Samosas are delicious pastries, similar to hand pies, made by filling a savory Samosa Dough with a variety of fillings and then deep frying, baking, or air frying them. This dough recipe is easy to make and easy to roll out and fill. And it cooks to a crispy, golden brown crunch!
You can use store-bought samosa pastry dough to make samosas, but I prefer homemade dough because it is just the right thickness and always turns out light and crispy samosa.
Samosas are the best when they’re hot out of the fryer (or oven or air fryer), especially when they are made from scratch. Making your own dough is the extra step that is easy to do and takes them over the top.
What is samosa dough?
Traditional or authentic dough recipes are made with maida flour, which is very similar to all-purpose flour. Since AP flour is more readily available in the US, it’s what I use in my homemade dough recipe.
The dough uses vegetable oil as the fat, which means it is very easy to mix and also very easy to handle. You can fill your samosas with any savory filling you like.
The dough cooks up into a beautiful flaky samosa crust. Deep frying is the traditional way to cook samosas and it yields a crispy, crunchy, light, and flaky crust that is the perfect match for a hearty spiced potato filling.
What do you fill samosa with?
The classic Punjabi samosa recipe is Aloo Samosa, which uses is filling of cooked potatoes, green peas, and spices. This is my personal favorite samosa recipe. Aloo Samosa are vegetarian/vegan and go great with a variety of chutneys.
You can make meat-filled samosas, too, using ground lamb, beef, or other meats. Season the meat with Indian spices and aromatics and they’re sure to be delicious. Try a Keema Samosa recipe or get creative with your own filling.
Ingredients you need to make your own homemade samosa wrappers
The ingredients for this homemade dough are simple and most likely in your pantry already. The only specialty ingredient is ajwain seeds, which are totally optional and are available in Asian markets, Indian grocery stores, or online. Here’s what you need:
- All-purpose flour: As I mentioned, maida is the traditional flour for making this dough. This Indian wheat flour is very similar to all-purpose flour, though, so I just use that. You can also use whole wheat flour if you like.
- Salt: I use kosher salt or sea salt in all of my cooking, but you can use table salt if that is what you have.
- Ajwain seeds: Ajwain seeds are small seeds, about the size of cumin seeds, with a slightly bitter, herbal flavor reminiscent of both fennel seeds and celery seeds. These add nice flavor to the dough, but they are completely optional. You can buy them in Indian grocery stores or online.
- Oil: You can use any mild-flavor oil like safflower oil, peanut oil, canola oil, etc, to make the samosa dough. You canuse the same type of oil for deep frying.
How to make it
This dough is easy to make and uses basic pantry ingredients. Here’s how to do it:
- 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 chill it for a bit.
- When you’re ready to make the samosas, you’ll divide the dough into golf ball size balls and roll or pat them out into thin rounds, about 4 inches across (you can use a tortilla press for this part! Put the dough balls between the two sides of a cut-open resealable plastic bag an press to flatten).
- To fill the Samosas, you’ll put about a tablespoon of 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.
- Cook samosa according to your recipe. You can fry samosa, which is the most traditional way to prepare them. You can also bake samosa or air fry samosa.
What makes a good samosa filling?
The classic Punjabi filling is a spicy mix of potatoes, green peas, chiles, aromatics, and spices. Aloo Samosa often includes chiles and spice mixtures like chaat masala or garam masala. Try this Aloo Samosa Recipe for an example, deep frying them if you want to go the traditional route.
You can also make an Onion Samosa recipe with a spiced onion samosa filling or Keema Samosas filled with a spiced ground lamb or beef samosa filling.
You can also get creative and make up your own fillings. I’m working on my own copycat recipe of Trader Joe’s Spicy Pumpkin Samosas.
You can use many different vegetables and meats, including squash, carrots, peas, lentils, turkey or chicken, or any number of other fillings.
How do you serve samosas?
I also love using leftover samosa in Samosa Chaat, which is sort of a delicious mish mosh of Samosas, chana masala (spiced chickpeas), sev (crunchy fried chickpea strands), Tamarind Date Chutney, Cilantro Chutney or Green Chutney, diced tomatoes, and fresh herbs.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds optional
- ¾ cup oil
- ½ cup warm water
- 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.
- When you’re ready to make the samosas, divide the dough into golf ball size balls and roll or pat them out into thin rounds, about 4 inches across.
- Put about a tablespoon of 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.
- Follow the instructions in your recipe for classic deep-fried Samosas, Air Fryer Samosas, Baked Samosas, or Onion Samosas.