Sweet potato and pea samosas are best had on a chilly evening with a hot cup of your favorite brew, and are ridiculously simple to make!
We recently threw a party for my 4-year old, where we decided to have samosas as part of the menu. We got samosas made to order, from a local home-based caterer who specializes in Indian food. Unsurprisingly, the samosas were the star of the day! My friends couldn’t get enough of it, and some of the kids, tasting a samosa for the first time, enjoyed every little mouthful. Watching a 1-year old child attacking his samosa in utter bliss, I realized how street-food made with simple ingredients has the power to captivate any palette.
In India, these legendary potato and pea parcels are available at every corner, and are the quintessential street food. An authentic samosa is made with a savory flour-and-oil-based pastry flavored with carrom seeds, and stuffed with a potato and pea and onion filling, and then deep-fried to flaky goodness. Here in Switzerland, I’ve made these at home on a few occasions, making the pastry from scratch, and deep frying them in a wok on the stove top. Now, it is a laborious process – from making the pastry dough to rolling it, making the stuffing and then shaping the samosa to finally deep-frying it. Although the results are well worth the effort involved, I would rather wait for a special occasion than get an upper body workout making samosas from scratch.
In the October chill, I can’t let a single day go by without my evening cuppa tea brewed with ginger, and a hot snack to munch on. For those days that I need a quick and easy samosa fix, I’d much rather use store-bought puff pastry and fill them up with a simple potato filling. I used sweet potatoes and peas, and used a mix of spices from the pantry, and they turned out such a treat! I highly recommend stocking up on some ‘chaat masala’, this is key to the unique blend of sweet-spice-sour taste in many Indian savory snacks. I enjoy having my samosas with some date and tamarind chutney, but ketchup is also just fine.
If you, like me, need your Indian snack fix from time to time, I recommend these recipes for you:
- 3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 1 cup peas (I used frozen peas)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chaat masala (found in Indian stores)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
- Salt to season
- 1 puff pastry sheet (I used 1 sheet of Blätterteig, available in Swiss supermarkets)
- 1 egg, beaten, for the egg wash
- Start by preparing the filling. In a pot filled with water, cook the sweet potato cubes until they are soft, around 8 minutes. Drain the water and let the potato cubes cool down.
- Mash the potatoes coarsely, using a fork or a potato masher, and add the peas to it. Give it a good mix.
- In a pan, add the oil, and heat it on low heat. Add the turmeric powder, chaat masala, garlic powder, red chili flakes, cumin powder, ginger and saute this for a minute.
- Turn off the heat and add the potato-pea mixture.
- Add salt to season.
- Give the mixture a good stir, so that all the ingredients are well distributed.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 C or 350 F.
- Roll out your puff pastry sheet and cut out equal-sized squares.
- Place a heaped tablespoon of the filling into each square and fold the side over, forming a triangle.
- Press down the sides, sealing in the filling.
- Using a pastry brush, brush a little egg wash on the puff pastry.
- Transfer the sealed samosas parcels onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake it at 180 C for 10 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden and baked through.
- Serve your samosas with chutney or relish of your choice.
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