Spicy Curried Lentil & Potato Samosas

21 Feb


These make a great appetizer, side dish, or even snack. Although the ingredient list and steps may seem a little daunting, I was surprised by how easy these were to make.  When making these, I felt like they needed a little more filling, so I adjusted recipe to accommodate my preferences. To save some time, you could easily make the filling the day before, but the samosas are best served fresh.


1/3 cup yellow or green split peas or red lentils, washed and picked over
1 cup water or vegetable stock
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter or 8 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk
½ cup ice water

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 hot green chile peppers (or jalapenos), minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 large baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice, and boiled until just tender
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)

Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Prepare the lentils: Boil lentils in water or vegetable stock with salt and curry powder partially covered for 30 minutes, until soft and beginning to turn to mush. Add additional liquid if necessary. The mixture should be moist but not soupy.
  2. Prepare the dough: Place the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in the container of a food processor. Pulse for a couple seconds to blend. Cut half the butter into bits, add it to the flour and turn on the machine. Let it run until the butter and flour are the consistency of cornmeal. Add the yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk and pulse a few times. Then with the machine running, add ice water through the feed tube 1 tablespoon at a time. The instant the dough forms a ball, stop adding water. Knead dough for one minute by hand (add a little flour if the dough is too sticky), then cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  3. Make the filling: In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the remaining ½ stick of butter (or 4 tablespoons ghee) over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onions and ginger, and cook, stirring, until starting to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, peppers, salt, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring until the potatoes start to color and become dry, about 3 minutes. Stir in cooked lentils. Remove from the heat and add cilantro and lemon juice, if using. Stir to combine, then adjust seasoning to taste. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
  4. Form samosas: On a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, knead the dough for 1 minute. Break off pieces, about 1½ ounces each. Place each ball on the floured surface and roll into a thin circle, about 6-inches in diameter. Cut each circle in half (2 semi-circles). Spoon about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each semi-circle. Brush the edges with water and fold the dough over the filling. Press the edges together to seal. Set aside and repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Deep-fry samosas: Preheat the oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Add the samosas in batches and cook, turning, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Recipe adapted from Beyond Potstickers: A Dumpling Lover’s Confession



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