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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Ann Arbor, MI!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

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Traditional Indian Samosas

indian samosa recipe

Samosas are one of the few Indian fried treats that I just can’t get enough of. They are savory, puff pastry packets of heaven: spicy and sweet, with a great crispy crust surrounding a piping hot filling. When made well, they aren’t too oily and are just fried to perfection.

I don’t usually make samosas at home, because honestly if I did, I would eat them all. They’re mainly a treat for me when we go out to Indian restaurants for dinner.

The husband is somewhat of a samosa connoisseur – he loves them even more than I do. It’s pretty much guaranteed that if we go to an Indian restaurant that no matter what the other appetizer options are available, he will order samosas every time. This actually works out well for me, because then I can nibble on the crispy pastry crust of more than one samosa without my fellow diners getting annoyed with me 🙂 Because honestly, the crust is SO good.

When making samosas at home, I would probably bake them in the oven versus frying them. This recipe below gives you the instructions to fry them if you so choose, but you can also bake them in the oven using these directions from Aarti on the Food Network.

Today’s recipe for samosas comes courtesy of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, who contacted me with the idea of adding split peas into samosas to amp up the protein & fiber in traditional recipes. I thought it was a great addition to the traditional samosa filling, since it goes really well with the potatoes and other Indian flavors in this dish.

Note: Makes about 24 samosas. These little turnovers contain yogurt in the dough and a curried vegetable filling. Serve them with chutney or a good tomato ketchup.

The Ingredients: Filling

  • 1 cup dry USA green or yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (with a few whole coriander seeds sprinkled in)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Chutney or tomato ketchup, for dipping

The Ingredients: Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (whole wheat flour preferred)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1⁄4 cup canola oil
Variation: If you are short of time, use potsticker wrappers in place of the traditional dough.

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The Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine split peas and water. Bring them to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until peas are tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Drain peas, and set aside.
  2. Boil potatoes with 1 teaspoon salt until they are tender. Drain, and mash the potatoes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the dough. Combine flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the center and add yogurt and canola oil. Mix ingredients until they form a ball.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Cover dough, and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a heavy skillet. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are translucent. Add ginger, and continue stirring for another minute. Add coriander, garam masala, and salt, and cook, stirring, for about a half minute more. Add potatoes and peas, and mix well. Set filling aside.
  6. On lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring about 12 x 18 inches. Cut dough into 3-inch squares.
  7. Place 1 scant tablespoon of filling on each square. Use your fingers to moisten edges of dough with water, and fold dough diagonally in half to make a triangle. Press edges firmly together to seal in the filling.
  8. Heat 1 inch oil in a heavy skillet until it is hot but not smoking, about 350° to 380°. Fry samosas until golden, turning once. Drain samosas on paper towels, and keep them hot.
  9. Transfer samosas to a heated serving dish, and serve them with chutney or tomato ketchup.
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Red and green chutney are the traditional options for serving with Samosas. The red chutney is usually sweet and a tiny bit spicy, and the green chutney is almost always very spicy. I buy my chutneys from the Indian store, I haven’t ventured out into making them from scratch yet!

If you don’t already love samosas, you will after trying this recipe!

Nutritional Info: For 1 Samosa

  • Calories: 82
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Total Fat: 2 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g

Traditional Indian Samosas

Yield: 24 samosas

Serving Size: 1 samosa

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 82 Calories, 2g Fat, 3g Protein, 2g Fiber

Ingredients

    Filling
  • 1 cup dry USA green or yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (with a few whole coriander seeds sprinkled in)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Chutney or tomato ketchup, for dipping
    Dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (whole wheat flour preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine split peas and water. Bring them to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until peas are tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Drain peas, and set aside.
  2. Boil potatoes with 1 teaspoon salt until they are tender. Drain, and mash the potatoes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the dough. Combine flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the center and add yogurt and canola oil. Mix ingredients until they form a ball.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Cover dough, and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a heavy skillet. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are translucent. Add ginger, and continue stirring for another minute. Add coriander, garam masala, and salt, and cook, stirring, for about a half minute more. Add potatoes and peas, and mix well. Set filling aside.
  6. On lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring about 12 x 18 inches. Cut dough into 3-inch squares.
  7. Place 1 scant tablespoon of filling on each square. Use your fingers to moisten edges of dough with water, and fold dough diagonally in half to make a triangle. Press edges firmly together to seal in the filling.
  8. Heat 1 inch oil in a heavy skillet until it is hot but not smoking, about 350° to 380°. Fry samosas until golden, turning once. Drain samosas on paper towels, and keep them hot.
  9. Transfer samosas to a heated serving dish, and serve them with chutney or tomato ketchup.

Notes

Variation: If you are short of time, use potsticker wrappers in place of the traditional dough.

https://www.pickyeaterblog.com/traditional-indian-samosas/

 

 

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38 responses to “Traditional Indian Samosas”

  1. I practically fell out of my seat when I saw this recipe. My husband goes crazy for these things. Anytime we go out for Indian food he’s gotta have a Samosa! I’m going to give this a try over the weekend. But, I’m definitely going to bake instead of fry. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Haha looks like our husbands are very similar. And yes, I would definitely bake instead of fry in most instances – it’s much healthier and tastes pretty close to the original! Frying is just for a once-in-a-while indulgence 🙂

    • Thank you!! I hope you get a chance to make these sometime soon 🙂 You’re more adventurous than I am – the green chutney is too spicy for me – I always go for the red!

  2. Is this what they looked like after you made them ? Or is this just a random picture? Just wondering if this is how they will look ..

    • Yes, mine looked very similar to the picture when I made them, but the pictures in this particular post are from the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, since they provided this recipe 🙂 All of the other pictures (from my other recipes) are ones I’ve taken myself. So the short answer is – yours should look similar to these! Hope that helps!

  3. Oh yum!! I love samosas – in fact they’re pretty much the only entree I’ll get at an indian restaurant. We make a slightly different version to this at home using a bit of amchur powder/anardhana powder to give it a bit of tang.

    Never tried making them myselfs though – the folding over bit kinda makes me nervous!

    • Oh I would love to try your version with the amchur powder! That sounds delicious. Oh and don’t worry about the folding over bit – it sounds a lot more complicated than it is – it really takes no time at all 🙂 I know you can do it!

    • Oh wow! Well these Samosas will definitely make you love Indian food – it’s a good first step because it has characteristics of other cuisines as well (the savory puff pastry quality). Baking them is a great way to go – let me know how you like them!

  4. I’m a huge samosa fan and make them at home – rather use to make them. They sure are an indulgence. I’m very distracted by the gorgeous tea pot in your picture. Is it from India and is it silver? I’m going to get myself one!

    • The teapot I have is from India, and I think it might be silver but I’m not 100% sure because my grandfather gave it to me. But I did a quick search online and you can get a very similar looking teapot at most vintage/home decorative stores out there – so it doesn’t necessarily need to come from India! 🙂

  5. I have a question on how to cook Indian food faster. 🙂 If the curry recipes need oil + onions sauteed till they are translucent and then add tomato (not in this recipe of course) till they are softened. Is there a way to make this process any faster? 🙂

    • Hmmm unfortunately not – although you can make the spices/oil/tomato combo and freeze it in ziploc packets, and then all you need to do is throw one into the pan every time you want to make a curry! That definitely speeds up the process in the future and it works really well!

  6. Just had some great samosas and dosa at Vik’s Chaat House in Berkeley last week. Growing up in the bay area, I’m just spoiled rotten with good Indian food. I also am a huge fan of biryani!

    • I love Vik’s Chaat House!! That place is awesome 🙂 Hope you like this samosa recipe when you try them!

  7. The samosas look brilliant Anjali. I always avoid making them because they need to be deep fried. Coming from a foodie and health conscious family, after much research, I’ve tried preparing them using my newly acquired kitchen gadget, the Prestige Air fryer, and they taste just perfect, minus the oil. This just tempts me to make more this weekend.

  8. Ah, thanks for this – I’ve been searching high and low for a samosa recipe that uses yoghurt *in* the dough itself, as that is how I used to make them (using a recipe from a cookbook I’ve long since lost.) It’s just not the same without that savory tang. Personally, I prefer a filling of ground lamb & similar spices and to bake the samosas for convenience, but these look lovely!

  9. Samosas are the best tea time snack. Could you post a healthier version of it. Maybe baking in oven instead of frying the samosas.

    • Hi Amali! I will see if I can come up with a recipe that involves baking vs. frying samosas – I’ll let you know!

  10. Hi

    I love these but usually try and do a healthier version by using a well baked potato by taking the flesh out and mixing it with the samosa mix then re filling and reheating. Very nice and less fattening, recipe below:

    I large jacket potato rubbed with a little oil and salt and baked on oven helf or 1 hour
    2tbs of oil
    ½ medium onion finely chopped
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    One level tsp of ginger garlic paste
    3 small fresh chillies finely chopped
    1 cup of frozen peas
    All measures LEVEL tsps:
    2 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp ground turmeric
    1 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1tsp meethi leaves
    ½ tsp garam masala
    1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
    1 tsp salt
    Mix these all together

    Heat oil on high.
    Add cumin seed and cook for 30 seconds until it’s sizzling
    Add onion and continue to cook for 2 minutes
    Add ginger garlic and fry for a minute or so until the water is cooked out.
    Add the frozen peas and cook for 2 minutes until hot
    Reduce heat to low and add the potato filling
    Add spices and mix thoroughly
    Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently to avoid any sticking on the bottom of the pan. Add one tbs water and mix if mixture starts to stick or almond milk. Repeat as necessary being careful not to create any sauce
    Remove from heat and refill the potato skin and then reheat in the oen

    • Thanks for sharing Phil! I love the idea of using the potato skin as the “wrapper” – it’s kind of like an Indian baked potato. The only modification I’d make to your recipe is using only 1/2 to 1 tbsp oil instead of 2 tbsp — that’ll cut the fat and calories even further. Thanks again!

  11. Indian samosa is probably the most known starter after the tikka masala. Your recipe is very clear – seems easy to make! Wishes from the Indian Garden Brussels in Belgium!

    • Hi Becky! Yams or sweet potatoes would work great, or you could do half sweet potatoes/yams and half cauliflower! Hope that helps!

  12. hi anjali, i know this recipe is a few years old so i hope you see this! do you think i could make a batch of these and freeze some to be reheated later? if so, should they be frozen before or after we fry them?
    thank you!

    • Hi Bethany! Yes you can absolutely freeze these! I’d recommend freezing them after you make them, and then reheating them in the oven. Hope that helps, let me know how they turn out! 🙂

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