Spicy Samosas with Tamarind-Date Chutney

Recipe by Susan Reid

Samosas are known in many parts of the world under a variety of names. From the Middle East and Central Asia, where they first appeared centuries ago, to parts of Africa, South Asia and, of course, America, these simple filled pastries are a tasty small meal or snack. This potato and onion version features an intriguing combination of spices and fresh herbs. They can be baked or fried, as you prefer. The accompanying tart-sweet tamarind-date chutney is perfect for dipping.

1 hr 20 mins
25 to 30 mins
2 hrs 15 mins
12 samosas
Spicy Samosas with Tamarind-Date Chutney


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  1. To make the dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add half the butter, working it in until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Cut the remaining butter into pats and work it into the flour mixture until it's in dime-sized pieces.

  2. Add the water a tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough feels damp to the touch. Turn out onto a piece of parchment and fold the dough over on itself until it comes together, spraying or sprinkling with water as needed to bring any dry crumbs into the dough. Pat the dough 1/2" thick, wrap with plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.

  3. To make the filling: Put the potato chunks in a medium saucepan with salted water to cover, bring to a simmer, and cook until easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain thoroughly, and mash with a fork or potato masher, leaving some small bits of potato intact. Set aside to cool.

  4. In a medium skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the curry powder or garam masala, coriander, and cumin. Cook for 1 minute, until the spices are fragrant. Remove from the heat and add to the potatoes.

  5. Set 12 peas aside for assembly and stir the rest into the potatoes with the Tabasco or Sriracha, lemon juice, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.

  6. To assemble: Divide the dough into six portions and form into balls. Flatten each ball and roll into a 6" round. Cut each round in half to form two semicircles.

  7. Moisten the straight edge of each semicircle, then bring the end points of the straight edge together, overlapping the straight edges to make a seam and forming a cone. Press the edges together to seal.

  8. Place one of the reserved peas in the bottom of the cone (this will help the pastry keep its shape). Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling into the cone. Wet the top rounded edges and press together, pinching to form a tight seal. Repeat with the rest of the samosas.

  9. To fry: Heat 2" of oil in a deep, heavy saucepan to 350°F. Drop two or three samosas at a time into the oil, cooking until deep golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels before serving warm with tamarind-date chutney.

  10. To bake: Brush the samosas with beaten egg and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

  11. To make the chutney: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan (use more or less water, depending on how thick you want the chutney to be; see "tips," below). Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until the tamarind pulp is soft. Remove from the heat, purée, and strain. Season to taste. Sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks, refrigerated.

  12. Store any leftover samosas, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Tamarind paste can vary quite a bit in consistency. If the paste you use is spreadable (like soft peanut butter) or even thinner, cut back the water to about 1/2 cup.

  • Learn how to make pie crust like a pro with this quick video, Four Tips For Fail-Proof Pie.