Samosas are a great Indian appetizer – not only are they tasty and morish, but they look really complicated to make, meaning if you only get them part right, people will still be impressed. In reality, they’re really simple to make and if you bake them, like we have, don’t have to be unhealthy – of course, if you want traditional samosas, then deep fry them – deep fry them and don’t even care!
I’m going to show you how to make to dough and the filling. The dough can be substituted for short-crust pastry, if you’re short on time (geddit?) or even filo pastry, if you want that extra crispiness. For the filling, I’m using a traditional vegetarian mix, but you can make any filling you want – lamb mince and peas is also a great combination for a meatier option. Experiment with flavours, but keep your mixture dry – the wetter it is, the more likely the pastry will fall apart while cooking.
2 cups of white, all purpose flour
2 tbsp melted butter or ghee
1 tsp of salt
Ice cold water (approx 8 tbsps)
Start by sifting your flour and salt into a blender. You can make pastry by hand, but it’ll take longer. Blending can really over-work the gluten, but given we want a stretchy dough, it’s ok (don’t make cupcakes in the blender!).
Fire the blender up and pour in your melted butter and allow the butter to thoroughly combine with the flour.
Start to pour in your ice cold water, very slowly.
Keep pouring till you get a firm, but pliable dough.
Take the dough out and place it on a well floured surface. You want the flour to bounce back when you press it. I made an animated gif for you to see what I mean – seriously, click on the picture above, just coz it’s cool!
Cover with a cloth and put in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.
2 medium sized potatoes
1 cup of frozen peas
Seriously, any other vegetables you want – as long as they don’t retain too much water (e.g. squash will likely be too soft, so don’t use too much)
2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp whole cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch of ground chillies (optional)
Salt & pepper (to taste)
Cut your potatoes into eighths and combine with the peas with half a cup of water in a microwave proof bowl. I leave the skins on my potatoes for flavour, fibre and texture, but you’re welcome to remove them.
Cover your potatoes and peas (and any other veggies you want) and microwave until soft (about 8-10 minutes in my microwave). Boiling your vegetables will make them retain too much water – so you want something like microwaving or steaming or even baking to get the filling dry.
Once the potatoes are soft, add in all your spices.
Mash (but not to a puree – keep a little texture in your filling). Place your mashed filling in the fridge to cool down. If you used hot filling then your pastry will warm up and stick – not cool. You want the filling to be at least room temperature.
Time to create your samosas. Start by taking a palm sized ball of dough and making a small, circular shape with your hands. Place on a well floured board and roll with a well floured rolling pin into a thin circle. You can create larger circles if you want larger samosas, but you will need thicker dough, too. Twice the size of the circle will need 3 times the thickness of dough to make sure it doesn’t split under the weight of the extra filling.
Once you have a circle, cut it down the middle to create two semi-circles. I use a pizza cutter – seems to be the simplest way to cut, even if it’s not authentic…
Put some of the filling in the middle – I’m using about 2 tablespoons of the mash per samosa here – not a large samosa, but more than bite-sized.
With wet fingers, wet the edges of your semi-circle.
Pull the two points of the semi-circle together at the top and pinch closed.
Pinch down one edge…
Then pinch down the next to close it up.
Yeah, I know it doesn’t look like a restaurant samosa, but there are men and women who spend their lives making these things – I’m not one of them 🙂 Place on a baking tray and bake at 180 degrees C (355F) for about 15 mins or until golden. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven, so not to let the high tips burn. If you want to deep fry them, then deep fry in batches for about 4-5 mins and place on paper towels to rest.
Serve up with tamarind sauce or just eat them without even realising you need to take a photo to show others (sorry!)