Mrs Balbir Singh's | Vegetable Samosas

Mrs Balbir Singh's Vegetable Samosa Recipe

It's India's most famous snack, which has many close cousins in other world cuisines. So versatile in terms of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fillings, the possibilities are endless. There are even dessert versions these days, but more about that another time.

These little iconic pockets of pure joy can be enjoyed as a savoury snack anytime with a cup of chai, a quick meal on the go, or as a starter with beer or cocktails before moving on to your main course.

Here is the quintessential recipe for aloo matar (potato and peas) samosas from Mrs Balbir Singh. It's still by far the most popular filling for samosas in Punjab, across India and most likely the world. 

Vegetable Samosas

Category: Savoury Dishes & Snacks

Recipe: 174

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 230g (8 oz) Maida, or Plain Flour (preferably fine) 
  • pinch of Salt
  • 60g (2 oz) Ghee
  • 5 tbsp Water

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 30g (1 oz) Ghee
  • 30g  (1 oz) Ginger 
  • 230g (8 oz) Potatoes
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¾ tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves
  • 1 tsp crushed Coriander Seeds
  • 60g (2 oz) Onions
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 170g (6 ozs) Peas 
  • ¾ tsp Red Chilli Powder 
  • 1 tsp Pomegranate Powder (Ground Dried Pomegranate Seeds)
  • 2 tsp Mango Powder (Amchur)
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice

For frying:

    • Enough ghee or your preferred oil for a deep frying pan to fry the samosas  

    Step 1: make the pastry

    Sieve together the flour and salt. Rub the ghee into it till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add water and mix it to a smooth dough. Knead for 10 minutes and leave it covered with a wet cloth in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes.

    Step 2: add the filling

    Boil the potatoes, dip them in cold water, peel and cut into very small and neat cubes. Chop finely the onions, ginger, green chillies and coriander leaves. Heat the ghee and fry the onions. Add ginger, green chillies, peas, salt, and red pepper and fry for 2 to 3 minutes; mix 4 in tablespoons of water and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or until the peas are soft. Then add the cooked potatoes, chopped coriander leaves, garam masala, mango powder, crushed coriander seeds, pomegranate powder and the lemon juice. Stir for 4 to 5 minutes, remove from heat and leave to cool.

    Step 3: assemble the samosas

    Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape them into balls, dredge with the dry flour and roll them out into rounds as thin as possible. Cut each one of these into 2 semi-circlular halves. Moisten the edges of the semi-circles formed. Hold one of these from its two extremes, keeping the arc of the circle downwards, and fold it over so that they meet each other and form a join opposite the centre of the arc, essentially making a cone shape. Seal the edges with a little paste made from flour and water. Fill the cone with a tablespoon of the filling. Seal the top with the same flour paste, pinch the edge thus formed and decorate with small crimps.

    Step 4: fry & serve

    Fry the samosas a few at a time in hot ghee till crisp and golden in colour, remove them with a slotted spoon and placing them on a plate with kitchen roll (aka paper towel) to drain off any excess oil.

    Serve with a mint & coriander chutney or a tomato ketchup/sauce are the usual accompaniments of pakoras. You could substitute the mint chutney with a mint & yoghurt dip or a tangy tamarind sauce. Also great with ketchup, or a hot sauce of your liking!

    Baked Alternative: 

    Instead of frying, you can also brush the samosas with ghee or your oil of choice and place on parchment paper or non-stick foil on a tray in the oven at 200 degrees C for approximately 20 minutes or until they look golden brown. 




    Mrs Balbir Singh 
    Award-winning godmother of Indian home cooking, and author of Mrs Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery, as featured in "The Best Indian Cookbooks Ever, as Judged by the Experts" - The Telegraph (UK)