The best appetizer: vegetarian samosas.
Like perfecting Chicken Tikka Masala, I’ve also been on a quest to perfect the vegetarian samosa. For some reason I can never get it quite right.. the filling is not flavorful enough, or the dough is too sticky and undercooked, or they all completely fall apart when I’m frying them.
I received some tips from Dave’s mom the last time we were visiting on getting the dough-texture correct. It’s supposed to be a little firmer/ less moist than paratha dough (for anyone who has experience making parathas), but you don’t want it to be as crumbly as pie dough.
An additional resource I used was this hilarious man. He offered some good instructions on how to shape the samosa properly and how to fry it perfectly.
Anyway, the point is: I think I’ve finally gotten to the perfect recipe! These samosas were perfectly textured: crispy, tender, salty. The potato innards were nice and flavorful, just the way they should be. This post is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make these amazing and addictive little fried appetizers. I know it looks like a lot. But never fear- the end results are completely worth it! The results were absolutely binge-worthy, as evidenced by 10 samosas consumed in 1 sitting between both Dave and myself. ‘
I think it’s a record. I’m unsure if I should be proud or embarrassed.
The filling you really can do however you want. I prefer to cube the potatoes for good texture, but other people prefer to mash the potato and also you can add peas or other veg for texture. You just want to add plenty of spices and SALT! This is highly important or else your samosas will have little flavor and you’ll be left wondering what you could have done wrong??
This is approximately what your dough should look like. I allowed it to rest with a damp paper towel over the top for about an hour before working with it. Then, separate the dough into 5 even balls of dough. They should be approximately the size of golf balls (or a little larger). You then want to chill the smaller balls of dough for about 30 minutes, continue to keep moist with a damp towel covering.
Roll the small balls of dough into an oval. Keep remaining dough balls covered under a damp towel so they don’t dry out. You then cut the dough directly in half.
Using water, you will seal the seams of your samosa. First, bring the seams from the straight edge of your dough together, and press firmly. You should have created a cone-shape at this point. Rest the cone in your left hand, like I have shown in the picture above. Stuff with 2-3 tablespoons of the potato mixture. Then, apply water to the round edges of the dough. Pinch the remaining seams together to firmly seal. Additionally, you may use a fork to further crimp the edges and seal the samosa well.
The frying step is very important. You want to start your samosa on LOW heat, but not completely cold. Add your samosas to the pot. You want to slow-fry these for a long time until the dough is very crispy (it will take about 10-15 minutes). About half-way through the frying process you will want to adjust the temperature to medium-heat. This allows the entire crust to cook evenly versus having a fully-cooked outer-shell and a raw inside shell (as I have done in the past).
This is your finished samosa. You can see how crispy the crust turned out. Yum! Serve with your favorite chutneys or just eat plain. You will be happy.
Look at those beauties!
- 2 large boiling potatoes either white or yukon gold
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 2 tsp amchoor powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric for color
- 1/2 tsp salt to taste
- 2 tbsp ginger-paste make fresh by grating ginger root
- 1/2 green chile minced (to taste, for spiciness)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
- 4-6 tbsp cold water about 1/4 cup
- For Frying
- Enough peanut oil to deep- fry samosas
- Boil the potatoes until tender. Allow to cool. Peel the skin from the potatoes. Dice potatoes into small cubes and set aside.
- Prepare spices, ginger paste, and green chile. Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil on medium-heat in a skillet. Add ginger and green chile, and saute for a few minutes. Add potatoes, and spice mixture. Saute until well combined. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Set aside in a bowl for later use.
- To prepare the dough: Using a food processor combine flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Pulse until mixture has become well-combined and the oil is well-incorporated. With the blade running consistently, begin slowly drizzling in the water. The dough should come together into a ball. Turn off the processor and check the texture of your dough. If it is too dry, add a little more water. If too sticky add additional flour. You want the texture to be firm and springy, not sticky or crumbly.
- Lightly grease a mixing bowl and allow the ball of dough to rest at least 1 hour. Cover with a damp towel to prevent from drying out. Separate dough into 5 small balls of dough. Return to mixing bowl and allow to rest in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes- 1 hour.
- To assemble the samosas: Once your dough is prepared, take 1 small dough ball at a time, and roll out into a thin, oval shape. The dough should be about 1/8 inch in thickness.
- Slice in half with a knife to create 2 half moon shapes. Using one of the half-moons, apply water to the straight edge of the dough.
- Press the straight edges together to form a cone.
- Now, fill the cones using the potato mixture. Fill as generously as you can, with about 2-3 tablespoons of potato mixture. Then add additional water to the rounded edge and completely seal your samosa. You may use a fork to further crimp the edges for added seal. You will make 10 samosas.
- Set completed samosas on a lightly greased plate.
- Add a generous amount of peanut oil to a large pot. Set the gas on low. Allow the oil to heat for about 5- 10 minutes before adding your samosas. If your pot is large enough you should be able to fry all the samosas together.
- Fry on low for about 7 minutes, and then turn the heat to medium. Fry for an additional 7-8 minutes, or until the samosas are lightly browned.
- Watch your samosas closely and turn often to allow for even cooking.
- Allow samosas to drain off the excess oil on paper towels or a brown paper bag before serving.