Vegetarian Samosas with Potatoes and Peas

Vegetarian Samosas with Potatoes and Peas
Tender potatoes and peas are spiced with cumin, fennel, coriander, and ginger in these crispy, golden fritters.Katherine Whittaker

British-Indian chef Romy Gill credits her grandmother for the clever technique used to shape these samosas. Parcooking the wrappers renders the dough less absorbent and malleable, making them easier to fill without becoming gummy (and easier to make ahead). The assembled samosas can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours before frying.

Vegetarian Samosas with Potatoes and Peas
Starchy potatoes and peas, fragrant with plenty of spice and ginger, get a kick from plenty of green chiles in these crispy, vegetarian samosas.
Yield: makes 20
Time: 3 hours

For the Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 14 cup canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

For the Filling:

  • Kosher salt
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (12 oz.), peeled and cut in ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tsp. canola or sunflower oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, plus 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, coarsely crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 13 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • 1–2 green Thai or Indian chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 13 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • Mint or tamarind chutney, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, add the flour, oil, and salt. Rub the oil into the flour with your hands, then add ⅔ cup cool water. Mix with your hand until a dough forms.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth, soft ball, 4–5 minutes. Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap or a clean, dry kitchen towel and set aside to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium pot of generously salted cold water, add the potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, 12–15 minutes. Drain, then transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the whole cumin and crushed fennel seeds. When the spices begin to sizzle and pop, 10–20 seconds, stir in the peas and cook just until they are coated in the spiced oil and heated through. Stir in the chiles, coriander, ground cumin, and ginger; cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, just until the mixture is heated through and well mixed, 2–3 minutes more. Season with salt to taste and stir in the cilantro, then remove from the heat and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  5. While the filling cools, divide and parcook the dough: Cut the dough into 10 evenly sized pieces, about 2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a ball, then use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a thin disk about 8 inches in diameter.
  6. In a medium skillet over low heat, cook the disks of dough one at a time, searing each side to slightly dry out the surface (3–5 seconds per side). When all the disks are cooked, cut them in half (you should have 20 half-moons).
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour. Place one half-moon of dough on the work surface with the flat side facing you. Brush the edges lightly with water, then curl the straight edges together to form a cone, pinching the seam to seal. Fill the cone with 3 tablespoons of the filling. Press out any pockets of air, then pinch the open edges together to enclose the filling. Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet while you continue shaping the remaining samosas.
  8. Line a baking sheet or large platter with paper towels and set by the stove. In a deep, heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, add enough oil to reach 3 inches up the sides of the pot. Preheat the oil to 350°F over medium-high heat. Working in batches of two or three to avoid crowding the pot, cook until the samosas are evenly golden brown and crispy, 4–5 minutes. Using tongs or a spider strainer, transfer to the prepared baking sheet or platter while you continue cooking the remaining samosas. Serve hot, with mint or tamarind chutney.