If you thought samosas were difficult to make, then you'd be wrong. These beef samosas with peas and potatoes are so easy to make. Just follow my step-by-step instructions and you'll be tucking into these delicious samosas tonight.
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Beef samosas with peas and potatoes
These samosas have to be the best beef samosas I've ever tasted. They are filled with a spicy ground beef curry, potatoes and peas. The pastry is light and crispy and you can make them as hot or as mild as you like.
The reason these samosas are so good is because they are absolutely packed full of the spicy filling of ground beef, peas and potatoes. The reason they are so packed with filling is because of this secret tip that allows you to cram more filling into the samosas before the pastry splits and spills the filling out.
Before I give away the secret, let me just tell you what a samosa is. It is a super delicious triangle of fried, crispy pastry stuffed with either a finely chopped meat or vegetable filling, lightly spiced with curry. Meat samosas are normally made with either beef, chicken or lamb. Vegetable samosas contain a mixture of vegetables such as peas, potatoes, carrots and corn. The choice is up to you really as to how you combine the ingredients. Why not take a look at this recipe for cheese and sweetcorn samosas. They are really special.
Samosas are normally served as starters with any Indian meal in a restaurant, but they can also be served as snacks or even a light supper.
Samosas can either be made with filo (phyllo) pastry (in which case this tip will not work) or with a more robust pastry made with oil and flour, which is rolled out as thinly as possible.
What is the secret?
Normally when you make a samosa you have to be careful not to over-fill them or the pastry will be inclined to split. I've found that if you place the rolled pastry in a hot, dry, frying pan (no oil needed) for about 5 seconds, the pastry will harden slightly and will be much easier to handle and fill.
How to make beef samosas with peas and potato
This recipe makes 12 large samosas.
There are a few steps you have to follow to make samosas.
- Make the pastry
- Make the filling
- Roll the pastry and assemble the samosas
- Fry the samosas
You can get the complete recipe from the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
Make the pastry
For the pastry, you will need 200g (7 oz) plain flour, 1.5 tablespoons of sunflower or other neutral-flavoured oil, 100 ml water (which is ⅖ or .4 cups) and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Place the flour, salt, oil and most of the water in a mixing bowl.
- Mix thoroughly to combine (get your hands in - you'll find it easier than using a spatula). Then tip out onto a work surface and knead until the dough comes together in a soft ball.
- The amount of water will depend on the strength of the flour you are using. You may need to add a few drops more if the mixture is too dry.
- Note - you don't have to be TOO precise with the measurements. If you find you have accidentally added too much water and the dough is too sticky, it's absolutely fine to add a little more flour.
- The texture you are looking for is a soft ball of dough that is not too sticky and retains an imprint of your finger if you press it gently.
- Cover the pastry with a clean cloth and allow it to rest while you make the filling.
Make the beef, pea and potato filling
For the filling, you will need 250g ground beef, a large onion, a tomato, approximately 2 cups of diced potatoes and some frozen peas. You will also need 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil for frying the onions and beef. Try and get ground beef with a low fat content. (The meat I used for these beef samosas had 5% fat content).
For the spice mix, you will need - ground cumin, coriander and cardamom, garam masala, dried chilli flakes, salt and fresh coriander for garnish. You can adjust the heat of the samosas by adding more or less chilli flakes according to your own taste. I found that 1 teaspoon gave enough heat without being overpoweringly hot.
What you need to do
Roll the samosa pastry
This is the only tricky part because you need to roll the pastry out into a circular shape. I've described the way I do it below.
- Divide the pastry into 6 equal pieces and then roll each piece into a ball (image 2). Each ball will make 2 samosas.
- Flatten the ball with a rolling pin (image 3).
- Now roll the dough carefully with the rolling pin until it forms a circle, approximately the size of a side plate (image 4).
- While rolling, you can sprinkle the pastry lightly with flour to ensure it doesn't stick. Also, roll in all directions, turning the pastry if necessary, to get the circular shape.
Form the samosas
- Peel the onions, cut them into fine dice (not larger than 1cm) and fry gently in the oil until they are translucent. Add the spices and continue to fry over a low heat, stirring continuously, until the onions are well coated with the spices (image 1).
- Next, add the ground beef and stirfry with the onions until the beef is completely separate and crumbly, and no longer pink (image 2).
- Chop a tomato into fine dice and add to the meat and onion mixture. Apart from extra flavour, the tomato will add a small amount of moisture to the mince. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to steam gently until the tomato has softened and disintegrated (not shown).
- Meanwhile, peel a large potato and cut into 1cm dice (image 3). Don't make the potato pieces too large or they will not fit into the samosa.
- Place the chopped potato into a dish, sprinkle lightly with salt, cover with a lid and microwave on full power for 4 minutes until the potato is soft and cooked through.
- You may need to adjust the amount of time in the microwave depending on the wattage of your microwave. I have a 900W microwave and 4 minutes was sufficient to cook the potatoes..
- Add the cooked potato to the meat mixture and mix well (image 4). Then mix in 1 cup of frozen peas and heat through until the peas have defrosted (not shown).
- Allow the filling to cool.
- Make a 'glue' with a mixture of flour and water. This will be used to stick the samosas into shape (image 2). You will need approximately 2 tablespoons of flour and 4 tablespoons of water. The consistency should be like thick yoghurt. Add more flour or water if necessary to get the right consistency.
- Place each circle of pastry in a hot, dry frying pan for 5 seconds (no longer) until it just started to firm up (image 1). The reason for doing this is to harden the dough and make it less prone to splitting when the filling is added.
- Cut a circle of pastry in half across the middle to form 2 semi-circles (image 3). Each of these semi-circles will be formed into a samosa.
- Using your finger, rub a small amount of the flour glue across half of the flat edge of one of the semi-circles of pastry. This will form the seam of the samosa and the glue will help it to stick together.
- Form the semi-circle into a cone shape, making sure that the glue is on the top of the seam, and press the pastry together along the seam to stick together (image 1).
- Now spoon some of the meat filling into the cone, filling about ⅔ full. Press the filling down gently to get as much filling in as possible, but don't over-fill. Leave enough space so that you can glue the top opening together (image 2).
- Once again, using your finger, rub a small amount of the glue around the top edge of the cone (image 3).
- Press the top edges together to seal. Make sure that the pastry is completely sealed (image 4).
- Take care not to break the pastry, or the filling will spill out when you fry the samosa.
- Repeat this process until you have filled all 12 samosas.
Fry the beef samosas
- To fry the beef samosas you will need approximately 1" of oil in the bottom of a large frying pan or wok. Do not use olive oil for this. The smoke point of olive oil is too low and the oil will not get hot enough. Rather use sunflower or canola oil.
- Heat the oil. The oil will be hot enough when a small piece of dough, dropped into the oil, sizzles and rises to the top. Don't allow the oil to get too hot or the samosas will burn before the pastry has had a chance to cook properly.
- Carefully place a few samosas into the hot oil. I like to place the samosa on a spatula and slide it into the oil.
- Fry the samosas gently for about 5 minutes until the underside is golden brown (image 2) then turn them over and allow the other side to brown (image 3).
- Once the samosas are completely brown and crispy, remove them from the oil and drain them on a paper towel (image 4).
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with a selection of dips.
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Your questions answered
You can bake these in the oven, but they will not be as crispy as if they
To bake in the oven, brush the entire samosa with a little oil and place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
Bake in a pre-heated (200F / 400C) oven for 25-30 minutes until the samosas are golden brown.
Yes, you can freeze the un-fried assembled samosas.
To freeze, arrange the assembled samosas, untouching, in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking parchment (to prevent them from sticking to the tray). Place the baking tray in the freezer and leave until the samosas are frozen.
Remove from the freezer, place the frozen samosas in a plastic freezer bag and return to the freezer.
The samosas can be frozen for up to 6 months.
To use remove from the freezer and fry from frozen, as per the recipe.
You can reheat beef samosas in the microwave for 30 seconds. However, the pastry will not be crispy.
You can also spread them on a baking tray in a hot oven (200C / 400F) for 10 minutes.
Yes - you can leave out the meat, in fact, plain pea and potato samosas are very tasty. Just increase the amount of potatoes to compensate and ensure you have sufficient filling for the samosas.
Pin for later
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Other recipes with curry
If you enjoyed these beef samosas, you may also enjoy these other Indian-inspired recipes
- Potato and onion bhajis
- Fish curry in tomato and onion sauce
- Lamb curry in pita
- Curried dough balls
- Vetkoek and curried mince
... and if you are looking for easy ways to cook rice to go with your curries, you'll find step-by-step instructions in these posts:
Beef samosas with peas and potatoes
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- Mixing bowl
- Microwave safe bowl with lid
- 7 ounce (200g) plain all purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons sunflower / canola oil
- ⅖ (or 0.4) cup (100 ml) water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 9 ounce (250g) ground beef
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 1 large tomato finely diced
- 2 cups potato cut into 1cm dice
- ¾ cup frozen peas approximately
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt to taste
- 2 cups sunflower/canola oil approximately (for frying)
- fresh coriander for garnish
- Place the flour, salt, and oil in a mixing bowl and add most of the water.
- Mix thoroughly to combine. Then tip out onto a work surface and knead until it all comes together in a soft ball. If you find you need more water, add a tablespoon at a time until the dough is a nice soft consistency without being sticky.
- Cover the dough with a clean cloth and leave to rest while you prepare the filling
- Fry the diced onions gently in a little sunflower oil until they start to turn translucent.
- Add the spices and continue to fry over a low heat, stirring continuously, until the onions are well coated with the spices.
- Add the ground beef and continue to fry with the onions until the beef is completely separate and crumbly and no longer pink.
- Add the chopped tomato. Cover with a lid and allow to steam over a low heat until the tomato starts to disintegrate.
- Place the chopped potato into a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle with a small amount of salt, cover with a lid and microwave on full power for 4 minutes until the potato is soft and cooked through.
- Mix the cooked potato into the meat and add the frozen peas. Heat until the peas have defrosted.
- Leave to cool before filling the samosas.
- Divide the pastry into 6 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
- Flatten one of the balls with a rolling pin and then roll out into a circular shape.
- Place the circle of dough into a hot dry frying pan for 5 seconds until it just starts to harden.
- Repeat until all the balls have been used and you have 6 circles.
- Make a glue by mixing 2 tablespoons of flour with a little water. The consistency should be that of thick yoghurt.
- Cut one of the circles in half to form two semi-circles.
- Using your finger, spread some of the glue along half of the cut edge of one of the semi circles. Now form the semi-circle into a cone-shape, overlapping the glued edge. Press together to stick. See post for images illustrating this technique.
- Spoon some of the filling into the cone and fill to about ½" from the top. Press the filling well down into the cone.
- Once again using your finger, smear a little of the glue around the inside edge of the top of the cone and then press the edges together to seal and form a triangular shape.
- Repeat until all 12 samosas have been filled and sealed.
- Place about 2 cups of sunflower/canola oil in a frying pan and allow it to heat on the stovetop. The oil will be hot enough when a small pieces of dough sizzles and rises to the surface. Don't allow the oil to become too hot or the samosas will burn on the outside before the pastry has had a chance to cook.
- Fry the samosas in batches until they are golden brown on one side (about 5 minutes)
- Turn the samosas over with a spatula and allow the other side to brown (about 5 minutes)
- Remove from the hot oil and drain on kitchen paper.
- Repeat until all the samosas have been cooked.
- Garnish which chopped fresh coriander and serve hot with your favourite dipping sauce.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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