Samosa is one of the most popular and elegant appetizers -specially in Ramadan- in the Arab world, Pakistan and India. In Egypt we buy Samosa or Sambosak ready dough and fill it with various types of stuffing. Samosa is a very thin, long sheets of dough close to the egg roll's dough and shaped like triangles and then deep fried.
Samosa, the secret ingredient
I've never managed to get the Samosa dough in Colorado, some people suggested using the phyllo dough, egg rolls or puff pastry and others make their own samosa dough. Homemade samosa dough is great but requires some patience and time, two things I do not currently have in our busy home.
Being in Egypt specially during Ramadan, is a great opportunity to fill up my tummy with this scrumptious appetizer. But guess what? I do not have to wait for a whole year to have it. One of my friends told me to just use the uncooked tortillas as a great substitute for the traditional long sheets we buy in Egypt.
It worked like a charm and my kids just love it. I've stuffed it with all sorts of stuffings and here I will show you 3 of them but do not let that stop you. Stuff them however you like, make the traditional Indian potato stuffing or stuff with cream cheese and green onions, pizza topping anyone? seriously the sky's the limit here. The most common kind is the one filled with browned minced meat, but you can fill it with cheese mixes, chicken, veggies and dates as they do so in Saudi Arabia.
- Uncooked tortillas, or samosa sheets if you can get a hold of it or just make your own dough if you prefer to.
- Ground beef filling: ground beef, onion, parsley and some spices.
- Chicken filling: here I've used chicken breasts cut into cubes, onion, black olives, green pepper and spices.
- Cheese mix: feta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese mixed with za'atar or dry mint.
- Flour : mixed with water to make a gluing paste to seal the samosa.
Easy to make samosa recipe
Filling for samosa
Samosa is traditionally filled with spicy potato mixture in India and Pakistan, but in the Middle East the most common filling is beef. So we will start by preparing your mixture. Here I've made 3 different types and by the way this is a great opportunity to use any leftover you have, like perhaps leftover turkey, mashed potato, beef, chicken or any vegetables.
For the ground beef mixture: In a skillet heat oil then sauté onion until fragrant then add ground beef and break to brown well.
Add tomato paste, spices and parsley, mixing everything well to combine.
For the chicken mixture: In a skillet add oil then sauté garlic for 30 seconds, add chicken and cook until almost done. Add spices, green bell pepper and cook for a couple of minute. Turn heat off, mix in the olives.
For the cheese mixture: In a large enough bowl, combine all ingredients well.
How to wrap samonsa
- Make the flour paste this is done to help seal the edges so it will not open during frying. Just mix water and flour until you get a mixture of the consistency above.
- Cut tortillas in halves place one half on the table and with your finger smear half or all of the straight part of the tortilla.
- Fold the tortilla to make a cone shape as directed in images 3 and 4 pressing tightly on the edges to seal.
- Now add about two tablespoons of your filling to the pocket and smear the rounded edge with more flour paste.
- Press tightly to seal the opening as shown in image 6.
- Heat oil in a frying pan, use this method here to test if the oil is ready or not.
- Fry on both sides until golden brown.
Samosa recipe for Ramadan
The above image shows you how to wrap samosa using the long strips of samosa dough that is widely available specially in Ramadan. Take a sheet of the dough fill it with 1Tbs of the meat mixture and fold in a triangle as shown above.
Can Samosas be made in advance?
Yes, and this is actually the besuty of it. I love making samosas and freeze them. They come very handy when there is no food for dinner or as a snack after school for the kids. They are also a very good idea for gatherings and parties during any time of the year. Fill them, freeze them individually then stor in a ziplock bag or container. When ready to consume, take them out and fry immediately, no need to thaw. They keep up in the freezer very well, I would say up to three months.
Oven baked samosas
If you do not like fried food you can brush them with oil and stick them in a 350F preheated oven until they are golden crispy like I did with this oven fried shrimp samosas. You'll notice that in the shrimp recipe I've cut my tortillas into 3 parts to make them a little smaller so this is another option if you have toddlers at home and you need smaller size.
Party appetizers for you to enjoy
- 12 uncooked tortillas.
Ground beef filling:
- 1 Tablespoon oil.
- 1/2 pound (250g) ground beef.
- 1 small onion finely chopped.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste.
- 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped.
- 1/2 pound (250g) chicken breast cut into small cubes.
- 2 Tablespoons oil.
- 1 garlic clove.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper cubed.
- 1/3 cup black olives.
Cheese Mix filling:
- 1/4 pound (125g) feta cheese.
- 1/4 pound (125g) mozzarella cheese.
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) Parmesan cheese.
- 1 Tablespoon Za’atar or dry mint.
For the sealant:
- 2 Tablespoons flour.
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons water.
- Oil for frying
Prepare the ground beef filling:
- In a skillet heat oil then sauté onion until fragrant then add ground beef and break to brown well.
- Add tomato paste, spices and parsley, mixing everything well to combine.
- Set aside.
Prepare the chicken filling:
- In a skillet add oil then sauté garlic for 30 seconds, add chicken and cook until almost done.
- Add spices, green bell pepper and cook for a couple of minute. Turn heat off, mix in the olives.
Prepare cheese filling:
- In a large enough bowl, combine all ingredients well.
Make the sealant mixture:
- In a small bowl combine flour and water to make a paste.
To wrap the samosas:
- Cut each tortillas in two equal parts. With your finger brush the straight line of the tortilla half with the sealant paste.
- Fold it into a cone shaped pressing the edges to seal.
- Take about 2 tablespoons of the filling and stuff it in.
- Now with your finger again brush the open part of the cone with the flour paste and press to seal completely. Set aside until you are done with the rest of the samosas. Note1
- Heat about 1-2 inches of oil in a frying pan. Note2 .
- Add samosas to the pan and fry until golden brown turning it on the other side midway.
- Take samosas out on a paper bowl line plate .
- Samosa is better served hot so it can be crunchy. Note3
- Calories 151.4
- Total Fat 8.1 g
- Cholesterol 16.3 mg
- Sodium 400.6 mg
- Potassium 15.5 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 12.1 g
- Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
- Sugars 0.8 g
- Protein 7.4 g
- Calories 170.2
- Total Fat 9.5 g
- Cholesterol 26.9 mg
- Sodium 412.3 mg
- Potassium 13.7 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 11.9 g
- Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
- Sugars 1.2 g
- Protein 7.8 g