Recipe : Potato and Pea Samosas

by Ginny on June 1, 2011

These take time, but homemade samosas are a huge treat. If you aren’t in the mood for an afternoon in the kitchen, the filling for these samosas makes a wonderful and addictive vegetarian curry on it’s own. Serve with a creamy cucumber raita like this one from, or a spicy coriander paste like this Green Chutney from


For the Filling:

  • 1 3/4 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (or substitute curry powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced small (about 1/2 large onion)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 to 9 tablespoons warm water
  • canola, peanut, or vegetable oil for frying

1. To make the filling: In a medium pot cover the potatoes with cool water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes are soft but not falling apart. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet until hot and shimmery. Add mustard and cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about a  minute. Add garam masala, turmeric, onion, ginger, jalapenos and cook until onion is soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute 3 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are very tender– you can add a splash of water if they seem dry. They should be soft and lumpy, but not quite mashed. Add peas and lemon juice. Stir to combine and heat through, and taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

The filling should be robust in flavor, and hard to stop eating. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the dough.

2. To make the dough: In a medium mixing bowl combine flour and salt and give it a quick stir with your fingers to combine. Add oil and 6 tablespoons warm water, and mix with your hands to form a ball of dough. Add more water if needed (up to 3 additional tablespoons). Knead dough on a clean, unfloured surface,  2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Form into a flat disc, about 6 inches in diameter, and wrap in plastic. Let rest on counter for 20 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

3. To fill the samosas: Cut the dough disc into 12 equal wedges, like a pizza, and keep covered in plastic.

Have a small bowl of warm water handy for sealing the samosas. Working with one dough wedge at a time, roll into a ball using the palms of your hands. On a clean and dry work surface, use a rolling pin to roll into a flat 6-inch round. Try to keep the circle as round as possible when rolling. Cut the round into 2 equal half-circles. Working with one of the halves, fold the flat edge over from the center point to form a cone. 

Dab some water on one side of the seam,  and overlap the dough. Gently pinch the seam to make sure a good seal is formed, so your samosas don’t burst open in the fryer. Hold the cone in one hand as you would an ice cream cone, and stuff about 2 tablespoons of filling into the cone, pressing gently to stuff in the filling.

Fold over the top edges at the opening of the cone, overlapping the dough and using a dab of water to seal. Genty press the seam to form a good seal.

Repeat until all samosas are filled.

4. To fry the samosas: Heat about 4 inches of oil in a deep fryer or heavy pot, to 375 degrees. Fry the samosas in batches of 3 to 5 depending on the size of your pan– don’t overcrowd. Fry 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Hold in a warm oven until all samosas are ready to serve. Serve hot with a coriander chutney or cucumber yogurt raita (see recipe links above).

To freeze samosas: Fry as directed, but just until pale golden. Cool and store in freezer bags. Reheat frozen samosas on a baking sheet, at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 24 Samosas

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