Crispy, golden samosas with a fragrant, curried chicken filling are the ultimate delicious snack and the perfect showstopping appetizer recipe.
What is a samosa?
Samosa (samoosa) is a small, triangular pastry of sorts fried until golden brown and crispy. The pastry is filled with a curried filling (often vegetables, potato, chicken, lamb or lentils) spiced with fragrant Indian spices.
How to make chicken samosas
Start by making the spicy chicken filling. Fry ground chicken (chicken mince) in a hot frying pan until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Fry an onion, garlic and ginger until soft and translucent then add the spices and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the chicken back into the pan with all of its resting juices and add the stock. Season with salt, pepper and sugar (optional) and turn down the heat. Allow to simmer until the chicken is cooked and the liquid has reduced. You want the filling to be moist but not wet as that will prevent the samosa pastry to crisp up. Allow the filling to cool before making the samosas.
How to fold a samosa
Using samosa pastry sheets (you can also use phyllo pastry or spring roll pastry if you can’t find samosa pastry at your local ethnic/Indian market), place one lengthwise in front of you on a chopping board. Cover the rest with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out. Place a tablespoon of chicken filling onto the bottom left corner of the pastry sheet. Fold the bottom left corner up into a triangular shape, then continue to fold into a triangle. My video for Greek feta pies demonstrates this method. There are other ways to fold samosas on YouTube that also work very well.
Mix together a few tablespoons of flour with water to make a paste. Spread a little of the flour paste along the edges of the samosa to seal the open edge and set aside while you continue with the remaining ingredients. Heat vegetable or canola oil in a pot over high heat and once hot, deep fry the samosas until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on paper towels before serving with chutney or dipping sauce of your choice.
What pastry to use for samosas
Samosas are made with different kinds of pastry and dough around India. Traditionally, samosa dough is made with Maida flour but all purpose flour can be substituted. I prefer using shop-bought samosa wrappers and similar wrappers can be found at Indian or ethnic markets. You can use spring roll wrappers or phyllo pastry sliced into strips with similar results.
- Butter chicken curry
- Cauliflower korma curry
- Indian-spiced lamb chops
- Naan bread
- Easy weeknight chicken curry
Spicy chicken samosas
For the spicy chicken filling
- 500 g (1lb) ground chicken/chicken mince
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped/crushed
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp green chili finely chopped
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 2 curry leaves
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp sugar optional
- small handful fresh cilantro / coriander finely chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
For the samosas
- samosa wrappers (substitute with spring roll wrappers or phyllo pastry cut into strips)
- 3 tbsp flour mixed with 1-2 tbsp water to make a paste
- oil for frying
- chutney for serving
- To make the filling, fry the chicken in a large frying pan until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- Add the onion, ginger and garlic to the pan and allow to fry until soft and translucent. Add all the spices and allow to cook for another 30 seconds until the pan is dry then add the chicken with all its resting juices.
- Pour in the chicken stock, lemon juice and sugar (if using) and allow the chicken to simmer until the liquid has reduced. The mixture needs to be moist but quite dry before it can be stuffed into the samosa wrappers.
- Add the fresh cilantro/coriander and season to taste. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature before using.
- To assemble the samosas, place a samosa wrapper lengthwise in front of you on a chopping board. Place a tablespoon of filling into the bottom left corner then fold up into a triangle and continue folding until the filling is fully encases in the pastry.
- Spread a little flour paste onto the edges and seal the samosa. Set aside and continue with the remaining ingredients.
- Pre heat vegetable or canola oil until hot in a deep pot then fry the samosas until golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on paper towels before serving with chutney.