One of the most meaningful traveling experiences is discovering local cuisine. We are all longing to travel right now, but until then, we can experience the world by cooking some of its famous regional dishes.
Today, we’ll learn more about one of the iconic Indian dishes – the samosa – and I’ll share a recipe for samosas that you can make at home.
The samosa is famous as an entrée and a snack in South East and Western Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean region. But for people around the world, Samosa is synonymous with Indian cuisine.
It is the most popular Indian snack and one of the most relished foods that Indians eat for breakfast or as a tea-time snack. Without a doubt, many of you must have tried (or relished) it at least once in your life.
Typically, samosa is a triangular-shaped, deep-fried, dough-crust filled with spiced potatoes. It is commonly available in its spiced savory avatar, but in this world of innovation, you can even get it in the sweet form, including chocolate samosa and meetha samosa.
Origin of Samosa
The earliest mention of samosa dates back to the 9th century in a poem written by a Persian poet. After that, a few Arab cookery books from the 10th to 13th century gives out its recipe.
The samosa was also a prevalent dish in Iran until the 16th century, but its popularity gradually faded by the 20th century. Back in those days, samosa was referred to as sanbusaj, sanbusak, sanbusaq, sanbusaj, sanbosag, sambusas, samsa, samushak, or sambusak.
It was during the 13th or 14th century that the Indian subcontinent was first introduced to samsa, as it was called popularly back in those days, by the Central Asian traders.
Also, during those days, samosa had a filling of meat and onion, and it was prepared in ghee. Ever since then, several historical documents talk about the evolution of samosa to its current form.
How to Make a Samosa
Samosa consists of a crispy outer dough shell stuffed with any filling of your choice.
To prepare a samosa, just roll a flour-based dough into thin sheets. Now, fold the dough into a cone by sealing the edges very nicely with some water.
Fill this dough cone with a spiced potato and peas filling (most commonly used) or any filling of your choice, and then seal its ends well so that the mixture doesn’t come out. Deep-fry the samosas on low flame until the dough turns evenly into light brown.
Serve hot and crispy samosa with green chutney or sweet tamarind chutney!
Apart from getting the perfect dough, you must choose the utensil carefully in which you will cook the filling and fry samosas.
An improper appliance might result in too tough, burnt, or even raw samosa dough crust. You can seek help from ‘Best best pots and pans for gas stove (Review and Buying Guide)’ to save your time and get the desired information to find the cookware of your choice easily so that you could prepare your perfect samosas.
In India, samosa is the comfort food for people across all sections of society. In some parts of India, particularly Northern India, people enjoy samosa for breakfast with aloo ki sabzi (potato curry) and as a hearty tea-time snack.
Talking about the rest of the world, given the popularity of Indian cuisine, it is quite common to find it in many variations, from street vendors to high-end restaurants. The fancier the place, the more exclusive its filling will get.
- In India, this crispy fried snack with potato-based filling goes by the name of samosa. In eastern parts of India, it is known as shingadas, in Goa as chamucas, and in Hyderabad as lukhmi, and it has a meat-based filling.
- In Bangladesh, it is known as shingara, somosa, or somucha.
- In Nepal, singadas and samosa is a popular way to address it.
- In Pakistan, samosa is sold with lamb, chicken, or beef filling. You can also enjoy samosa chaat and sweet samosa here.
- In the Maldives, it is known as bajiyaa and has a fish or tuna filling.
- People in Burma call samosa as samusas.
- In Indonesia, you can find some preparations that are quite similar to samosas, such as pastel, epok-epok, and panada.
- In the African continent, it is referred to as sambusas (in Swahili coast), sambuus (in Somalia and Djibouti), samosas (in South Africa), and fataya (West Africa).
- In Arab countries, it is commonly addressed as sambousek, in Iran as sambuseh, and in Israel as sambusaq.
- In Brazil, it is known as pasteis or empadas.
Potato Pea Recipe
Typically, a samosa has a crunchy and delicately flavored outer crust that encloses the most aromatic and spiced-up potato-based filling.
But, in recent times of innovation and food experiments, you can find samosas in many avatars and filled with various interesting combinations of ingredients.
So, you can find keema samosa (minced chicken/mutton-filled), chocolate samosa (chocolate-filled), palak paneer samosa (with the palak paneer vegetable filling), meetha samosa (with a sweet filling), etc.
Here’s a recipe that includes the most popular way of preparing samosa, which is with the potato and peas filling. Serve hot and crispy samosa with green chutney or sweet tamarind chutney to enjoy this crunchy and spicy teatime snack!
½ cup flour
¼ cup drinking water
1 tablespoon ghee
¼ teaspoon carom seeds
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large potatoes, boiled, peeled, and nicely mashed
2 tablespoons fresh green peas, steamed
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon ginger, grated
A pinch of asafetida or hing (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 small green chili, chopped
½ teaspoon dry coriander powder
½ teaspoon fennel seed powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
¼ teaspoon dry mango powder (optional) or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1. In a large bowl add flour, oil, carom seeds, salt, water, and then knead it all into a soft dough. Do not over knead the dough.
- 2. Keep the dough aside, covered.
- 3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a cooking pan.
- 4. Add cumin seeds to the hot oil and let it crackle. Now, stir in ginger, asafetida, and cook it for about 15 seconds.
- 5. Add green chili, coriander powder, fennel powder, chopped coriander leaves, garam masala, salt, red chili powder, dry mango powder, potatoes, peas, and mix everything well until evenly combined.
- 6. Make 4 even-sized balls of the dough and roll it into ¼ cm thick rounds using a little oil and a rolling pin.
- 7. Cut the circle using a knife into equal halves or semi-circles.
- 8. Now, wet one-half of the straight end of the semi-circle and fold it into a cone while creating an empty cavity at the center to fill the potato filling. Seal the ends of the cone using some water and pressing the edges together.
- 9. Hold the cone with the pointy end downwards in your hand and fill the potato mixture into the dough cone.
- 10. Use little water to slightly wet base or the wider open end of the dough cone and then press the two ends together to seal the two ends firmly.
- 11. Place the filled dough aside and repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling mixture.
- 12. Deep fry in enough oil on medium to low heat until it turns light brown in color.
- 13. Serve hot samosas with green chutney, imli chutney, and enjoy!
With so much information about Samosa and with a detailed recipe, we are sure that you are badly craving one right now as well… So, go ahead and try making some yourself at your home!
Author Bio: Ligia Lugo loves experiencing new cultures through foods and travels. Her hobby is experimenting with different cuisines. Read more of her recipes at The Daring Kitchen.