Forget pasties and pies – the samosa takes the idea of
a portable pastry and fills it with a mixture of potatoes,
onions, peas, coriander, green chillies and Indian spices.

Samosas are know to have existed since at least the 10th century in Central Asia, where they were known as samsas. Thanks to flourishing trading routes, they came to India between the 13th and 14th centuries. Traditionally cooked around trading caravan campfires, today they are enjoyed hot or cold, as a portable snack on an epic Indian train ride.


You’ll need
1 cup (150g) plain flour
2 tsp semolina flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tbs vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup (60mL) lukewarm water

2 tbs vegetable or canola oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
⅓ cup green peas
2 green chillies, seeded and
½ tsp coriander seeds,
½ tsp garam masala
2 large potatoes, peeled,
boiled and diced (not
1 tsp amchur (mango powder)
Vegetable or canola oil for
Chutney to serve

Cooking Method
1 To make the dough, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Knead until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Set aside to rest for at least 20 minutes.
2 In a small saucepan, heat the oil and lightly fry the cumin seeds. Add the peas and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chillies, coriander seeds and garam masala and stir for another couple of minutes.
3 Add the potatoes and gently mix through (so as not to crush the potatoes) until coated in the spices. Stir in the amchur and place in a bowl to cool.
4 Lightly knead the dough and divide into two balls. Keep dividing each ball until you end up with eight balls (or 16 if you are making mini-samosas).
5 Using a rolling pin, flatten out the first ball into a circular shape about a millimetre thick and cut the circle in half. Hold one half flat in the palm of your left hand and lightly moisten the edges with water.
6 Fold the semicircle in half and press the straight edges together to form a cone. Stuff this with the filling and close the cone into a triangular shape by pinching and sealing the top edge. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
7 If not using a deep-fryer, heat the oil in a saucepan and test for readiness by dropping in a tiny piece of dough. The oil is ready if the dough sizzles and comes up to the surface gradually. Fry the samosas until golden, a few at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan. Drain on paper towel, then serve with your favourite chutney.
TIP Making your own pastry for this traditional North Indian vegetarian version is easy and delivers a texture that you simply won’t get from the shop-bought variety. You can cook samosas in a deep fryer, but a heavybottomed saucepan will do just as well.

Tasting notes
Finding a samosa in India is pretty much a case of following your nose; at the end of the aroma trail, you’ll find the samosa wallah (vendor) hard at work, preparing his little maida (wheat) flour pastry parcels of goodness and dropping them into a sputtering pan of oil. A few flips to cook both sides to golden perfection, and the vendor will scoop out your piping-hot samosa and drop it on to a serving plate with a splodge of tangy mint, coriander or tamarind chutney. Sinking your teeth into the warm, flaky pastry and savouring the blend of spices, coriander, peas, chillies and the soft, yielding texture of the potato is one of the great pleasures of the subcontinent.

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