This recipe comes from Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking. The potato filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to make the samosas. We fried these little pastries in a roasting pan set over two burners, just watch out for the handles…they get hot! Serve samosas with your favorite Indian dipping sauce, like this cilantro sauce.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; more for dusting
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbs. vegetable shortening
6-7 Tbs. cold water
Spicy Potato Filling:
4 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root
1-3/4 lb. potatoes boiled until soft and cut into very small dice
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 small green chiles, seeded and minced (or 1/4 tsp cayenne)
1 1/4 tsp garam masala
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. kosher salt
Peanut oil or corn oil, enough to fill a large skillet to a depth of 3 inches
Make the dough:
Put the flour and salt into the container of a food processor, with the steel cutting blade attached. Process for a few seconds to mix them. Add shortening and process, pulsing until the fat is well distributed through the flour. Add the water through the feed tube, with the motor running, until a ball of dough forms, about 15 seconds. Take the dough out of the food processor and gather it into a smooth ball. Coat the ball with a little oil and place it in a bowl. Cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap, and let rest for 1/2 hour.
Make the filling:
Heat the 4 Tbs. of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the coriander seeds and cook until they turn dark brown (about 15 seconds). Add the onions and ginger, and continue cooking until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the diced potatoes and peas, stir rapidly, and fry until potatoes begin to become dry and looked fried, about 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the chile (or cayenne), garam masala, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well and set aside to cool.
Assemble the samosas:
Knead the dough again for a minute and divide into 2 equal parts. Using your hands, roll each portion into a 1/2-inch thick rope, and cut each rope into 8 pieces. Roll the small pieces into smooth balls.
Working one at a time, place one ball of dough on your work surface, dust it lightly with flour, and roll it into a 6-inch circle. Cut the rolled circle in half. Now you have two semicircles. Each semi-circle will make a samosa.
Place a small bowl of water next to your work surface. In order to form a cone, moisten half of the semi-circle’s straight edge with water and bring the other half of the straight edge over it, so that the dry side overlaps the moistened portion by about 1/4 inch. Press the overlapping edges securely together to seal. Be sure to pinch closed the point of the cone as well; a good seam will keep the stuffing in during frying. (You can see pictures of this process here.)
Fill the cone with one heaping tablespoons of the potato filling. (We found we could fit more filling in each samosa if we mashed the potato mixture up a little with a fork.) Moisten the open side of the cone with water and pinch the opening closed. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling in the same way.
Fry the samosas:
When ready to fry the samosas, heat about 4 inches of vegetable oil in a large pan to about 350° F. Add the samosas in batches of 8-10, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook the samosas, turning often, until they’re golden brown, about five minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer samosas to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve immediately.