Weeknight Cooking

Could Samosas Be the Perfect Appetizer?

July 13, 2015

For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.

Today: Prepare yourself to fill up on appetizers and forget all about dinner. 

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In our hearts we know the truth: The dream meal is apps and zerts. Apps and zerts. Apps and zerts! Say it with me and you’ll realize it’s what you’ve needed all along. Entrées are important and occasionally necessary—like on Christmas, for example, when tradition dictates that you roast an animal— but appetizers are where the fun is (and desserts are a non-negotiable). 

Apps are small, varied, portable, and often fried—an ideal list of qualities. Even when offered alongside a main course, they are easy to pile so high on your plate that you forget to eat anything else. In my post-work hangry stupor, an app-centric dinner usually takes the form of samosas from my favorite neighborhood Indian place. Pockets of dough filled with potatoes and peas, they are simple to tack on to the end of a takeout order to meet the delivery minimum, a snap to eat (hand-held food forever), and so deliciously filling that I accidentally relegate the “real” meal to the freezer for another day. And that’s when I rediscover the Ben & Jerry’s. Apps. And. Zerts.

While this homemade samosa recipe boasts a pretty serious ingredient list, do not be afraid: It’s mostly bits and pieces of flavorful things to make your filling eat-from-the-pot-with-a-spoon good. If you’re very brave and better with dough than I am, you should feel free to make and fry your own flaky casing; I love frozen puff-pastry with the heat of one thousand suns, and so does my oven.

Flaky Baked Samosas

Makes a little over 24 triangles

1/2 pound potatoes (I used the sack of new reds I had on hand), peeled and chopped into chunks (just halved is fine if they’re small)
2 big carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 smallish yellow onion, chopped
One 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 serrano pepper, minced
Pinch of salt
A few sheets (I used two 10- by 15-inch sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed but still pretty cold (move it from the freezer to the fridge for a few hours before use)
Flour for work surface
1 egg, beaten, with a tablespoon of water mixed in

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Bobbi Lin 

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.


KB September 30, 2015
WHY NOT? But these made with puff pastry are called "puffs" in India. They are very famous baked item under savory category sold like hot cakes in bakeries in South India especially. Traditionally, Samosas have their own dough and they are ALWAYS fried and never baked.
Sadassa_Ulna September 30, 2015
'Apps and Zerts!
Apps and Zerts!'
Swetha C. July 14, 2015
These are closer to the savoury veg puffs in India,than to the Samosas :)I make them very frequently for parties because they can be made ahead and scale well. The "Iyengar bakery" puffs in Bangalore are the best ones I've had :)
Kris July 13, 2015
These are called veg puffs in India and available in a lot of bakeries and roadside eateries. Its the perfect easy to grab snack. I love making it at home.
amysarah July 13, 2015
I'd place them in the Appetizer Hall of Fame too. Like yours, my 'go-to' version is made with puff pastry, and an extremely easy Anglo-Indian-ish filling: a spoonful of chutney (any kind; I usually just use a good store bought Major Grey's), a little finely chopped scallion and some grated sharp white cheddar cheese. I've made them for years - never had a single one leftover.
NazNyc July 13, 2015
Yes, they are perfect. Have been for eons. I had amazing salmon samosas (made in Trinidad) over the weekend and they were awesome.