Easy Bake Samosas

Deliciously Addictive Potato Turnovers

In my opinion, no party is complete without samosas, India’s most popular snack food. These triangular pastries are incredibly versatile because they can be stuffed with many different types of vegetables, minced meat, or lentils. In this recipe, I’m keeping it classic with a traditional filling of potatoes and peas, but with a modern twist. Serve them with tamarind chutney, a tangy-sweet condiment you can purchase in bottles at an Indian grocery store or online. (But if you can’t get a hold of tamarind chutney, ketchup works just fine too.)

Samosas are typically fried, with a dough that’s made from scratch. I don’t personally like the idea of deep-frying, nor do I want your house to smell like hot oil during a party, so my solution is to use wonton wrappers. The result is crispy packets that are easy to throw in the oven, and even easier to pick up and nibble while watching a Bollywood movie.

Serve with:
Cocktail Kofta
Chana Chaat
Mumbai Mules
(recipes in the book!)

Makes 50 to 60

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 Indian green chillies*, cut in half
1/2 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne
One 12-ounce package wonton wrappers (quantity 50 to 60)
Tamarind chutney or ketchup, for serving
* available in Indian grocery stores (aka Thai bird’s eye chili)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling, with the lid slightly ajar, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and dice them into small pieces. (The potatoes will be mushy, so this will be a rough dice.)
  3. Heat the oil in a large, wide sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering hot, add the cumin seeds and chillies and cook, stirring, for about 20 seconds. Add the ginger, ground cumin, and turmeric and allow the spices to bloom for about a minute, adding a little bit of water, if needed, to prevent the spices from burning.
  4. Add the potatoes to the pan and stir well to coat with the spices. Cook, stirring, until the potatoes have browned slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the salt. Since the samosas are so small, you want to crumble the potatoes with the back of your spoon so there are no large chunks.
  5. Add the peas (no need to thaw), cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon. Decrease the heat to medium and continue cooking until the peas have cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasonings (especially the salt). The filling should be tasty enough to eat on its own. I usually like to add a pinch or two of cayenne. Set aside to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray well with cooking spray or coat with vegetable oil. Place the first batch of wonton wrappers on the baking sheet. Drop 1/2 tablespoon of the potato filling onto the center of each wrapper. (Be sure to discard the green chillies as you encounter them.)
  8. Set yourself up with a small bowl of water on the side. Dip your finger into the water and rub it along the four edges of the wonton wrapper (to act as a sealant). Fold the wrapper diagonally, to create a triangle. Press down the edges to form a tight seal. Flatten the filling gently so it squeezes toward the corners.
  9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are brown and crispy.
  10. Serve with tamarind chutney or ketchup.

Reprinted from Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films by Sri Rao (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).

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