Who doesn't love a samosa? This spicy, crispy pocket stuffed with potatoes is a favorite the world over, and makes great finger food or a snack.
Jay loves samosas -- "Y'know it's my most favorite food in the world, mom!" -- so I often get requests to make it. And thanks to this foolproof recipe for baked samosas that I shared with you all the way back in 2009, I can say yes to him more often than not.
Traditionally, a samosa is deep-fried, of course, but because I want this more everyday version to be healthier, I bake it. I also veer from the traditional stuffing of potatoes and peas and instead stuff my baked samosa with a spicy and just-as-tasty filling of chickpeas and potatoes.
Contrary to what you may think if you've never made a samosa, these little creatures are rather easy to put together.
Why bake samosas?
Sometimes you just want a samosa and you want to keep it healthy. A regular samosa is deep-fried, so this baked samosa offers a delicious way to have your samosa and eat it too, without as many calories. The results are astonishingly good. Your wrapper won't be as flaky and golden as the deep-fried version, but it'll certainly be crispy enough and it'll taste amazing.
Best flour for baked samosa wrapper
Always use all purpose flour (unbleached, if possible) for any samosa. I am all for subbing whole-wheat flour when I can in recipes, but for a samosa, you need the APF. A whole-wheat wrapper will never achieve the crunch and flakiness that a wrapper made with all purpose flour can.
Roll out the samosa wrapper as thin as you can, without tearing it. That way, your samosas will be at their best when they come out of the oven -- golden, flaky and crispy.
Healthy filling for baked samosa
You can stuff anything in a samosa, but my filling of choice for these baked samosas is a spicy mix of chickpeas and potatoes. This makes the samosas much healthier than a traditional stuffing of potatoes and peas would (not that there's anything wrong with that -- you can also use this traditional stuffing in my Punjabi Samosa recipe here).
Bake them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I like to bathe them with a nondairy-milk-oil wash before they go into the oven. That gives them a nice, golden sheen (baked samosas will never look as golden as deep-fried ones, though)
Yes. You can refrigerate the baked samosas for up to a week and pop them into the oven to reheat before serving. Or you can assemble the samosas and freeze them, then bake before serving.
Ingredients for baked samosas
- Unbleached all purpose flour: Like I said above, resist the temptation to sub with whole wheat flour for best results. But if you absolutely won't, use half whole wheat and half all purpose. Mind you that your wrapper won't be as flaky.
- Vegan butter. You need the vegan butter for a flaky wrapper but coconut oil that's solid at room temperature is an okay substitute.
- Carom seeds (ajwain). You really need these for authentic tasting samosas.
- Chickpeas: Use cooked chickpeas, canned or cooked from scratch are both fine.
- Potatoes: Any creamy potato like yukon or red potatoes would work.
- Garam masala. For spice and flavor.
- Chat masala. This has a lovely, tangy flavor that goes beautifully with the samosa. If you can't source it, use lemon juice instead.
- Vegetable oil: Any neutral flavored vegetable oil like avocado, sunflower, grapeseed or peanut oil.
- Onions: These are amazing in the filling.
- Green chili peppers. Like serrano or jalapeno. Mince for the best results. Deseed if sensitive to heat, or use less.
- Ginger-garlic paste. For more deep and rich flavor.
- Cilantro: Minced, to stir into the filling for a pop of lemony freshness.
Baked Samosas with a Chickpea Filling
For the samosa wrapper dough:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp ajwain (carom seeds-- these are easily found in Indian grocery stores. They have a distinctive, sharp and spicy flavor that's great in the samosas)
- 2 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil that's solid (in summer, refrigerate for a little bit if needed)
- 1 tsp salt
- Cold water to knead
For the chickpea-potato filling:
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (drained of all liquid)
- 1 medium potato, cut into a very small dice, then cooked until tender
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp green chili pepper like jalapeno, minced
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chaat masala (optional, use juice of 1 lemon instead)
- 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
- Salt to taste
For the optional wash:
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp nondairy milk
Make the samosa wrapper dough:
- Place the flour in a bowl, mix in the salt and ajwain, then add to it the butter or coconut oil. With your fingers, crumble the bits of fat into the floor until it is evenly distributed and the flour looks grainy. This will ensure your crust is crisp.
- Now, adding just a little cold water at a time, knead the flour into a stiff dough. You can do this in a food processor or mixer, but if you do, be sure to not overmoisten your dough and make it too wet.
- Cover and set the dough aside while you make the filling.
Make the chickpea-potato filling:
- Heat oil in a skillet or wok. Add the mustard seeds and when they sputter, add onions and cilantro and saute until the onions just start to brown, about 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and the green chili peppers. Saute for another minute without letting the garlic burn.
- Add the chickpeas and potatoes with the garam masala and chaat masala or lime juice. Add salt.
- Stir well to mix together. Allow the stuffing to cook without covering the skillet until any moisture has evaporated. Season with salt.
Assemble the samosas:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Break off a ball of the dough about an inch in diameter and roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands.
- Roll it out into a really thin round, about 5-6 inches in diameter
- Now roll in a single direction to make an oval.
- With a knife or a pastry-cutter, cut into two so you have two semi-circles.
- Smear water along the edges of each semi-circle. Now bring the edges together to form a cone. Press with your fingers to seal the edge.
- Place 1 ½ tbsp of filling into the cone, stopping short of filling all the way to the top.
- With your fingers, push together the top of the cone, making a little pleat in the back if necessary. Seal tight, pressing along the edges, so nothing stumbles out during baking.
- Prepare the rest of the samosas the same way. Place them on a baking sheet sprayed with oil or cooking spray.
- Make the wash by mixing the oil and the nondairy mik. Brush the tops of the samosas lightly with this mixture.
- Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 40 minutes or until the edges of the samosas are golden-brown. Flip the samosas once halfway through baking and coat the other side with the wash before returning to the oven.
- Once the samosas are out of the oven, let them stand five minutes before serving with date-tamarind chutney.