This samosa recipe is simplified by using shop-bought filo pastry, which gives a light and crispy covering, rather than the heavier gram-flour dough traditionally used. The filling is delicious with a mixture of sweet, spicy, tart and buttery flavours in each mouthful. Indian tea-time snacks tend to be vegetarian, but we always have a batch of mini cocktail samosas made with minced lamb in the freezer for unexpected guests, to be served with drinks to whet their appetites. Serve with green or tamarind chutney.
Ingredients (makes 20)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
60g chopped onion
6g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
60g frozen peas
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
½ – ¾ tsp garam masala
1–2 tsp dried mango powder, or to taste
Salt, to taste
600g potatoes, boiled until soft, peeled and crushed into large lumps
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 packet filo pastry
5 tbsp melted butter, for brushing
2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional; you can also use poppy or nigella seeds)
Heat the oil in a small non-stick saucepan and fry the mustard seeds for about 10 seconds until they splutter. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 2 minutes over a high heat. Add the peas and give the pan a good stir, then add the spices, salt and a splash of water. Cook for 1 minute, then add the potatoes and coriander and cook for 2–3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Unroll the pastry, peel off one piece, then cover the remainder with cling film and a damp tea towel to prevent it drying out. Lay the first piece of pastry flat on a clean surface and brush with melted butter. Fold in one third of the pastry lengthways. Brush again with the butter and fold in the other end to make a long triple-layered strip. Halve the strip crosswise – your strip needs to be only about 10cm long.
Place one rounded teaspoon of the filling at one of the short ends of the strip, leaving a 2cm border. Fold the right corner diagonally to the left, enclosing the filling and forming a triangle. Fold again along the upper crease of the triangle. Keep folding this way until you reach the end of the strip. Brush the outer surface with the butter. Place on a baking sheet and cover while you make the rest of the samosas. Before baking, sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30–35 minutes until golden and crisp, turning halfway. Serve with green or tamarind chutney.