Little flaky parcels of pastry filled with tender potatoes, peas, and spices. These vegetable samosas are so popular when we make an Indian buffet. I love a samosa dipped in mango chutney or sweet chilli sauce.
I'm going to show you how to make the samosa pastry from scratch, but I'll also share how to make this with store-bought wrappers.
Samosas are one of my favourite Indian appetisers.
That delicious savoury pastry is so good! It's hard to describe - kind of buttery, crumbly, with a little bit of chewiness.
Then filled with a mildly spiced, tender potato and pea filling - so tasty!
📋 What do we need to make samosas?
Samosa dough is a fairly simple dough, made with flour, salt, ghee and water. There's also a special ingredient, that helps to give the dough its unique flavour:
Ajwain seeds (also know as carom seeds)
These little seeds look similar to caraway seeds, and they’re of the same family, but taste very different. They have a pungent aniseed-like flavour.
It you can't get hold of any, at a push you can swap for a mixture of dried oregano and thyme (½ tsp of each).
The filling of these samosas includes potatoes, peas, ghee, ground cumin and cumin seeds, dried and fresh coriander, garam masala, asafoetida (see notes section of recipe card for more info on asafoetida), ginger, fresh chillies, salt and lemon juice.
Making the dough
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- The dough is made by mixing together flour, ajwain seeds and salt, then mixing in melted ghee - rubbing it with your fingers to form breadcrumbs. Once we get to the breadcrumb stage, we mix in water, until we get a firm dough.
- We rest the dough for 30 minutes, then split into 6 balls.
- Roll out the dough into a rough circle, then slice the circle in half.
- The filling is made by boiling potatoes, until tender.
- Next we fry up spices, then add peas, drained potatoes, coriander, salt and lemon juice.
- Everything is mixed together and the potatoes are crushed lightly in the process.
Filling the samosas
- Take one of the semi-circles of dough and form it into an open cone, sealing the edge with your fingers.
- Spoon some of the potato mixture into the cone and seal it shut. You can use a little dab of water to help seal the edges more firmly.
- Repeat until you have 12 samosas.
- Finally we fry the samosa in oil for abour 10-12 minutes, until perfectly golden.
👩🍳PRO TIP The oil shouldn't be too hot, as this can cause the dough to burn before it's properly cooked. 160-165C/320-329F is about right.
Don't want to make your own dough?
You can use spring roll wrappers. The 12" square wrappers are best.
- Cut one wrapper into 4 equare strips (cover the remaining wrappers with a damp tea towel, as the spring roll wrappers dry out quickly).
- Place a tablespoon of the filling at the bottom of one of the strips.
- Fold from the bottom to form a triangle, then continue to fold in alternating directions until you run out of wrapper.
- Tuck in any excess wrapper, or you can cut it off if it's neater.
- Seal the edge with a flour paste (made from 2 tbsp flour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water).
- Deep fry until golden brown. The oil can be hotter for frying spring roll pastry samosas. 190C/375F gives a nice golden colour.
- Samosas made with spring roll wrappers will also cook and brown quicker - in about 3-5 minutes.
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Vegeable Samosa Recipe
- 280 g (2 ½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tsp carom/awjain seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp melted ghee - swap with oil if preferred
- 7 tbsp water
- 1-2 tbsp oil
Potato and pea filling:
- 2 medium-large potatoes - (about 300g/10.5oz altogether), peeled and chopped into 2cm (~1 inch) chunks
- 1 tbsp ghee or oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 green chilli - finely diced
- 50 g (⅓ cup) frozen peas
- 10 g finely chopped fresh coriander leaves - (about 3 tbsp)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
For deep frying:
- 2 litres frying oil (a little under half a gallon) - or enough to fill your pan one-third to one-half full.
- Add the flour, carom seeds, and salt to a bowl and mix together.280 g (2 ½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, 1 tsp carom/awjain seeds, 1 tsp salt
- Add the ghee, and mix, using your fingers to gently rub the dough, so you get breadcrumbs.5 tbsp melted ghee
- Add three-quarters of the water and mix together with your hands, adding more water, until you get a firm (not sticky) dough.7 tbsp water
- Put to one side, cover with a piece of clingfilm/plastic-wrap (or a wax wrap) and rest for 30 minutes. You can make the filling while the dough is resting.
Potato and Pea Filling:
- Place the peeled and chopped potatoes into a pan and cover with cold water.2 medium-large potatoes
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-11 minutes, so they’re just tender (a knife should slide into them with just a bit of resistance).
- Drain and put to one side.
- Heat the oil (or ghee) in a large frying pan, over a medium heat.1 tbsp ghee or oil
- Add the cumin seeds and fry for one minute, stirring often, until they start to sizzle.½ tsp cumin seeds
- Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, asafoetida, ginger, and chilli.¼ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp garam masala, ¼ tsp asafoetida, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 green chilli
- Fry for one minute, until fragrant.
- Add the peas, and cook for a minute, then add in the potatoes.50 g (⅓ cup) frozen peas
- Gently crush the potatoes, with the back of a spoon to break them up slightly.
- Sprinkle over the chopped coriander, salt, and lemon juice, and fold everything together, until combined (be sure to fold, so the mixture doesn’t go mushy).10 g finely chopped fresh coriander leaves, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp lemon juice
- Put to one side.
Making the Samosas:
- Divide the samosa dough into 6 balls.
- Oil your board, then roll out one of the balls into an approximate circle, about 15cm (6”) across.1-2 tbsp oil
- Slice in half through the middle, then take one of the halves and shape it into an open-ended cone shape. Use a little water to seal the edge.
- Spoon one-twelfth (about a heaped tablespoon) of the potato mixture into the cone, then seal the end shut, using a little water.
- Repeat, until you have used up all the dough and filling – making 12 samosas.
- Cover half of the samosas with a damp towel and preheat your oven to a very low temperature (to keep the samosas warm). Place a tray in the oven to heat.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan or Dutch oven, over a medium heat until hot. The oil should reach no further than halfway up the pan (or it might bubble over). You want to be able to add a tiny blob of dough or tiny chunk of bread into the oil, and it should bubble very very slowly (if you have a temperature probe this should be about 160-165C/320-329F). We don’t want the oil too hot. If it’s too hot, the dough will burn before fully cooking.2 litres frying oil (a little under half a gallon)
- Carefully add 6 samosas to the pan, one at a time.*see note about pan size
- Cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning a few times, until golden brown.
- Drain on kitchen paper and place on the warmed tray in the oven, then cook the second batch.
- Once the second batch is cooked, drain and arrange all of the samosa on a serving plate.
- Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.sweet chilli sauce
It you can't get hold of any, at a push you can swap for a mixture of dried oregano and thyme (½ tsp of each). Asafoetida Asafoetida (<--affiliate link), also known as hing, is a spice used in some Indian dishes. It adds a deeper savoury flavour, like onion or garlic to a dish. You only need a little (too much is overpowering). If you can't get hold of any, or if you're unlikely to use it for anything else, then don't worry, it can be left out. There are plenty of spices already in the dish to give it a fantastic flavour. Pan size: I use a large heavy-based pan or Dutch Oven for deep frying. It's about 26cm diameter. This is large enough for me to cook 6 samosas at a time. If your pan is smaller, cook in 3 batches, so you're frying 4 samosas at a time. Other alternatives to making your own samosa dough:
- Ready-rolled puff pastry sheets. You can bake or air-fry at 180C/350F (fan), until golden (no oil needed). This should take around 15-20 minutes. Brush with a little egg wash for a golden finish.
- Filo pastry - Brush with oil and bake at 160C/320F (fan), until golden - about 18-20 minutes.
- Spring roll wrappers (see post above) - deep fry in oil at 190C/375F until golden. About 3-5 minutes.
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