Proper punjabi samosas

Proper punjabi samosas

I Love India
20 small samosas
Martin Poole

Samosas were one of the first things I learned to cook, at about ten years old. My mother would sit me down at the kitchen table with homemade fillings and storebought pastry strips and I would try my hardest to form perfect triangular samosas. These would be fried up when guests came and I eagerly collected compliments for my efforts. While we made mini cocktail samosas for drinks, they are normally served as a teatime snack with a cup of masala tea where they are heartier and the pastry is shorter. This is a samosa with homemade crumbly pastry and made in the way they would be in those street stalls back in India. All you need is a cup of tea and some Proper Date and Tamarind Chutney or Tangy Herb Chutney.


Quantity Ingredient

For the pastry

Quantity Ingredient
125g plain flour
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, or ghee, or both, plus more vegetable oil to deep-fry
4-51/2 tablespoons water

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
2/3 teaspoon cumin seeds
2/3 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 medium-small onion, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped root ginger
350g potatoes, peeled, cut into small cubes
1 good handful frozen peas
1 teaspoon chopped green chilli, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
2/3 teaspoon ground turmeric, or to taste
2/3 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried mango powder, or to taste
11/2 teaspoon ground coriander, or to taste
1/3 teaspoon see method for ingredients, or to taste (fresh if possible)
large handful chopped coriander


  1. To make the dough, place the flour in a large bowl, add just under ¼ tsp salt and drizzle over 2 tbsp oil or ghee. Mix in with your fingertips until it resembles fine sand and clumps together a little. Add the water; the dough will be a little wet, but with some good kneading it should become a medium-soft dough. Cover with damp kitchen paper and leave to rest as you make the filling.
  2. For the filling, heat the remaining 3 tbsp oil or ghee in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook until coloured and aromatic. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the ginger and cook for another minute, then tip in the potatoes and some salt, cover and cook over a medium-low heat until the potatoes are soft, stirring every so often; it will take around 10 minutes.
  3. Now add the peas, chilli and ground spices and cook for another minute or so, mashing the mixture with the back of a spoon. You should see lots of potatoes and peas, but it should be held together with the mashed bits. Stir in the coriander. Taste and adjust the salt and spice as necessary. Leave to cool.
  4. Take a large, deep saucepan or karahi and fill with 15–18cm oil. Heat gently as you make the samosas.
  5. To make the samosas, make 20 equal balls out of the dough. Roll out each ball into an oval or round, around 5mm thick. Cut this in half widthways. Spread a little water along the flat edge and – taking the piece in your hands – bring it together, folding one side of the straight edge to make a triangular pocket, sealing well. These are a little fiddly when small, so remember they don’t have to be perfect. Now place the pocket in your cupped hand and fill with the stuffing. Rub water on the open edge and seal to form a triangular samosa.
  6. Once you have formed 10 samosas and the oil is nice and hot, add them to the oil. Fry over a medium heat until golden all over, 5–7 minutes. Repeat to form and fry the rest.
  7. Serve hot with chutneys.
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