Make Ahead

Samosas with Loquat-Onion Chutney

April  7, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes 24 Samosas
Author Notes

Samosas were probably the first Indian food I fell in love with. How could you not? Perfectly fried triangles of curried potato and peas in a crispy shell are the ideal snack, almost any time. In college I studied abroad in India and fell even deeper for Indian flavors, although what we in America think of as Indian food is a little different. I’ve been making samosas ever since I’ve had my own kitchen, over 10 years, and they are always crowd pleasers.

Usually I use wonton wrappers, which I fold over the filling to form triangles. This time, however, I decided to make my own dough, which turned out to be much easier work than I’d anticipated. And because I was able to cut them into circles I could fill them properly, by rolling the flattened semi-circle of dough into a cone and stuffing them that way. Either way you decide to go, you won’t be disappointed.

I have to admit that what is really special about this recipe is not the samosa, but the chutney. Being from the American Northeast, I had never seen loquats until moving to Israel. But it’s the season and they’ve popped up everywhere in abundance. They are delicious, slightly tangy little morsels that taste like some sort of incredible apricot-lychee hybrid. I needed something to do with the big container I’d purchased, and since mango chutney is one of my favorite parts of eating samosas I thought this would be the perfect application. And it was! Seriously, it’s really good chutney. Vinegary with a spicy-sweet element, you’ll want to put this on everything. Luckily, the recipe makes extra. If loquats aren’t available where you are, I think apricots or mangoes would also work well here. - kmartinelli —kmartinelli

Test Kitchen Notes

For a delicious starter or snack that is a wonderful contrast in textures and flavors look no further than kmartinelli’s Samosas with Loquat-Onion Chutney. Unable to source loquats, I made my chutney with local mangoes, as suggested by kmartinelli in her headnote. Bright and sour from the vinegar, with an underlying sweetness from the fruit, the chutney dances on your palate before the crisp shell and soft, spiced potato and pea filling balances each bite. I had eaten four before realizing it; if you make these, they will not last long. Do not be discouraged from making your own dough -- it comes together quickly and rolls out easily. I fried half the batch and baked the remainder. Although my preference was for the fried, the baked version (whose tops I brushed with a touch of melted butter) are a good substitute for those averse to frying. I’d recommend making sure you season the potato and pea filling well. - gingerroot —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • Samosas
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ - ¾ cups water (for dough)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cups peeled, boiled, diced potatoes (from about 3 small-medium potatoes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cups water (for filling)
  • ½ cups frozen or fresh peas, boiled and drained
  • Loquat-Onion Chutney (makes 1¼ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 10 loquats, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 small red chili, thinly sliced (add more or less depending on preference)
  • ½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt
  1. Samosas
  2. Make the dough: Mix together the flour, oil and salt with your hands until it is coarse. Add water a little at a time, kneading until a firm dough forms (I used just over ½ cup water). I’m sure this can be done in a food processor or stand mixer with dough hook attachment, but it comes together by hand in just minutes. Knead for a few more minutes then allow to rest, covered, for at least 20 minutes (can also wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight).
  3. Make the filling: In a sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat and add the cumin, mustard seeds, coriander, curry powder, and garlic. Toast, stirring often, 1 minute until the mustard seeds just start to pop. Add the onion and ginger and stir to coat. Cook until the onions are just tender. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the water, stir, and simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using the back of a wooden spoon, lightly mash the potatoes; you want them to still be chunky. Gently fold in the peas. Allow to cool.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 balls. Using the palm of your hand, flatten a ball. Roll it out into a 5- to 6-inch circle. Cut in half to form a semi-circle. Roll into a cone shape, overlapping about ¼-inch of dough, and press to seal. Hold the cone gently in your hand and spoon in 1 tablespoon of filling. Press the top opening together and pinch to seal (you can press with a fork for extra sealing). Set aside on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and continue until the dough and/or filling is used up. (Note: I had extra filling, which my husband happily ate with a spoon and covered in sriacha sauce, but you could also make extra dough).
  5. Heat about 1-inch vegetable or other high-temp oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until it is about 350F, very hot but not smoking (or, if you have a deep fryer, go nuts). Add the samosas one at a time; work in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in a 200F oven if desired. (Note: samosas can be baked in a 425F oven for 15 minutes for a healthier version; I tried both and preferred fried.) Serve with loquat-onion chutney (recipe below).
  6. Note: samosas can be frozen. Allow to cool slightly then place on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to an air-tight container or freezer bags. To reheat, take straight from the freezer and bake at 350F for 15 minutes, or until warmed through.
  1. Loquat-Onion Chutney (makes 1¼ cups)
  2. Heat the oil in a small pot and add the cumin, mustard seeds, and curry powder. Toast, stirring often, 1 minute, or until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the onion and sauté until tender. Add the loquats and bring to a simmer. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, chili, and salt and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and mixture is syrupy. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • nogaga
  • kmartinelli
  • fiveandspice
  • Rivka
A native New Yorker, I recently moved to Be'er Sheva, Israel with my husband while he completes medical school. I am a freelance food and travel writer and photographer who is always hungry and reads cookbooks in bed.

11 Reviews

nogaga June 23, 2011
Congrats! So glad these got a EP! (Though the shesek around here seems pretty much over...)
kmartinelli June 24, 2011
Thanks nogaga, I just saw this :-) I know! No more sheseks until next year :-( But I saw the first mangoes the other day at the market...! [And thanks so much gingerroot for the amazing testing notes and ep.]
kmartinelli June 8, 2011
Thanks fiveandspice! I wish they were available on the East coast as well, I know I'll be craving them when I move back home!
kmartinelli June 8, 2011
Yes! Shesek!! Love it. They do exist, and they are amazing. And the pits are beautiful - I never thought to save them! What a great idea! They're just about gone now here so I'll have to file that one away for next year :-)
fiveandspice June 7, 2011
Wow. These look awesome. Wish we could find loquats here, they sound amazing!
Rivka June 6, 2011
Shesek! I'm over the moon about this recipe. Everyone in the states thinks I'm nuts when I talk about loquats, and now here's living proof that they not only exist, but are amazing. Wish we could get shesek here....will have to try this next time I'm in town.
Rivka June 6, 2011
And by the way, file this under random, but the pits of a shesek (usually two per fruit) are smooth and really beautiful. We used to collect them, wash and dry them, and use them in place of marbles in vases.
Treble723 April 10, 2011
Looooove loquats! We don't see them here in the Northwest, but I've had them in Japan, where they're called "biwa." They make tons of sweets out of them over there! I had biwa flavored soft serve the last time I was there :).
kmartinelli April 10, 2011
Oh that sounds just amazing!! If I had my ice cream maker here I would make loquat ice cream or sorbet in a second. Mmm...
nogaga April 9, 2011
This is unbelievably tempting! I also love loquats.
kmartinelli April 9, 2011
Thanks nogaga - and they're in season right now! I also learned they are called "shesek" in Hebrew (slowly I build my vocabulary...)