While I love the classic deep fried samosas (and who doesn’t), I wanted to make some that were a lot healthier. Not only did I not want to fry them, I didn’t want to use premade puff pastry or even all purpose flour. I wanted samosas that were rustic, whole wheat, potatoes with skin on, you get the idea. That could mean one thing only: I’d have to experiment, making samosas many times till I got a recipe that worked. What a sacrifice!
On my first attempt at making them, they were tasty but the shell was a bit dry. I decided to add some yogurt and more oil to soften it up a bit. I’d also made a classic filling with potatoes and cilantro. I decided to make it more interesting and make 3 kinds of samosas, one with cilantro, one with dill, and one with mint. I encourage you to experiment as well and personalize the classic filling recipe I include here. I personally don’t like rosemary (which makes my husband very sad as he loves it) but I imagine it will go well with the potatoes.
Having a dinner party and need an appetizer to tide guests over till the food is ready? These samosas are perfect along with a glass of sparkling wine.
Samosas (makes 8 )
- 1.5 cups unbleached whole wheat soft or low gluten flour (or all purpose flour)*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (use water instead to make dairy free)
- 1/3 cup to ½ cup water
- 1.5 cups of potatoes, diced to ½ inch thickness. Leave the skin on!
- ½ yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon garam masala spice blend
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste, divided
- Juice of ½ lime
- ½ cup of your choice of herb or herbs, chopped (I used dill in half and mint in half)
In a glass or plastic bowl, make a dough using the shell ingredients and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Keep covered for 15 minutes with a wet cloth. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the diced potatoes in a pot, cover with water and then add another cup. Add ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover the pot and then simmer for 10 minutes or till potatoes are boiled.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil starts shimmering, add a cumin seed. If it sizzles, add the rest of the cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Allow the spices to sizzle for just 10 seconds before adding the onion. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes or till slightly brown.
Add the boiled potato, garam masala, another ½ teaspoon salt and the lime juice. Mix thoroughly and let simmer for another minute before turning off the heat.
Sprinkle some flour on your work surface. Have a little bowl with olive oil handy to coat the samosa outer shell with.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out each into a thin circle that is just a millimeter thick or about 9 inches in diameter. Cut into half to make semi circles. Place under a wet cloth to prevent from drying out while you finish making all of them. Prepare your baking tray.
On each semicircle, place 2-3 tablespoons of the filling in the center third of the shell along with a bit of the herb of your choice. Fold 1/3 of the outer semicircle into the center, over the filling. Do the same with the other end of the semicircle. You should have roughly a triangle pastry. Press down the edges firmly. Coat the outside with a bit of olive oil on both sides.
Prepare all 8 samosas similarly and place on your baking tray. Place in the oven.
Bake for 4 minutes on each side. Turn off the oven, and turn on the broiler to high. Place under broiler for 1 minute on each side. This will make the samosas crisp. Allow to cool down for a few minutes before biting into one. The samosas should be light brown with a few darker spots. If the shell is not fully cooked, you could also put them in a broiler for another minute on each side.
Enjoy on their own, with mint chutney, ketchup or my favorite, thai chili garlic sauce!
*This is a similar flour to the durum atta flour used in making chapathis. Using regular whole wheat flour (a high gluten flour) results in thick and dry samosas. All purpose flour is another option for thin shells. Other baked samosa recipes call for premade puff pastry. This may be more convenient but the fluffy texture is just not right for samosas.
Bleached flour results in even lower gluten content but I don’t like the idea of chlorine in my food!