Recipe video above. Moist, spiced potato wrapped in tender, flaky pastry, Samosas are one of the world's great street snacks! Despite this, it's hard to find a great one.Here I've come up with what is my ideal Samosa – it's just the right size, with the right thickness of flaky pastry and a deliciously moist potato filling, so that every bite is perfect. I've gone all the way and used authentic spices to remain true to this classic, and I daresay the result is better than any restaurant I've been to!Makes 12 Samosas.
Boil potato until soft: Peel then cut potatoes in half. Place in a pot of cold water, bring to boil then cook until very soft, ~10 minutes.
Mash roughly: Remove the potatoes onto a plate and roughly mash with a fork, leaving some large chunks (we want some textural interest).
Cook spice seeds: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds & coriander seeds. Stir the spices for about 30 seconds or until fragrant – don't let them burn!
Add the ginger, chilli, peas and continue to stir a further minute or so until the chilli is soft.
Add remaining spices: Add the garam masala, amchur, asafoetida, cumin powder, turmeric and salt. Cook a further 30 seconds.
Add potato and gently stir to coat in spices for about 1 minute.
Cool: Remove from the stove, stir in chopped coriander leaves. Spread potato mixture out on a plate and let it cool completely before using.
Mix dry ingredients: Place the flour, salt and ajwain seeds into a bowl and stir to combine.
Rub ghee into flour: Add the ghee or oil and mix with your fingertips until the dough resembles breadcrumbs. (This step is key to making flaky samosa pastry.)
Form a ball: Add the water and mix with the flour until you form a ball of dough. It should be pliable and soft, but not so sticky it sticks to your hands,.
Rest 30 minutes: Cover the dough in the bowl with glad wrap and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Making the Samosas – see video:
Cut into 6: Cut the dough into 6 equal portions, then roll each into a ball. Keep the balls on a plate covered with cling wrap so they don't dry out.
Place between paper: Place one ball on a sheet of parchment/baking paper. Press down to flatten, then cover with another sheet of paper. Do not flour the work surface - it will dry the pastry out.
Roll out: Roll the dough into a disc about 2mm / 1/10" thick (~16cm /6.5” diameter).
Cut in half: Cut through the centre to create two semicircles (2 samosas per disc).
Make cone: Brush the straight side with water, then fold straight edge to join itself and form a cone. Overlap the edges by about 1 cm / 2/5" then press edges to seal.
Fill with potato: Make an "O" with your forefinger and thumb, then hold the cone in the "O". Fill with about 2 tbsp of Potato Mixture, lightly pressing in.
Seal: Brush the open pastry edge with water, then press together so your Samosa is fully sealed. Place sealed edge down on work surface and press down to fold. Trim off excess pastry, fold in corners. Pinch the top corner to make it pointy.
Repeat with remaining Samosas – you should make 12 in total.
Heat oil to medium: In a deep pan or pot, heat 5cm / 2" oil to 160°C/320°F). (Note 7)
Fry 1: Carefully drop 3 - 4 samosas in the oil and cook for 3 minutes, moving them around occasionally (if they touch the base of the pot for too long, they get brown spots).
Drain and repeat: Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining samosas.
Increase oil heat: Increase the oil temperature up to 190°C/375°F.
Fry 2: Carefully place 3 - 4 samosas at the time into the oil, and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until they are deep golden. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining Samosas.
Serve hot with Tamarind Sauce or a Mint Raita (see separate recipe card below this one)
1. An Indian spice with a fragrant, fruity but bitter taste, substitute thyme leaves.2. Ghee – Ghee is also clarified butter - to make your own, see here. It gives the samosa pastry a light buttery feel. Rubbing the oil into the flour is what makes the pastry flaky.3. Potatoes - Use starchy or all rounder potatoes. AUS: Sebago dirty brushed, US: russet, Idaho, Yukon, UK: Maris Piper, King Edwards)4. Amchur, also known as mango powder is made from dried green mangoes, it is sour in taste and is said to help digestion. Substitute 1/2 tsp lemon juice.5. Asafoetida, also known as hing, is derived from a giant species of fennel. It is used in Indian cooking and is a great substitute for people who can't have garlic or onion. If you cannot find it substitute 1/4 tsp each of garlic and onion powder (in the Filling, and in the Tamarind sauce).6. Frying tip – Starting on a low heat is key because if the oil is too hot, the pastry will burst open! While may recipes will call for 10+ minutes on a low heat, I find that makes the samosas really greasy and also dries the pastry out too much. Using a double fry, low-temp-then-high-temp Asian crispy fry method yields the perfect result with a far less greasy pastry. And it's faster. :)7. Baking option – Unfortunately it doesn't work as well as frying because it takes 30 minutes to get some nice colour on the pastry by which time it dries out a bit. But it does work! Spray formed Samosas generously with oil then bake at 200°C/390°F for 25 to 30 minutes until crispy and golden.8. Reheating – Reheat leftover samosas in the oven at 180°C/350°F for around 8 minuets, just until the pastry is hot, reasonably crisp again and the inside is warmed. It will never go back to freshly cooked crispy of course - but it's still pretty good!9. Nutrition – Assumes each Samosa absorbs 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil from frying. Sauces are not included in calculation.