i love samosas and regularly buy them from outside. actually, i have eaten samosas from all over india like delhi, mumbai, goa, hyderabad, bangalore, pune… samosas are a national passion.. where ever you go, you will be able to get samosas in india. they are also a popular street food in india.
the combo of samosa with masala chai is irresistible. it took me 3 failures to get a perfect samosa crust and the credit goes to a few of my friends. they were generous enough to share the tricks of making the samosa pastry and how to fry them, so that the crust is flaky and no tiny air bubble pockets are formed on the crust.
to get the right texture and flakiness in the samosa pastry cover, there are two ways they are fried. apart from frying, they can be baked too for a low fat version. i experimented with all three different methods.
two ways of deep frying the samosa to get the flaky crust:
1. frying samosa once - in this method, heat the oil to high temperature and then slid the samosas gently into the hot oil. as soon as you add the samosa to the hot oil, reduce the flame to low and now fry the samosa on low flame. this will make sure that the samosa does not absorb too much oil. if you directly put the samosa on low temperature oil and fry in sim then it will absorb too much oil. if you fry in hot oil, then there are chances of tiny air bubble pockets on the pastry. the samosas are also not cooked from inside.
2. double frying the samosas - this is a little lengthy method and the one which i will suggest you to try while making samosas at home. in this method the samosas are very lightly fried not allowing them to become golden. just that the dough cooks and thats it.
add the samosas in hot oil and remove them when the crust has become opaque and creamish white. just enough fried that if you remove it from oil then it will not break. drain & keep them aside. do this with all the samosas. later lower the flame and then fry the once fried samosas again till they are golden.
with both the methods, the final samosas will be crisp & flaky from outside and cooked well from inside… like the one you get in the markets and there will be no tiny air bubbles in the crust. a pic below of the samosa fried twice.
an alternative method to bake instead of frying:
3. baking the samosas - i also baked the samosas. there was not much difference in the taste. but texture wise, i find the fried samosa better than the baking method. from health perspective, baking method is better. i baked at 180 degrees C for about 32 mins. below a pic of baked samosas.
a few points to remember for the samosa dough crust:
1. enough fat or moyen should be added to the flour. one of my friends suggested 1/5th of fat to 1 part of flour in weight. i have reduced the amount of fat in this recipe.
2. the amount of water added depends on the quality of the flour. so remember to knead into a tight firm dough and add water in turns when kneading.
2. don’t roll the samosa crust too thick otherwise it will take too much time to brown it and it will become hard while frying on low heat and secondly heat will not go inside and the filling will not be cooked properly.
3. also don’t roll the samosa too thin, so that it is not able to contain the potato stuffing. so remember these points to roll the samosa dough. you need some practice to gauge the right pastry thickness.
1. i personally like the punjabi samosa which is served in north india. in this peas and potatoes are the main ingredients and the filling is not crushed to a smoothness. the aloo or potato pieces are soft but intact and there are few green chili pieces also in the filing.
2. in some places, they add raisins also in the filling which gives it a little sweet taste in between. sometimes cashews are also added.
3. in some places, the filling is totally mashed unlike the punjabi samosas.
4. if the green chilies are not added in the samosa filling then fried green chilies are usually served separately.
5. some people also add ginger garlic paste and on few rare occasion, i have found chopped carrots pieces also in the filing.
my personal choice will always be a punjabi samosa. the filling for a punjabi samosa also has to be equally good. i have mentioned two potato-peas stuffings in the recipe details. in the first one (also shown in the step by step pics) i have freshly ground the spices. the second filling recipe is a bit quick and easy. both the stuffing recipes are adapted from my home science notes.
i have also made a video which i have embedded towards the end of the step by step. the video shows the shaping, stuffing and deep frying the samosas. you can have a look at the video if the pics don’t help.
lets start step by step samosa recipe:
preparing the samosa pastry:
1. take the all purpose flour, carom seeds, salt in a bowl. mix well and add ghee or oil.
2. with your fingertips rub the ghee in the flour to get a breadcrumb like consistency. the whole mixture should lump together when gathered.
3. add 1 or 2 tbsp water.
4. begin to knead adding water as required.
5. knead to a firm dough. cover the dough with a moistened napkin and keep aside for 30 mins.
preparing the potato peas stuffing for the samosa:
6. dry roast the spices till aromatic in a pan stirring often. let them cool.
7. in a dry grinder or coffee grinder, powder the roasted spices.
8. steam or boil the potatoes and peas till they are cooked.
9. peel and chop the potatoes in small cubes.
10. in a pan, heat oil. splutter the cumin. add the ginger-green chili paste. saute for some seconds.
11. add the peas, asafoetida, red chili powder & the freshly ground spice powder. saute for 1-2 mins on a low flame.
12: add the cubed potatoes and salt. stir and saute for 2-3 mins more.
13: keep the stuffing aside covered with a lid. check the taste and add more red chili powder or salt if required.
preparing & shaping the samosa:
14: the dough after 30 mins. knead the dough lightly again.
15: divided the dough into 6-7 pieces.
16: take each piece and roll in your palms first. then roll it with a rolling pin keeping the thickness neither thin nor thick.
17: cut with a knife or a pastry cutter through the center of the samosa pastry.
18: with a brush or with your finger tips, on the straight edge of the sliced dough, apply some water.
19: join the two ends bringing the watered edge on top of the plain edge as shown in pic below.
20: press the edges well, so that they get sealed. it will look like a cone.
21: the samosa cone is ready to be stuffed with the potato-peas stuffing.
22. stuff the prepare samosa cone with the prepared potato-peas stuffing.
23: apply or brush some water on the top cone edge. pinch a part in the edge as shown in pic below. this helps the samosas to stand.
24: press both the edges. be sure there are no cracks. the edges should be joined very well so that the stuffing does not come out while frying.
25: prepare all the samosas this way and keep covered with a moist kitchen napkin.
26: now heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. once the oil becomes hot (test by adding a small piece of dough – it should come up quickly once added to the hot oil) gently slide 3-4 of the prepares stuffed samosas & then reduce the flame to low.
27: turn over in between and fry the samosas till golden on a low flame.
28: drain samosas on paper towels to remove excess oil.
serve samosas hot or warm with coriander chutney, saunth (tamarind chutney) or tomato sauce. in north india, they also serve punjabi chole with samosa.
samosa video showing making the samosa cone, folding and frying:
samosa recipe details below:
- 2 cups maida or all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp ghee or oil
- 5-6 tbsp water (i added 5 tbsp + 1 tsp water)
- 1 tsp carom seeds/ajwain
- salt as required ( i added ¾ tsp salt)
- oil for deep frying
- 3 medium sized potatoes/aloo
- ¾ to 1 cup green peas/matar, fresh or frozen
- 1 green chili + ½ inch ginger crushed to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp red chili powder
- a pinch of asafoetida/hing
- ½ tbsp oil
- salt as required
- whole spices to be ground:
- ¼ inch cinnamon
- 2 black peppercorns
- 1 clove
- 1 green cardamom
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp dry pomegranate seeds/anardana or 1 tsp dry mango powder/amchur * check notes for mango powder
- 3 medium size potatoes
- ¾ to 1 cup peas/matar, fresh or frozen
- 1 green chili and ½ inch ginger made in a paste or chopped finely
- ¾ tsp garam masala powder
- ¼ or ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp amchur
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ¾ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 2 to 2.5 tsp oil
- salt as required
- take the flour, carom seeds, salt in a bowl. mix well and add ghee or oil.
- with your fingertips rub the ghee/oil in the flour to get a breadcrumb like consistency.
- the whole mixture should clamp together when joined.
- add 1 or 2 tbsp water.
- begin to knead adding water as required.
- knead to a firm dough. cover the dough with a moistened napkin and keep aside for 30-40 mins.
- steam or boil the potatoes and peas till are cooked completely.
- peel the boiled potatoes and chop them into small cubes
- dry roast all the whole spices mentioned in the above list till fragrant.
- once cooled, grind them in a dry grinder or coffee grinder to a fine powder.
- heat oil in a pan.
- add the cumin seeds and crackle them.
- add the ginger-green chili paste.
- saute till the raw aroma of ginger goes away.
- add the peas, red chili powder, the freshly ground spice powder and asafoetida.
- stir and saute on a low flame for 1-2 minutes
- add the potato cubes and saute for 2-3 minutes with frequent stirring.
- keep the filling aside to cool.
- boil or steam the potatoes & peas till they are cooked completely.
- peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes.
- heat oil in a pan.
- crackle the cumin first, then add the ginger-green chili paste and saute till the raw aroma of ginger goes away.
- lower the flame and add all the dry spice powders one by one.
- stir and then add potato cubes & peas along with salt.
- saute for 2-3 minutes.
- switch off and add the chopped coriander leaves from top and stir well.
- keep aside.
- after keeping the dough for 30-40 mins. knead the dough lightly again.
- divided the dough 6 equal pieces.
- take each piece and roll in your palms first to make a smooth ball.
- then roll it with a rolling pin keeping the thickness neither thin nor thick.
- cut with a knife or a pastry cutter through the center of the samosa pastry.
- with a brush or with your finger tips, on the straight edge of the sliced pastry, apply some water.
- join the two ends bringing the watered edge on top of the plain edge.
- press the edges so that they get sealed well.
- stuff the prepared samosa cone with the prepared potato-peas stuffing.
- apply some water with your fingertips or brush on the round samosa cone circumference.
- pinch a part on the edge (check the video & pics). this helps the samosas to stand.
- press both the edges. be sure there are no cracks.
- prepare all the samosas this way and keep covered with a moist kitchen napkin.
- now heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. once the oil becomes hot (test by adding a small piece of dough – it should come up quickly once added to the hot oil) gently slide the prepares stuffed samosas & quickly reduce the flame to low.
- you can also fry the samosas twice as i have mentioned above in the post.
- turn over in between and fry the samosas till golden. drain samosas on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- fry the samosas in batches.
- for frying the second batch, again increase the temperature of the oil.
- add the samosas and then lower the flame, thereby decreasing the temperature of oil.
- this way fry all the samosas in batches.
- pre heat the oven to 180 degree C.
- brush oil lightly on the prepared samosas.
- place them in a baking tray and bake for 30-35 mins or till light golden at 180 degrees C.
- serve samosas hot or warm with coriander chutney, saunth (tamarind chutney), tamarind-dates chutney or tomato sauce.
- they can also be served with a yogurt dip or a plain raita. another way is to serve the samosas with punjabi chole (a spiced chickpea curry).
- a chaat can also me made from the samosa. we usually have samosa with masala chai or ginger chai.
- even bread or pav (indian bread rolls) can be served with the samosas.
- whatever you serve samosas with, remember to have hot masala chai along.