The Art and Execution of Samosas
Anybody from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada knows the Boyce Farmers Market every Saturday morning. That magical place where farmers and artisans from all around the county congregate in the wee hours of the morning to sell their exquisite goods. Cheeses, meats, fresh produce, crafts, and baked goods are just some of the tempting offerings you’re likely to find there. And then there’s that seemingly endless queue of people. Neither snow nor rain nor sweltering heat could stop this train of patrons from waiting for a treat as delicious as the almighty samosa.
Samosas, for many in this small Canadian city, has become a weekly ritual. It certainly was for me the years I lived there. And even now, when my wife and I visit Canada, the Boyce Farmers Market is a must.
Though I tried to replicate the recipe while still living in Fredericton, it wasn’t until I moved to Norway I became determined, even obsessed with finding that perfect blend of spices, and that soft malleable pastry that would crisp up when cooked. Finally after three faithful years of trial and error I’ve arrived at a recipe that stands up to those infamous Fredericton samosas.
When most Westerners think of samosas, Indian food often comes to mind. Usually a crispy triangular appetizer filled with potatoes and peas. And you’d be right to think that. However, the samosas in Fredericton are made by a Bangladeshi family that not only makes vegetarian samosas, but also pack them full with your choice of beef, chicken, or lamb in mild, medium, or hot options. Hot chicken is my favorite flavor, but when I make them at home I like making all three, without vegetarian.
Samosas do require some time and effort, but when broken down into a series of steps, they are quite easy. You can choose to make them small for use as an appetizer or large and eat them as a snack/lunch. If you’re not afraid of a little punch of flavor, then samosas are the ultimate hold-in-your-hand comfort food. Certainly worth a try!
TIP: Make extra to have on hand and use as a seasoning blend in your favorite curries and marinades
- 1/4 cup koriander seed
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp brown mustard seed
- 1 tbsp fenugreek leaves
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp clove
- 1/4 celery salt
- 1/8 tsp citric acid
1. Measure out all ingredients and place in a blender, coffee grinder, or pestle and mortar.
2. Blend into a fine powder and store in a air-tight container until needed.
Note: If you’d like medium or hot, then add some Indian chilli powder to the mix. This can also be adjusted after cooking the filling.
- 1 Kg of chicken, beef, lamb, or potato
- 1 large onion, diced
- samosa seasoning
1. In a skillet over med-high heat, brown meat or parboiled potatoes.
2. Add diced onion and continue cooking until onions are translucent.
3. Next add the seasoning blend and cook for 10 minutes. Take off heat and let cool completely before using. Check level of salt before filling the pastry. Add more if necessary.
Note: If using potatoes to make veggie samosas, you can add 1 cup of frozen peas during the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup peanut, canola, or sunflower oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
1. Combine flour, salt, and oil into a large. Using your fingers, mix the flour until the oil is well incorporated.
2. Add the water and knead for 3 or 4 minutes.
3. Wrap in plastic and let sit for 30min. at room temperature.
4. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces or 24 pieces for smaller samosas.
Folding the Samosa:
Frying the Samosas:
1. Bring 1 liter of peanut, canola or sunflower oil up to 190°C.
2. Cook in batches of 4 for 5-6 minutes.
3. Place samosas on a cooling rack.
- 1 large bushel fresh coriander
- ½ bushel mint
- ½ bushel parsley
- 2-4 green chili peppers
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 tsp sea salt
1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend well.
2. Pour into container and store in the refrigerator until needed.
There are no hard and fast rules for chutney. The ingredients above are merely suggested portions. Just continuously taste for flavor and spiciness and adjust if needed.
And there it is! Beautiful crispy samosas that are extremely addictive. Also, don’t be afraid to get adventurous. You could try filling the samosa with taco beef and cheese and dip it into salsa, sour cream or guacamole. Or stuff it with your favorite pizza topping and dip it into marinara sauce.