These vegan and meatless Keema Samosas are not just crispy and savory and all of those other good things that make the tastebuds scream, gimme more! They're also comforting and soul-satisfying and kid- and adult-pleasing.
There's hardly anyone in the world today who does not know a samosa, or love one. It's the perfect snack, crunchy on the outside with a delicious filling on the inside. While the traditional samosa filling is potatoes, it is easy enough to switch that out for something healthier, like these baked samosas with chickpeas, one of my favorite samosa stuffings, or even lentils.
This time, given that it is the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, I decided to make a samosa that's particularly popular among India's Muslims: Keema Samosa. Keema is ground meat-- usually mutton or beef in India -- and restaurants in Bombay sell mountains of these samosas to the devout for iftar, the feasting that goes on after the Ramadan fast each night.
In my home, we need no excuse for samosas, especially when they are baked, like these are. The keema for my keema samosa, of course, is absolutely vegan, made with textured vegetable protein (TVP). But it's so flavorful that not even the most die-hard omnivore will complain. In fact, when I take my vegan keema to potlucks, it's usually the first thing that runs out.
And stuffed inside the crispy samosa cover, it's absolutely divine. The TVP makes these samosas protein rich, but there are also a ton of veggies in here-- carrots, peas, and onions. You can experiment with others-- sweet potatoes or mushrooms would be perfect.
It's late Saturday night so I'm gonna run and curl up with a glass of wine, these Keema Samosas, and Desi. Perfect. How are you spending your weekend?
Baked Vegan Keema Samosas (Indian-Style Meat Pies)
For the Samosa wrap:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp ajwain seeds carom seeds
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
For the Samosa filling:
- ¾ cup TVP (soak in hot water for 30 minutes, drain before using)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil plus some to spray or coat the samosas before baking
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 small potatoes, finely diced
- 2 small carrots, grated
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne, optional
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp finely minced coriander
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
Make the samosa wrapper dough:
- Mix all the ingredients except the water in a large bowl. Trickle in the water and mix into a stiff but smooth dough. Set aside in an air-tight tin for at least half an hour.
- Make the samosa filling:
- Heat the oil. Add the onions and saute until brown spots appear.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato ketchup, mix, add the garam masala, coriander and cumin powders, soy sauce, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne, if using. Stir well to mix.
- Add the carrots and potatoes and stir to mix. Saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the TVP. Mix well, then cover and let the filling cook until all the water has dried up. Once the TVP starts sticking slightly to the bottom, you will be done.
- Add the green peas and let them warm through until tender.
- Add salt if needed, coriander leaves, and lemon juice. Mix well and turn off the heat. There should be no visible moisture in the filling.
Make the samosa cover:
- Divide the dough into 24 pieces. If you want bigger samosas, you can just make fewer pieces. It won't change the baking time. Or do as I did and make a few big ones and a few small ones.
- Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Then roll it out, using enough flour, into a very thin circle, about three to four inches in diameter.
- Moisten the edges of each circle. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each of the circles, then fold over to form a half-moon shape. Press down on the edges to seal. The dough will stretch a bit and help you along, but don't tear it. You can also shape these in the traditional samosa shape..
- Press down on the edges with a fork to seal it tight.
- Place the samosas on baking sheets sprayed with oil. Spray or brush some oil on the top of the samosas which will help them crisp up and also give them a nice color.
- Bake in a 350-degree preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown and crispy.
- Let stand on a rack for five minutes, then serve hot with chutney.