Many years ago I was catering a party and one of the appetizers I had planned to make was samosas. I was following a recipe and ended up with a lot of extra filling, and not much time, so I defrosted some won ton wrappers I had and used those instead of the dough I had made, and was struggling with. At the party the won ton wrapped samosas were the hit of the evening! The recipe in this post uses a different dough, than the one I had trouble with and is very easy to use, but feel free to use won ton wrappers. It will be quicker though not authentic.
For those of you not familiar with them, samosas are dumplings that are associated with India, but similar dumplings are found the world over. Pretty much every culture has some kind of dough pocket filled with something filling; meat, potatoes, and/or vegetables, and fried so they were handy to eat today and tomorrow. Samosas can be filled with any number of things including curried beef, cauliflower and potato. The most common samosa I have encountered is the one here filled with a potato and pea mixture.
My samosas are a amalgam of a number of recipes I found, none of which were correct about the time involved in making them. I may not be the most efficient cook, but these took me a good two hours, compared to the one hour Emeril claimed it would take. I also (again) ended up with a good amount of extra filling, so I have adjusted the recipe and I believe you’ll have the correct amount, though there are many variables when you make something like this. This is a better thing to make on a rainy Saturday than on a busy weekday, but they are worth the time they take, and are a good project to do with kids. Though they are time consuming, once you get the hang of assembling them, it’s not difficult.
For about a thousand photos showing every single moment of assembly I recommend this site, which is fascinating. It took some work, but I did find the recipe, which is different from mine, and in fact, every recipe I found was different from the others, which makes me think you can make them any way you like, spicy or not, with peas or edamame, sweet potatoes or any filling that strikes your fancy, you get the picture. I will say that not one recipe mentions using won ton wrappers, so I will claim that. You can bake them, but if you want the crunchy, bubbly shell you must fry them. They freeze well, and can be reheated in the oven. You can also make them larger, the size of a hand pie, and then things will go much more quickly!
Samosas are a great party food, you eat them with your hands, but your fingers won’t get messy, and who doesn’t like party food you can make ahead? When I was done making mine I called my friend Michele (who lives around the corner) to come and share them. I was excited to introduce her to something new, and I think she liked them. I made my samosas mild,but give you optional ingredients to spice them up a bit. As always, please let me know if you make them, and how they turn out.
Potato and Pea Samosas
- oil for deep frying
- 3 Small potatoes (about 1 lb.)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 Large onion (diced fine)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro (chopped)
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 green chili (seeded and diced fine (Optional))
- 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon salt