are worried that the vegetables may get burnt. When using the microwave, cook them for 5 minutes, stir and cook again for 5 minutes. Repeat this until the vegetables are cooked al dente.
4. Add the lemon juice and cook them for a further 5 minutes.
5. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the onions, green chillies and coriander to the mixture. By adding these items uncooked at the end will give the samosas a nice flavour to the mixture. When you eat the samosas, you’ll be able to taste all the spices as well as the onions and chillies.
6. Allow the mixture to start cooling down.
Now make the PASTRY to cover the somasas.:
1. Divide the pastry into small balls as shown in my picture below:
2. Take two balls and roll both of them in a circle with to 3 inch diameter.
3. Lightly oil one of the rolled out pastry.
4. Sprinkle some plain flour to the second rolled out pastry. This will resemble a roti.
5. Put one pastry on top of the other as shown in my picture.
In the meantime – warm the griddle or dry flying pan on a warm setting.
6. Sprinkle some flour to this pastry and roll out the pastry in a circle.
7. Cook the pastry on the griddle for half a minute and turn to the second side.( My photographs below will illustrate this). By lightly cooking the pastry, it gets rid of any air bubbles that might be in the pastry.
8. Remove the pastry on a work top and separate the two rotis.
9. Cover the rotis into two and finish making the rest of the rotis.
Now the rotis are ready to be filled with the samosa mixture. Once you get the hang of making the rotis, you can always prepare them and freeze them for when you wish to use them. Just remember to defrost them correctly.
However, we need to make some “glue” to enable the mixture to remain in the samosas.
For the glue:
Take 2 or 3 tablespoons of plain white flour and add warm water to the flour. Stir the mixture and the consistency should resemble glue. Please see the photographs below:
To fill the samosa:
1. Take the half roti.
2. Using a teaspoon, add some glue on half the semi circle side.
3. Fold it as shown in my pictures below.
4. Fill with samosa mixture.
5. Seal the samosa using the glue.
6. Allow the samosas to rest for half an hour. If have managed to make extra, you can freeze them at this stage.
7. Heat the oil.
8. Gently fry the Vegetarian Samosa or The King of spicy pastries in hot sunflower oil until crispy and very light golden.
9. Serve with sweet chilly sauce or coriander and chilly chutney. Or as I mentioned before, just enjoy them with your favourite dip or a cup of tea.
The reason, I call Samosas the king of all pastries is because it does require a lot of preparations but once you have made them, you will not enjoy any readymade frozen varieties ever. They are the best.
The above is the original recipe for making samosas. The pastry made following my recipe makes the samosa crispier and tastier. The pastry is smooth and not bubbly or crumbly. The samosas remain crispy and taste even better the next day.
Once the filling is cooked, you can add cheese like cheddar or paneer to the mixture to give them a different taste.
You can make toasted sandwiches using this mixture. Just put the filling between two slices of bread and pop them into your sandwich maker and enjoy them with chilly sauce.