A Pakistani blog is not complete without a recipe for the world's favorite triangular snack. Samosas come in many shapes and forms and I hope to be able to share all the variations here with you eventually. From the fillings, to the crispy crust and the shape, there are many different ways to make this delightful treat. I decided I'd start off with one of my favorites, the easy potato samosa recipe.
The History Of Samosas
You will be fascinated to learn that this popular food is not actually of Indian/Pakistani origin. "Sambosag" as it was originally called, came to us from central Asia. Mentioned by many historians and scholars, amongst them the famed Amir Khusro, the original pastry was filled with minced meat, nuts and dried fruit.
As the pastry made its way to South Asia, it took on many different names and forms. The one we eat and enjoy most has a spicy meat or vegetarian filling and is shaped like a triangle. The Middle Eastern "Sambusak" is shaped like a semi circle and usually has a minced meat filling.
One historic version, according to desiblitz.com, tells us that the samosa was a popular snack with travelers in Central Asia. Easy to pack and cook over a campfire, the "samsa" provided much needed sustenance for the weary.
My Samosa Story
Who doesn't love samosas!? I like them all! Large ones with the thick doughy crust, small cocktail ones, filled with Potato, keema (ground beef) and daal(lentil)...bring them all!
This easy potato samosa is one that my mother always made in preparation for Ramadan. We would get the "samosa patti" as the wrappers are called in packs of 100. Once the filling was prepared, my mother, sister and I would sit and fold away. Many valuable tips were passed along during those samosa making sessions.
The memory of eagerly waiting to taste the fruits of my labor, mouth watering in anticipation, is a very vivid one. The skills learned during these sessions are appreciated now more than ever before. Where I now live, if I want to eat a samosa then chances are that I'll have to make it myself.
The Easy Potato Samosa Recipe
Prepping The Potato Filling
My filling for these samosas is super easy (as the title suggests). There's a time for long complicated recipes and a time for simple easy ones and this is definitely the latter! I boil the potatoes, mash them, add the spices and cilantro and I'm done!
The one thing to remember is to mix everything very well as you don't want clumps of super salty or super bland potato in your mouth. In case you're feeling adventurous, here are some extra add ins that work well with a potato filling:
- chopped green chilies
- amchur powder (dried mango powder)
- coriander seeds
- mustard seeds
- onion seeds
- ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
Making the Flour Paste
Next, I make a type of edible glue with flour and water to help seal the samosas. It's imperative to have the wrappers shut tight.You don't want oil getting in or the filling falling out while frying. This glue helps stick the edges of the wrapper together and as it dries it seals the filling in securely.
Making The Easy Potato Samosas
Now to actually make your little triangular parcels! There are two different ways to do this, mine being a simpler method for the less experienced. Despite the early start in learning samosa making I lack the dexterity to make them the way true professionals do.
Two Types Of Samosas
There are two main types of samosas popular in Pakistan. The big ones with a crust made of a thick dough sold by street food vendors are the one you're probably most familiar with. But the samosa I'll be showing you how to make is often the one that's made at home or bought ready made and stored in the freezer. Tinier, with a crispy crust, it's more of a cocktail or appetizer item than its counterpart.
The Right Sized Wrapper
The strips must be rectangular, so I buy square wrappers and cut them in half. I like to use a pizza slicer versus a knife as I find i get a straighter line that way.It's best for the strip to have a uniform width from top to bottom.
The Right Amount Of Filling
Place the filling right at the top. This is the tricky part as too little of the filling means all you'll get in your mouth is the crispy wrapper. Conversely, too much will make it difficult to shape the triangles as the filling will ooze out. I would put at least 1 tablespoon full if you can manage it. This part gets easier with practice!
Watch The Video!
Start folding the samosas into a triangle as shown in the video above. The first few may not be perfect but you'll get the hang of it in no time!
Frying The Easy Potato Samosas
Once your samosas are ready you can fry them immediately or freeze them for later use (discussed below). Make sure your oil is well heated, or your samosas will be soggy. The filling is cooked already so all you need to do is get the dough crispy. By the time this happens the filling will be hot and perfect!
Dipping the samosas in a chutney is a must! My favorite one for the samosas is a tamarind chutney with a green coconut chutney coming in at a close second! My husband likes ketchup with his samosas so if you're not in the mood to make a chutney then give that a try!
Freezing The samosas
I usually make a batch of samosas and freeze them. My kids love to eat them after school as a quick snack. Once the samosas are ready, lay them flat on a baking sheet (no overlapping). If they don't fit in one layer, place foil over your first layer and lay the rest out in a second layer.
Freeze these overnight and then put them in a ziplock bag for easy storage. This method ensures that each samosa is separate. If you end up having to pull them apart the wrapper will rip and tear, causing problems during the frying.
I fry my samosas straight from the freezer. In the time that it takes the oil to heat up, they thaw just enough for the filling to heat up. If you thaw them completely, the wrapper will get soggy and be difficult to handle.
Easy Potato Samosa Recipe
- Cutting Board
- Cooking Spoon
- potato masher
- Frying Pan
- 2 potatoes
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp red chili powder (SEE NOTES)
- 1 tsp white cumin seeds
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp flour
- ¼ cup water
- 10 square spring roll wraps
- 1 cup cooking oil
- Boil, peel and mash the potatoes
- Mix the salt, red chili powder, white cumin seeds and cilantro with the mashed potatoes
- Cut the square spring roll wrappers in half to make 20 rectangular strips
- Make a paste of the flour and water and set aside for later
- Place 1-2 tablespoons of the potato filling at the top of each strip
- Fold into a tight triangle, making sure the potato filling is nicely tucked in and there are no gaps or holes in the wrapper (SEE NOTES)
- Use the flour paste to seal the open side and to glue down any loose flaps (SEE NOTES)
- Preheat the oil and fry the samosas till they are a nice golden brown (SEE NOTES)
- These samosas are on the spicy side. If you're not used to very spicy food i would recommend cutting the red chili powder in half.
- Making the triangles is easy but making sure there are no holes or gaps is essential. If the wrappers are not tightly sealed, oil pours in through the gaps and makes the filling oily and the samosas greasy and soggy.
- Practice makes perfect and you'll get better at making the samosas as you go along. But in the event that there are gaps, use the flour paste to seal them.
- The oil must be well heated before you start frying as this helps make the samosas crispier.
Alternate Cooking Methods For The Samosas
I personally love to fry my samosas but recently tried making them in an air fryer. In all honesty they were pretty good and the calories are drastically less. If frying isn't your thing you can try one of the two methods below:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Brush the samosas generously with oil on both sides
- Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Preheat the air fryer at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Brush the samosas generously with oil on both sides.
- Air Fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
I would keep some oil and a basting brush on hand with both methods. The wrappers absorb a lot of oil as they cook and you may need to brush some on periodically to prevent the samosas from being too dry.