How to make paneer and pea samosas
- A challenge
- January 2019
- Makes 24
- Hands-on time 1 hour
”If there’s an Indian street food that’s known all over the world, it’s the samosa. You can find all sorts of them served everywhere from fancy restaurants to kerbside vendors, in India and beyond.
Samosas can be made with myriad fillings and flavoured with countless spices, but this has to be one of my favourites: a classic mix of paneer and peas.” – Chetna Makan
- Vegetarian recipes
- 7.7g (2.3g saturated)
- 13.9g (0.6g sugars)
For the pastry
- 400g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1tsp carom seeds (see Know-how)
- 80ml sunflower oil, plus extra for oiling
For the filling
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for deep-frying
- 2 tsp mustard seeds (use a mixture of black and yellow)
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp mango powder (see Know-how)
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 100g peas (frozen or fresh)
- 225g paneer, coarsely grated
- Finely grated zest 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- 1¼ tsp fine sea salt
- Coriander chutney and tamarind chutney (we like Geeta’s) to serve
- For the pastry, put the flour, 1 tsp salt and carom seeds (see Know-how) in a bowl and add the sunflower oil. Use your fingers to rub the oil into the flour. Slowly add 150ml cold water, using just enough to bring the mixture together into a dough. Knead for a few minutes until smooth, then leave to rest in an oiled bowl covered with cling film.
- To prepare the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the spices, mango powder and fresh chilli . Stir well, then add the peas and cook for 1-2 minutes until they begin to soften.
Turn down the heat, add the grated paneer and lemon zest, mix well and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the coriander, mint and 1¼ tsp salt. Set aside for the filling to cool (see Make Ahead and Chetna’s tips).
- Meanwhile, shape the samosa pastry into a long cylinder and cut into 12 equal portions.
Then roll each into a 17-18cm diameter circle. Cut each circle in half.
- Once the filling is cool, take a semicircle of pastry in the palm of your hand and dab some water over the straight edge (see Chetna’s tips).
Shape the pastry into a cone and stick the straight edges together with about a 1cm overlap to help them seal.
Put about 2 tbsp of the paneer mixture in the cone. Dab the inside edges of the open end of the cone with water and pinch together to seal, then set aside on a lightly floured surface. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 24 samosas.
- Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. To cook the samosas, fill a deep fat fryer or wide, heavy-based pan with oil until about a third full and set over a medium heat. When the oil is hot (see Chetna’s tips), carefully fry the samosas, 3-4 at a time (depending on the size of the pan), for 5-8 minutes until golden and crisp, turning halfway through. Remove to a wire rack with a slotted spoon and keep hot in the oven while you cook the rest.
- Serve hot with Indian chutneys.
Swap the paneer for an equal quantity of cooked mashed potato for a vegan version.
The filling shouldn’t be hot when you fill the pastry cones (step 4). If you’re in a hurry, you can spread the mixture out over a baking sheet to cool it down more quickly.
When shaping a pastry cone, dampen your hands with a little water to stop it sticking to you.
If you don’t have a deep-fryer, check the oil is hot enough to fry the samosas (step 5) by dropping in a small piece of dough. It will brown in 30-40 seconds when the oil is the right temperature.
Make the filling (step 2) then, once cooled, keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Carom seeds are also known as ajwain or ajowan caraway seeds. They have a slightly bitter, herbal flavour and are often used in curry pastes, as well as in breads and pastries. They’re available from Waitrose, Tesco and Sous chef.
Mango powder, also known as amchoor or amchur, is a fruity, citrussy spice powder produced in India from dried unripe green mangoes. It’s available from Waitrose, Tesco, Asian food shops or Sous Chef.
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