South Indian Cookbook

Vegetable Samosa

Here is the vegetable version of this favorite. This vegetable samosa recipe is not original to South India but they can be found at snack stands throughout the South. Samosas are a light pastry filled with a savory filling like vegetables or meat and deep fried in hot oil. There are many variations on this vegetable Samosa recipe, so have fun and try your own creations. This can be served as light snack or an appetizer. It is often served hot with a mint or tamarind chutney.



1 1/4 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons butter or Ghee (clarified butter)

1/2 cup water


2 Potatoes

1/2 cup peas

2 tablespoons oil or ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 medium onion cut into small dice

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp ginger paste

1 Tbsp Garam Masala (see note)

2 Tablespoons minced Cilantro

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the pastry:

Sift the flour, add the salt, baking powder (if you are using it) and work in the butter or Ghee. Add in half the water and mix to make a soft dough. Add the rest if you need to. Kneed the dough until it is soft and pliable. Roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch and cut out in circles. Moisten the edges with water; put the filling in the center and fold into a triangle.

Heat oil to 350 and cook the samosas until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Mint or Tamarind chutney. If you prefer baking, place the samosas on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. If you bake, the texture of the outside will not be as crispy as it should.

For the Filling:

Peel and cook the potato and cut into medium dice. Heat the oil in a skillet or fry pan. Once the oil is hot add the cumin and mustard seeds and fry until they splutter, usually about 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic, ginger paste and garam masala. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper and stir well. Remove from heat.

Enjoy your vegetable samosas!

Note: Garam masala is a blend of spices that are often added at the end of the cooking process or on the completed dish. To get the best flavor, purchase the spices whole, roast them on a dry pan and grind them yourself in a coffee grinder (that you don’t want to use for coffee). The ingredients are: 2 2 inch cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, 4 black cardamom pods (open and use only the seeds), 5 whole green cardamom pods.
You can also buy Garam Masala powder for this vegetable samosa recipe here.