Monday, February 24, 2014

Spicy Minced Meat Samosas

If I told you this is my grandma’s recipe, it would be both true and false. 
It's true because in the most vivid memory I have of her, she is sitting on a green painted metal chair in the verandah instructing my aunts who are sitting on the floor with three large plates. One plate was stacked with whole wheat paper thin wraps covered in lightly damp cloth, another with pile of cooked lentils or cooked minced meat. The third plate was where they placed folded samosas. We kids would run around the verandah and were handed the folded samosas to eat while we passed by. The tradition has been handed down from my grandma to my aunts to my mom and now to us. So what makes it false?

(A much older photo, perhaps when I wasn't even born. Grandma on left, my aunts at the back and cousins)
This is not a scene that belongs to my house alone. This is a ritual of an entire town. You see, in my little town samosa-making is a weekly, or at least fortnightly, affair in most houses. The recipe is the same for every house. It starts by kneading durum wheat atta (dough) and then preparing paper thin whole wheat wraps. The filling is prepared, the samosas folded, and then they hit the kadai (wok) in which they are deep fried until golden brown.

Though it can be served with any kind of chutney, traditionally it is eaten by punching a hole at the centre of the triangle and squeezing some lemon juice into it.  I'm globalising it a bit by suggesting you use any kind of wrapper you like: rice wraps, wheat wraps, puff pastry or phyllo, even baked instead of fried -- it’s up to your interpretation. You can also shape them however you like. It might not be authentic, but it's still delicious.

But in case you want to do it the authentic way follow the links below for the pictorials and post on samosas I have done before.

How to make whole wheat samosa wrappers

How to fold triangular samosa 

(The original writing of this post in parts appeared on Food52's heirloom recipe section and the photo and recipe appeared in BBC Good Food, India Jan edition 2014)
Spicy Minced Meat Samosa 
Enough filling to make 30 standard size samosa
This samosas freeze extremely well and should be directly fried or baked them without thawing.  For a more economical version, add boiled lentils to the meat mixture. For a vegetarian version, this lentil stuffed samosas are super delicious. 

500g red onions, very finely shredded in a food processor until grain like
500g minced mutton/beef/lamb, very finely minced
1/2 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped 
2 tbsp ginger garlic chilly paste, equal portions of ginger,garlic and green chilly 
1 ½ tsp red chilly powder, or to taste
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp  coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
Bundle up the shredded onions in thin muslin or cotton cloth and squeeze out all the liquid from the onions.  Keep aside the onions and discard the liquid.
In a  wok, dry roast the mince along with ginger garlic and chili paste.  Then add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, cumin and coriander powder. Let the mixture cool.
Then add the garam masala, salt, coriander and mint leaves along with the onions.
The filling for the samosa is ready.


Making sure that the filling has minimal or no moisture is important to prevent soggy samosas. For the same purpose, if you plan to play around with the recipe, make sure the ingredients don't have a lot of moisture. Herbs should be washed and dried completely before use.

The fillings for any samosa should be completely cooled before filling.



  1. Lovely family pictures and mouthwatering samosas! That filling is wonderful.



  2. I don't think I can ever convince myself to make samosas. I dread...literally. I am sure I will not be able to make the ones sold by the samosa guy in our neighborhood. In West Bengal, we usually do not make samosas at home, so no inherited recipe :( We buy them from the store and they are very very difficult to recreate. Loved the pictures. :)

    1. I, on the other hand can't remember buying samosas :) It always had to be my mom's or aunt's. The occasional buying if any, is always disappointing compared to Ammi's

  3. The thing I love the most about food is that it connects us to so many memories. Just to renew our friendship (after falling out of it over the Kadhi episode), I love Meat Samosas and your photographs are beautiful. I superlove the Bong Samosas with Caulifower and Potatoes (Kankana has a beautiful post on it).

  4. You know the other day Ma asked me if I had come across a recipe for Bohri samosas.. and I came to your site to look it up.. saw your post about the Good Food but just couldn't get my hands on the magazine.. and then I see this post!! Thank you!! Beautiful post and photographs!!

  5. What a beautiful story you have written about a wonderful dish. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. What a great memory. Food connects us in so may ways. Great recipe. Just pinned.

  7. Hi , you have a lovely blog . Just had a question on the samosa filling the red onions are added raw?

    1. Thanks. Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, the onions are to be raw. They lightly steam when fried in the pastry.

  8. i am trying out samosas today.I have been meaning to for some time now.However i will make withe some potato


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