Culinary Arts

How to Make the Best Indian Samosas at Home: Healthy Vegetarian Samosa Recipe

Written by MasterClass

May 10, 2019 • 3 min read

Crispy samosas—whether you are having them as a snack or appetizer—are an iconic Indian snack that can be found at street stalls and restaurants all over India. These pyramidal, golden pastries are stuffed with a spiced potato filling, and go perfectly with fresh mint chutney and a steaming cup of chai tea.

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What Is a Samosa?

A samosa is a fried or baked pastry with a spicy potato filling. The filling is wrapped in dough and folded into a triangular or cone shape. Indian samosas are a popular street food often accompanied by various chutneys or chickpea curries (samosa chaat).

What Ingredients Go Into Samosas?

Three Ways to Make Samosa Dough

The ideal samosa has a crispy exterior with a flavorful, spicy potato filling on the inside. There are a few different doughs that can be used to achieve golden, flaky perfection:

  • Classic dough. A traditional samosa is made with a mixture of maida flour (a white wheat flour that can be substituted with all-purpose flour), vegetable oil or butter, salt, and water. Traditional samosa dough is often flavored with carom seeds.
  • Phyllo sheets. For an easy, healthier samosa with the same flavorful filling, try using premade phyllo sheets. Layer phyllo sheets and fill with the potato mixture, then folded into triangles. Brush them with butter, and bake off until golden brown. The delicate, crisp layers contrast well with the creamy potato filling.
  • Wonton wrappers. If you want to avoid the hassle of working with dough altogether—skip the line with store-bought wonton wrappers. These are already trimmed to the perfect size. Brush the edges with water, place filling in the middle, and seal the edges, that’s it! They can be baked or fried.

3 Tips for Making Crispy Samosas

  • If you’re deep-frying samosas, make sure not to crowd the pot otherwise the oil may drop in temperature.
  • After each batch is finished frying, remove with a slotted spoon to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet to drain off extra oil.
  • If you’re frying multiple batches, set your oven on a low temperature and keep samosas warm while you continue cooking.
Samosas on plate with parsley up-close

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Homemade Indian Samosa Recipe

Ingredient Checklist

Total Time 1 hr | Cook Time 45 min | Prep Time 15 min | Serving 3, Serves 6

Dough:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Filling:

  • 1½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Chutney, for serving
  1. Make the dough: Mix the flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse together with the butter until crumbs have formed. Add water a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough begins to hold its shape. Knead the dough into a smooth ball, and let rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Make the filling: Meanwhile, cover the potatoes with 1-2 inches of water in a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer and cook until tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain and lightly mash with the back of a spoon, you want it to be lightly textured.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and sauté onion until golden, about 4–5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, chili, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes more.
  4. In a bowl, gently mix together the mashed potatoes, onion mixture, peas, lemon juice, and cilantro.
  5. Assemble the samosas: Divide the dough into 9 balls. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 5-inch circle. Cut each circle in half.
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush the straight edges of each semicircle with a little water. Fold the two straight sides so they overlap and form a cone shape. Squeeze together the edges, forming a tight seal. Fill each cone with 1 tablespoon of filling, leaving the top edge clean. Moisten the inside of the top rim and press together to finish sealing.
  7. Frying Samosas: Fill a pot with at least 3 inches of oil and heat oil over medium heat. Carefully test the oil temperature with a drop of water, when you hear it sizzle it's hot enough for frying. Fry several samosas at a time in the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook for 4–5 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden-brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate or cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Serve warm with chutney.