Onion Samosas are a delicious twist on the more common Punjabi style Potato and Pea Samosas. This Onion Samosa is a popular recipe that’s quick and easy to make.
Samosas are a popular street food in India and Pakistan. They often have a filling of spicy potatoes and peas or a ground meat filling (keema samosas). This Irani samosa recipe has a spicy onion filling that is quick and simple to make.
The dough for these crispy samosas is made from all-purpose flour and oil. The filling is a combination of caramelized onions and spices. After filling, these savory pastries get deep fried to a crispy, crunchy golden brown.
Ingredients you need for this onion samosa recipe
The ingredients for these onion samosas (Irani samosas) are similar to Potato Samosa filling. Sweet onions combine with spices like cumin, Kashmiri chile pepper, and chaat masala. Here’s everything you need for this crispy samosa recipe:
- All-purpose flour: Maida is the traditional flour for making samosa pastry. It’s Indian wheat flour that’s similar to our all-purpose flour. If you are very short on time, you can use a puff pastry sheet or store-bought pie crust instead of making your own. You can also substitute egg roll wrappers.
- Ajwain seeds: Ajwain seeds are small seeds, about the size of cumin seeds, with a slightly bitter, herbal flavor reminiscent of both fennel seeds, celery seeds, and thyme. These are optional. You can buy them in Indian grocery stores or online.
- Oil: Any mild-flavor oil with a high smoke point will do. You can use safflower oil, peanut oil, canola oil, etc.
- Onions: Use white or yellow onions for the filling. You can also use a sweeter onion like vidalia if you like.
- Chile and herbs: Use jalapeno chile pepper or serrano peppers to add a kick of spice and cilantro or coriander leaves for a fresh herby accent.
- Spices: Kashmiri chili powder (or substitute half as much cayenne pepper), chaat masala, cumin, coriander, amchur, and salt.
- Chaat masala: Chaat masala is a spice mixture that usually contains
- Poha: Poha is dried rice flakes. This product thickens the filling and soaks up some of the liquid that’s released by the onions as they cook. You can buy it in Indian grocery stores or online. Here it absorbs some of the liquid from the onion stuffing and helps it all hold together.
Chaat masala is a spice mixture (similar to curry powder) that usually contains cumin, coriander, ginger, black salt, amchur (dried mango powder), coriander, black pepper, asofoetida, and chile powder. You can buy chaat masala in Indian grocery stores or online.
Poha is flattened rice or beaten rice—rice that has been cooked and then pounded flat and dried into flakes. You can use it to make a rice porridge or hot cereal with sweet or savory flavors and it is often used to thicken sauces or fillings. Here it thickens and binds the onion samosa filling. You can buy poha in Indian grocery stores or online.
How to make this crispy onion samosa recipe
Making this onion samosa recipe is very similar to the process of making potato samosas—make a quick dough, saute the vegetables and add the spices and seasonings, roll out the dough, and then fill the dough with the filling and deep fry the packets.
Filling them is pretty simple, too, once you get the hang of it. And deep frying is quick and simple if you follow my tips! Anyone can learn how to make samosa at home. Here’s how to make this samosa recipe:
- First you’ll make the samosa patti or samosa sheet by combining the flour, oil, water, and salt.
- Next you’ll saute the sliced onions in a bit of oil in a skillet. Add the spices, chiles, and cilantro and mix well. Then finally, mix in the poha.
- To form and fill the samosas, divide the dough into golf ball size balls and roll or pat them out into thin rounds, about 4 inches across.
- Add a heaping spoonful of the spiced onion filling to the center of each round. Fold two of the sides up until they meet. Press those sides together into a seam. Bring up the third side and press together to make two more seams. Make sure you seal the samosa well so that they don’t open up in the fryer. The onion samosa will be triangular and sort of pyramid shaped.
- To prepare the samosa, fill a dutch oven with about 4 inches of oil. Heat oil over a medium high flame. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the samosas to the hot oil (cook them in batches to avoid crowding the pan). Fry the samosas, turning once, until they turn deep golden brown, about 4 minutes per batch. Remove the samosas using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Serve the samosas hot, warm, or at room temperature.
How to serve onion samosas
For the samosa dough
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds (optional)
- ¾ cup oil, such as safflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil
- ½ cup warm water
For the onion filling
- 2 tablespoons oil, plus additional for deep frying
- 2 onions, diced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder (or cayenne)
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon amchur (mango powder)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup thin poha (flattened rice)
- First, make the dough by combining the flour, oil, warm water, and salt. You’ll mix the ingredients until they come together into a
nice, smooth ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, put it on a plate, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to put the dough on a plate because the oil may seep out a bit.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cilantro, chile, chili powder, chaat masala, cumin, coriander, amchur, and salt and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat and stir in the poha. Let cool.
- Divide the samosa dough into golf ball size balls and roll or pat them out into thin rounds, about 4 inches across.
- Put a heaping tablespoon of the onion filling in the center of the dough round and fold two sides up until they meet. Press those sides together into a seam. Bring up the third side and press together to make two more seams. You’ll have sort of a triangular pyramid shaped samosa.
- Fill a dutch oven or another heavy pot with about 4 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, fry samosa in batches, cooking each batch for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until the crust is crispy and deep golden brown. Transfer the fried samosas to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
You can use a tortilla press to flatten the dough balls. Place a dough ball between the two sides of a cut-open resealable plastic bag in the tortilla press and press to flatten.