Fried dumplings served as appetizer or snack, samosa is mostly associated with Indian cuisine although it originated in the Middle East. There are many regional variants, and samosa comes in different shapes and with different fillings.Learn to make perfect samosa with spicy potato and pea filling with this step-by-step guide.
Spicy potato and pea filling
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons palm oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- potatoes peeled, boiled and cooled, then cut into 1/4-inch cubes to measure 1 and 1/2 cups
- ⅓ cup fresh peas completely thawed, if frozen
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 generous pinch black pepper
- salt to taste
Samosa shell (crust)
To cook the samosas
- palm oil for deep frying
Make the filling
- Heat a frying pan. Dry fry the coriander seeds until fragrant. Cool and pound using a mortar and pestle.
- Heat the palm oil in the frying pan. Saute the onion with the coriander seeds, cumin and ginger powders until the onion bits are softened.
- Add the potato cubes. Cook over high heat until the potato cubes are lightly browned in parts.
- Off the heat, stir in the peas.
- Season the filling with chili flakes, pepper and salt.
- Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Make the shell
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Cut the shortening into small pieces and add to the flour mixture.
- Using your fingers, rub the shortening with the flour mixture until the texture resembles uncooked oatmeal.
- Pour in the water, a third at a time, while mixing the dough with your hand.
- When all the water has been poured in, gather the dough into a ball and transfer to the work surface. Knead for five minutes until lightly elastic.
- Wrap in cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for at least half an hour.
Assemble the samosas
- Unwrap the dough and form into a log. Cut into eight equal portions.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten a portion of the dough into a circle about an eighth of an inch thick.
- Cut the rolled dough into halves.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough.¼
- Take a piece of dough and shape into a cone.
- Drop a heaping tablespoon of filling into the shaped dough and pinch the edges to seal (dabbing a little water on the edges makes sealing easier).
- Cover the uncooked samosas with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Fry the samosas
- Heat the palm oil in a wok to 320F. (the heat is lower than the normal frying temperature of 350F).
- Fry the samosas in batches taking care never to overcrowd the pan at any point.
- The samosas are done when they are golden brown.
Why are some samosas smooth while others are blistered? Okay, we have made both kinds at home. The photo on the left is from 2016; the one on the right is from a few days ago. The blistering has to do with the temperature of the oil during frying AND the thickness of the rolled dough. The dough was rolled to a thickness of a quarter inch in the 2016 photo; the dough was rolled to an eighth of an inch in the 2020 photo and the frying temperature was also a little higher. Which is more correct? The smooth ones or the blistered ones? They are both correct; the difference is in your preference. For us, the shell of the 2016 samosas was a bit on the thick side. Thinner dough makes crispier shells. Hence, the cooking procedure was modified.