These crunchy spiced pockets are a street food and restaurant staple throughout South Asia, Central Asia, SE Asia, and even on the eastern coast of Africa. They can be filled with anything from vegetables to meats and cheese to lentils, and come in many different forms. The triangular, or cone-shaped, samosa that I describe here is the form I've encountered the most in my travels. Though they aren't a quick meal, they are so delicious and last for days on the counter or in the fridge- a snacking option you won't be able to resist. I've adapted this recipe from Cook with Manali, to include ingredients that are easily found in the US. Give Manali some love!
& green chutney
[14 samosas, about 4 servings]
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. salt
4 tbs. + 1 tsp. oil
8-12 tbs. water
4 med. Yukon gold potatoes (1-1 ¼ lbs), unpeeled, chopped into ½” cubes
2 tbs. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tsp. crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp. finely chopped ginger
1 green chili chopped
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¾ c. frozen green peas
1 tsp. coriander powder
½ tsp. garam masala or curry powder
½ tsp. amchur dried mango powder (optional)
¼ tsp. red chili powder
¾ tsp. salt
oil, for deep frying
Quick Green Chutney
Large handful of cilantro leaves and stems
Small handful of mint leaves (~16 leaves)
½” cube of ginger, peeled
2 tsp. garlic, diced
1 tsp. sugar
½ lime, squeezed
¼ c. water
¼ tsp. salt
In a large bowl mix flour, thyme, salt and oil with your hands until it becomes crumbly and the oil is completely soaked into the flour. Take your time here, fully incorporating the oil, about 3 minutes. You can also use a food processor to mix, pulsing to incorporate.
Start adding water, one tablespoon at a time and mixing with your hands (or pulsing with the food processor. After you have added 6 tbs. of water, check the dough. The water should be fully incorporated and make a stiff but workable dough (not dry! But also not really soft). If it's too dry, add 1 tbs. at a time more water until you achieve a stiff dough.
Cover the dough with a moist towel (soaked in water and completely rung out) and let it rest for about 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, start working on the filling.
To a large saucepan, add potatoes and fill with water 1" over potatoes. Bring water and potatoes to a boil on high heat. When boiling, turn down heat to medium low and cook until done, about 8-10 minutes.
When potatoes have cooked, drain and roughly smash the potatoes in a mixing bowl. You don't want mashed potatoes here, you still want some small chunks, so don't go too wild!
Heat 2 tbs. oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and crushed coriander seeds. Let the seeds sizzle for few seconds and then add the chopped ginger and green chili. Cook for 1 minute.
Next, add the garlic and onion powders, potatoes and peas and mix everything together.
Stir and add the coriander, garam masala, amchur, red chili powder and salt. Mix to combine. Once everything is well incorporated, take off the heat and set aside.
Putting it all together
Uncover the dough, and knead a couple of times. Divide the dough into 7 equal(ish) pieces, and roll each into a ball. While you are rolling out one ball, put all remaining dough balls back in the moist towel so that they don't dry out.
Using a rolling pin, roll on ball into an oval shape, about 7" across. Slice the oval in half short-ways (see photos below!). Fill a small cup with 2 tbs. water and 1 tbs. flour to use throughout the folding process.
Take one half of the oval in the palm of your hand and wet the straight edge with your finger. Fold the straight edge in half and seal it together by pinching the two sides, forming a cone.
Scoop the filling into the cone, pressing down and filling to about 1/2" from the top.
Using your finger, apply the flour/water mixture to the top inside of the dough, around the circumference. Bring one side to meet the other, and pinch together- forming a seam across the bottom of the cone. Stand the samosa up on your work surface, pinching and forming the whole samosa so that it stands, and set aside.
Repeat this with all remaining dough. You should be using about 1-2 tbs. of filling in each samosa, and when you are done you will either have a very tiny bit left or it should end up just perfect!
**Manali mentions that maintaining the correct low heat for cooking is essential for your samosa to look perfect and not have any bubbles in the dough. I found this really hard to regulate on my stove, as it would get too hot too easily, or halfway through cooking. I also tried using a Fry Daddy personal fryer, and the heat is far too hot. Though the samosas still come out, they will have a lot of bubbles in the dough and probably be a touch chewy.
Set a cooling rack over a sheet pan. This will be where you transfer the samosas after they have fried.
Heat cooking oil about 3" deep in a saucepan over low heat. To test the oil, drop a small piece of dough into the oil and it should take a few seconds to come to the surface. Don't overcrowd your pan, make sure each samosa has enough space around it to cook evenly.
Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, and then turn the heat up to medium and cook for about 10 more minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to the cooling rack and start on the next batch.
If using a Fry Daddy: though there will be a lot of bubbles, cook time will only be 7 minutes per batch.
Baking method: You can also bake the samosas! Brush each samosa entirely with oil and line a sheet pan with parchment. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
rāmrarī khānuholā = Nepali for "have a nice meal"