There is nothing you won't love about these Puff Pastry Samosa Squares. They are crunchy, flaky, golden, with a crust that melts in your mouth and a spicy, savory filling that'll make you want more.
I began making these mainly as an occasional lunchbox or afterschool snack for Jay, and they are so popular around here now, I have learned a few tricks to assemble them in no time at all.
Jay loves samosas, and I'll never forget the day we picked him up from the orphanage in Bombay. We were flying straight to Delhi to get Jay's immigration details sorted out at the U.S. embassy, and I remember that day so well for all the excitement and trepidation it brought. Suddenly, we'd gone from two to three, and among us was a little boy, still someone unknown to us, who was entrusting us with his life.
When they served samosas on the plane, Jay was excited, like most kids would be about this delicious snack.
Then, he carefully picked out all of the potato filling and just ate the crunchy covers.
I knew I had my work cut out for me. 🙂 Happily, over our five-year journey together, Jay has come to not just love the samosas I make for him, he loves the filling even more. Now, he will eat it straight out of the skillet when he thinks I'm not watching. How the times have changed! 😉
So about these Samosa Pastry Squares. This is basically a tasty potato filling sandwiched inside layers of flaky puff pastry. It's a samosa that's not deep-fried but baked, although I'll warn here that it's not necessarily healthier because puff pastry does have a good amount of fat. But all in all, this is not a super calorie-heavy snack and the stuffing makes it moderately nutritious.
Yes, without a doubt. In fact, if you enjoy eating samosas, I daresay this is a far easier way to enjoy them. You get a crunchy, flaky wrap just as you would with a fried samosa for half the work. You can even get your kids involved in making them.
The answer is a resounding "yes!" Samosa stuffings are meant to be tweaked and experimented with, and although the stuffing I have for you today is a very classic samosa stuffing, you can certainly let your imagination run wild here. I sometimes stuff a savory chickpea mixture into these as in my baked samosas, and sometimes a savory, "meaty" one, as in my keema samosas.
Fifteen minutes is all it takes in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. And since prep takes only about 30 minutes, you'll have samosa pastry squares to eat in under an hour.
Shaping regular samosas can be a little tricky if you want to get the shape to be just so, but there are no rules to shaping these samosa pastry squares. I sometimes shape them into triangles, sometimes into rectangles, and sometimes squares. You can even make a samosa pie by laying one sheet on the bottom of a baking pan (prick all over with a fork, then spread the samosa filling in the middle, and lay the other sheet over the top. Cut a few holes in the top pastry sheet and bake. Voila!
Ingredients for Puff Pastry Samosa Squares
- Puff pastry sheets: I use Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets, which are vegan. You can use any storebought vegan puff pastry, or make your own.
- Potatoes. Yukons, reds and russets are all fine in this recipe.
- Onions. Use red onions or shallots, if possible, for the best Indian flavor.
- Cilantro. For fresh, lemony flavor.
- Cumin seeds. For rich, earthy fragrance.
- Turmeric. For healthfulness and color.
- Lemon juice. For tang and freshness.
Crispy Puff Pastry Samosa Squares
- 2 puff pastry sheets
- 1.5 pounds potatoes (Boiled or zapped in the microwave until tender. You can peel them or leave the peels on, especially if you're using organic potatoes. Either red or yellow potatoes are fine)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small onion (finely diced)
- 2 green chili peppers (like jalapeno or serrano, deseeded, then minced. Alternatively, use ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Adjust up or down to your taste)
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt to taste
- To make the filling, place each boiled potato on a chopping board and use a heavy fork to mash the potato (the way you would if you were making smashed potatoes), then cut into small bits. You want your potato filling to be a crumbly, semi-mashed mix for an authentic filling, not cut in a neat dice.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the cumin seeds and as they darken and become fragrant, add the onions, ginger, garlic and green cilantro, chili peppers or red pepper flakes. Stir to mix and saute until the onions turn translucent and start to change color.
- Add the turmeric, stir it in, then add the crumbly potatoes and salt and lemon juice. Mix well and saute for a couple of minutes, then turn off the heat. Your potato mixture should be very dry.
- To make the pastry squares, place one puff pastry sheet on the countertop. Use the folds in the puff pastry as a guide to cut into three strips. Cut each strip further into three equal squares. You should have eighteen squares in all -- nine from each sheet.
- Use water to moisten one of the pastry squares along the edges. Place a couple of tablespoons of filling in the middle. The more crumbly your filling is, the more you'll be able to accommodate on the square. Take another pastry square and place it over the filling and press the edges of the top and bottom squares together with your fingers to seal them, making a pocket. Use the tines of a fork to press down on the edges -- this also creates a decorative pattern. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross on the top of the square.
- Continue doing this for the remaining pastry and filling. Then place the squares on a baking sheet, at least an inch apart. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes until gold and crispy. You can brush on some vegetable oil on the tops of the squares before baking for a deeper gold color to your puff pastry squares.
- Serve hot or warm or at room temperature. To reheat, heat the oven to 350 degrees and pop in for 2-3 minutes or until hot. These will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
- Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets are vegan, and so are many other puff pastry sheets available off the shelf. If you are willing to put in some work, it's not too difficult to put together your own vegan puff pastry using vegan butter and flour. See how in this Vegetable Puffs recipe.
- You can vary up a samosa filling. While a traditional samosa filling like this one is always a winner, amp things up a bit, healthwise, with a chickpea filling, like this one in my Baked Samosas. A spicy filling like this one in my Keema Samosas also works great in these puff pastry samosas.