Monday, 19 July 2010

Vegetable Samosas


Samosas are available in most places in the world as little triangle pastries filled with a variety of fillings - but only a few places make them the traditional Indian style. They can be made of vegetarian or non-vegetarian fillings.  They are eaten as a snack with a cup of tea, served as a starter at some meal or served up in a miniature version at posh receptions and serve as starters and canapés.

I spent about an hour looking at videos on YouTube to see if any one made them the way they should really be made and I couldn’t find one. So here’s my recipe for the traditional samosas – the way I was taught by my dad years ago and I follow the same recipe even today. The recipe is easy to make but as with most cooking - preparation is the key to making these.

Ingredients for about the filling:

3 large potatoes
3  carrots
One cup of frozen peas
Half yellow pepper (optional)
A handful of frozen soya bean (optional)
I onion
A teaspoon of blended ginger
2 or 3 green chillies (can be reduced or missed out if you do not like hot food)
Small bunch of coriander
Half tea spoon salt
Half tea spoon chilly powder (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon
Half teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 or 2 teaspoons of ground cloves and cinnamon mixture (optional)

Please note: Some of the spices can be adjusted to suit your personal taste. Also you do not add tumeric to samosa filling.

For the pastry for somasa cover

1 bowl of plain flour
quarter teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of lemon

For the "glue" to stick the somasas

2 or 3 tablespoons of plain white flour


1. Add salt and lemon to the plain flour. Add some warm water to the flour to make a dough. (My photograph will give you an idea of how firm to make the dough). Cover and rest the dough.


2. Dice the potatoes, peppers and carrots. (My photograph will give you an idea of how small to chop the vegetables). Add the peas and soya beans to the mixture. Wash the vegetables and leave them in a colander. Dice the onion finely, chop the green chillies and coriander finely but do not add them to the vegetables.

3. Warm the sunflower oil in a saucepan, add the cumin seeds. Once they start to go golden brown, add the vegetables to the oil. Add in the ginger, salt, chilly powder and sugar. Let this mixture cook gently. Try not to add any water to the mixture. Wash your vegetables just before you add them to the hot oil so that there is enough moisture to enable the vegetables to cook. You can cook the vegetables in the microwave if you are worried that the vegetables may get burnt. When using the microwave, cook them for 5 minutes, stir and cook again for 5 minutes. Repeat this until the vegetables are cooked al dente.

4. Add the lemon juice and cook them for a further 5 minutes.


5. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the finely chopped onions, green chillies and coriander to the mixture.


By adding these items uncooked at the end will give the samosas a nice flavour to the mixture. If you do have the ground cloves and cinnamon mixture, you can add it now to the mixture. When you eat the samosas, you'll be able to taste all the spices as well as the onions and chillies.

6. Allow the mixture to cool down.

Now make the somasa cover using the plain flour dough.:

1. Divide the dough into small balls as shown in my picture below:


2. Take two balls of the dough balls roll both of them in a circle to around 3 inch diameter.


3. Lightly oil one side of the rolled out dough

4. Sprinkle some plain flour to the second rolled out roti. This will resemble a roti / chapati.

5. Put one roti on top of the other and roll the chappati.

6.  In the meantime – warm the griddle or dry flying pan on a warm setting.

7. Sprinkle some flour to this pastry and roll out the pastry in a circle.


8. Cook the chapati on the griddle for half a minute and turn to the second side.( My photographs below will illustrate this). By lightly cooking the chapati, it  removes any air bubbles that might be in the dough.


9. Remove the roti  on a work top and separate the two rotis.


10. Cut  the rotis  into two and  finish making the rest of the rotis.


11.  Keep all the rotis covered using a clean tea towel.

12.  Now the rotis are ready to be filled with the samosa mixture. Once you get the hang of making the rotis, you can always prepare them and freeze them for when you wish to use them.  Just remember to defrost them correctly.

However, we need to make some “glue” to seal the samosas.

For the glue:

1.  Take 2 or 3 tablespoons of plain white flour and add a few tablespoons of  warm water to the flour. Keep stirring the mixture and adding more water if necessary .  The consistency of this mixture should resemble glue - slightly runny but sticky


To fill the samosa:

1. Take the half roti.

2. Using a teaspoon, add some glue on half the semi circle side.


3. Fold it as shown in my pictures below.


4.  Now you will have made a cone like shape to enable you to fill this with samosa mixture.


5. Seal the samosa using the glue.


6. Allow the samosas to rest for half an hour.  If you have managed to make extra, you can freeze them at this stage.

7. Heat the oil.

8. Gently fry the samosas in hot sunflower oil until crispy and very light golden brown.

9. Serve with sweet chilly sauce or coriander and chilly chutney. Or as I mentioned before, just enjoy them with your favourite dip or a cup of tea.


The reason, I call Samosas the king of all pastries is because it does require a lot of preparations but once you have made them, you will never buy readymade frozen and preserved samosas ever. They are the best and made to your personal taste.

This is an original recipe handed down from family tradition for making samosas. The pastry made from  following my recipe makes the samosa crispier and tastier. The pastry is smooth and not bubbly or crumbly. The samosas remain crispy and taste even better the next day.

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  1. OMG! These look so delicious, when i first saw your picture i thought it was a store bought pastry sheet, you made it on your own. That's fantastic. Ideal snack during Iftar. Thank you so much for sending it to the event.
    Looking forward to more yummy treats for the event:-)

  2. the samosas look yummy and perfect...its the best recipe to send for event...very well explained too...thanks for reposting


  3. mina really delicious looking samosa.. and how nicely u explained all those really yummy and good for tea time

  4. wow...those samosa's look really nice..perfectly shaped too

  5. Hi. My aunt also makes in the same fashion and calls it pakistani samosa, I do not know why it's called by that name.
    Very well explained and described dear. I just wish I could grab a bite.

  6. Samosa looks perfect and delicious..feel like grabbing some..yumm

  7. love samosas and you made them perfectly. great work.

  8. Fantastic step by step instructions Mina.Would love to try them out soon :)

  9. Samosas look fantastic and your step by step explanation is simply superb! Even a novice can understand.

  10. Looks so fab and making the roti then doing the filling is so new to me ...loved it and so glad to find ur blog n to follow

  11. These look delicious. I live just six blocks south of the famed Indo-Pak neighborhood "Devon Street" in Chicago. Your blog will help me to figure out what I need to order when dining in the area and maybe inspire me to try some recipes of my own.

  12. Mina,

    This post is great! The recipe is easy to follow and looks very appealing. The pictures will be very helpful for those trying something new. Thanks for all the details.

    Chris Paulsen

  13. I'm coming to your house for dinner! YUM!

  14. I thought I made good samosas, but that is no longer the truth. Thank you for going into this level of detail, and giving people like me half a chance to make it look like this!!

  15. Mina, I've never done this type of cooking, but your instructions and photograph would make anyone a culinary genius. Thanks. Mary Sayler

  16. You've successfully made me hungry! I'm not a vegetarian but the more of your recipes the more I think that I wouldn't miss eating meat one bit!

    Thank you!

  17. Girst time here and i loved your blog.....checked out many recipes and the undhiyo is something i wanna try.

    samosa looks great , i make pastry at home and sometimes freeze that too , but the one i make uses shortening , did you really make it without shortening and just with lemon juice and salt ??

  18. Superb and very understandable pictorial - thanks for giving me an incentive to try making samosas - they have turned out perfectly for you :)

  19. this is the awesome step wise picture for samosa receipe I have ever come across....Yummmy samosa and cute pictorial presentation....


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