Makes about 20 large or 36 small samosas.


185 g/6 oz/1 1/2 cups roti flour
or plain (all purpose) flour
3 tablespoons fine semolina
1/2 teaspoon salt
60 g/2 oz ghee or butter
approx 90 ml/3 fl oz iced water
oil for deep frying
Potato filling
750 g/1 1/2 lb potatoes
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
2 teaspoons panch phora
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 fresh green chillies, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or coriander
lime or lemon juice to taste

Meat filling
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
lemon juice to taste
500 g/1 lb minced lamb
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons extra chopped ginger
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or coriander
2 fresh red or green chillies, chopped (optional)



Sift flour, semolina and salt into a bowl and rub in the softened ghee or butter. Add iced water to form a firm dough and knead for 8-10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes or longer while making filling.

For large samosas, roll pastry thinly and cut into 15 cm (6 in) rounds, then cut each circle in half. Place a generous tablespoon of filling on the half circle of pastry, damp edges with cold water and seal firmly to form a triangle; or moisten one straight edge, pick up the half circle and form a cone shape, overlapping straight edges 6 mm (1/4 in) and pressing firmly to seal the seam. Fill cone two-thirds with filling, fold top edge over and crimp, roll or simply press together to make a secure join. Place each one as it is made on a tray, cover with clean cloth and fry just before serving.

Deep fry in hot oil. Do not add too many at one time or the temperature of the oil will drop, resulting in the pastry becoming greasy. Drain on absorbent paper towels and serve warm, with Mint Chatni or Tamarind Chatni.

Potato filling

Boil potatoes until almost tender. Peel and cut into fairly small dice. Heat ghee or oil and fry the panch phora until mustard seeds pop, covering pan to prevent them jumping out. Add turmeric and chilli powder and fry for a few seconds. Add salt, sliced chillies and the potatoes. Toss to mix, remove from heat and sprinkle with herbs and lime juice to taste.
Meat filling: Heat ghee or oil and fry half of the chopped onion until soft and transparent. Add garlic and ginger and fry, stirring, until golden. Add ground spices and stir for a few seconds, add salt, lemon juice, minced lamb and stir-fry until lamb is no longer pink. Add diced potato and about 4 tablespoons hot water, cover and simmer until lamb and potato are tender. Sprinkle with garam masala and remove from heat.

When lukewarm, stir in reserved onion and extra ginger, chopped herbs and chillies. (The half-cooked ginger, onion and chillies contribute a fresh flavour to the samosas).

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: For dainty, party-size samosas or singaras, use ready-made spring roll pastry.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)