Baking & cooking with an enthusiastic amateur

Vegetable Samosas

Three deep-fried samosas, filled with a mixture of vegetables and spices.

These samosas took a hefty amount of time and effort, from both myself and an excellent friend. Without a doubt, it was worth every moment. The finished product tastes like they could have come straight out of an Indian restaurant, and the vegetable filling makes me almost feel like they’re good for me.

Of course, they are actually deep-fried, and hence probably not very good for me at all. My original intent was to make baked samosas, but most recipes I saw that called for baking told you to buy puff pastry dough, which I wasn’t interested in doing. This dough took a bit of time, but it seemed to be neither finicky nor particularly difficult to work with, which was quite convenient as I’m a novice at all sorts of dough (with the exception of cookie dough). I took the recipe for the dough from foodnetwork.com, though I substituted baking powder and flour for self-rising flour.

For the filling, I wanted a departure from the potato-and-pea filling that many samosas have. Instead, I wanted it to more closely resemble the samosas I ate in my college days, which had several different vegetables inside. I had carrots in my fridge and spinach in my freezer, both of which seemed suitable. Being able to use up what I have on hand is always a great feeling, since it means less of what I bought will end up going to waste!

I served the samosas with Harry & David Chunky Mango Relish, which worked quite well. I could have also used a mango chutney, or some sort of homemade cilantro dipping sauce. My roommate ate hers without any relish at all, proof that they’re tasty enough to eat plain too!

Inside, the samosas have a nice mix of colors from the bright orange of the carrots, the green of the spinach, and the muted tones of potato & shallot.

Vegetable Samosas
Adapted from Food Network
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup of water

2/3 pound of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Three small carrots (not baby carrots), peeled and diced
One tablespoon vegetable oil
One shallot, finely chopped
One clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 cup frozen spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp chili powder
Three teaspoons fresh or frozen cilantro
2 tsp lemon juice

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the dough, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture looks crumbly. Slowly add water and mix together, ideally with your hands. Knead for five minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain, mash, and set aside. Simmer carrots for five minutes, until tender. Drain and add to mashed potatoes.

Heat vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet to medium heat. Add shallot and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and spinach, cooking for another 6-7 minutes, stirring often. Add to mashed potatoes and carrots. Add salt, spices, cilantro, and lemon juice. Stir together until mixture is well combined.

Remove dough from fridge. Divide into four balls. Dust surface and rolling pin with flour; roll each ball out to approximately 5” diameter. Cut each in half.

Brush the straightedge side with a little water, fold it in half, and align the two straight sides so they overlap to form a cone shape. Squeeze the edges together to make a tight seal. Place approximately 1 generous tablespoon of filling inside each cone, leaving the top edge clean. Moisten the inside top rim of the cone and press the edges together to make another tight seal. Place the samosas on a tray until ready to fry. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Heat at least two inches of oil in a saucepan. Cook, turning over once, until golden brown on all sides. Remove and place on paper towels; serve while still warm.

This recipe yields eight samosas, but it could easily be doubled if you’re having a party!

Makes eight samosas.

The pre-deep frying cost per samosa is $0.46 and each has 147 calories. However, I needed over a quart of oil to fry them in, costing an additional $4. There’s also no way to know exactly how much oil was absorbed by each samosa. I personally guesstimate each samosa to have absorbed about half a tablespoon of oil, bringing the calories to 207 per samosa. If you are watching your calories closely, however, you may want to do further investigation.

On Tweaking:

  • You can put a lid on the oil you used to deep fry these and keep it at room temperature overnight to use for deep-frying something else the next day.
  • You could remove the spinach, shallot, or carrot from the filling and add in corn, peas, onions, or cauliflower instead. Just remember to gently cook any vegetables going inside. You don’t want the filling too mushy, but you don’t want it crunchy with raw vegetables either.

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