Samosas are deep-fried hand pies or pastry pockets filled with some kind of savory mixture, most commonly consisting of potatoes. They are the quintessential Indian tea-time snack. Snacking on samosas and tea is kind of a ritual for us. All that calories from frying them does not help us one bit. But what’s one to do when a craving hits?
Make a baked version, of course! Usually samosas are triangular shaped, sometimes you find them in a sort of skewed cone shape too. But I decided to use my tartlet pans and ended up with delicious baked mini samosa pies. Ready-to-bake samosas are available in any Indian store. But I would really suggest making these from scratch once in a while. This way, the filling is easily customizable. I love a simple potato and onion based filling with some fresh peas or grated carrots added to it. For me, the filling must be lightly spiced with just the right amount of tartness and freshness provided by lemon juice and cilantro leaves respectively.
This filling recipe is more versatile than you might imagine. You can have it along with Indian flat breads like chapathis, rotis or puris. You can also spread it on toasted bread for a very fulfilling sandwich. I also use it as a filling for masala dosas (crispy and savory rice and lentil crepes from South India). More on that later!
BAKED MINI SAMOSA PIES WITH POTATO-PEAS FILLING
You will need: (Makes six 4-inch pies)
For the dough,
- All purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp
- Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Water – lukewarm, as needed
For the filling,
- Potatoes – 1 large russet or 2-3 medium ones
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Curry leaves – 3-4, finely chopped (use kitchen shears to cut them thin very easily)
- Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Green peas – 1/4 cup (or grated carrots or green beans)
- Cilantro leaves – a small handful, finely chopped
- Lemon juice – a generous squeeze or Amchur powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Water – to boil the potatoes
- Oil – 2-3 tbsp (for brushing the pans and the pies)
- A large baking tray to hold the tartlet pans
- Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add 2 tbsp oil and mix till crumbly. Add in lukewarm water, a little at a time, till the dough comes together. Knead for a couple of minutes, form into a ball, coat with 1 tbsp oil and allow to rest in a covered bowl for at least 30 minutes.
- Filling:Boil, peel and roughly mash the potatoes. Keep aside.
- In a large pan, heat the oil. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add the onions and saute till translucent and starting to turn golden. Do not let it turn brown.
- Add the masala powders, salt and cilantro leaves and mix well.
- Add the potatoes and peas and saute till it comes together.
- Squeeze lemon juice and combine well. If you want, you can use amchur powder (dry mango powder) instead of lemon juice. The filling should be fairly dry. Allow to come to room temperature before filling the pies.
- Assembling and baking the pies:Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg.F. Generously grease the tartlet pans.
- Divide the dough into 10-12 pieces (each pie needs 2 dough circles). Roll each ball into 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out neat circles slightly larger than your tartlet pans. Reserve excess dough for later. Dough made with all purpose flour has a tendency to shrink after it is rolled out. So it is better to cut it into a larger size than the pan size. If it shrinks, roll each circle further and work fast.
- Line a tartlet pan with a circle of dough, pressing it up comfortably over the sides. Pass the rolling pin over the pan’s edge to remove any excess dough. Spread 2 tbsp filling on it. Lightly dampen the edges of the bottom crust with water. Take a second circle of dough and close the top of the pie, sealing the edges together. Brush liberally on top with oil and poke a couple of times with a knife to create tiny steam vents. Cover the filled pans with a kitchen towel while you assemble the rest of the pans.
- Place the pans on a large baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or till the pie tops are golden.
- Remove from the oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. If the pans were properly greased, the pies should pop right out. Enjoy with ketchup or some kind of spicy, tangy chutney.
I also made a couple of free-form samosas with some leftover dough. They kind of look like momos, don’t they?! If you don’t have tartlet pans, you can use muffin pans, though the baking time may vary.
Cut into a warm samosa pie and enjoy!
Do you love samosas? Ever think you needed a fat-free option? Then make some samosa pies and wow your family and friends.
Here’s another favorite Indian snack – pakodas or bajji. This recipe is for onion and cabbage pakoda/bajji.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
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- By Stephanie Lynn