Samosas with Loquat-Onion Chutney

Samosas were probably the first Indian food I fell in love with. How could you not? Perfectly fried triangles of curried potato and peas in a crispy shell are the ideal snack, almost any time. In college I studied abroad in India and fell even deeper for Indian flavors, although what we in America think of as Indian food is a little different. I’ve been making samosas ever since I’ve had my own kitchen, over 10 years, and they are always crowd pleasers.

Usually I use wonton wrappers, which I fold over the filling to form triangles. This time, however, I decided to make my own dough, which turned out to be much easier work than I’d anticipated. And because I was able to cut them into circles I could fill them properly, by rolling the flattened semi-circle of dough into a cone and stuffing them that way. Either way you decide to go, you won’t be disappointed.

I have to admit that what is really special about this recipe is not the samosa, but the chutney. Being from the American Northeast, I had never seen loquats until moving to Israel. But it’s the season and they’ve popped up everywhere in abundance. They are delicious, slightly tangy little morsels that taste like an incredible apricot-lychee hybrid.

I needed something to do with the big container I’d purchased, and since mango chutney is one of my favorite parts of eating samosas I thought this would be the perfect application. And it was! Seriously, it’s really good chutney. Vinegary with a spicy-sweet element, you’ll want to put this on everything. Luckily, the recipe makes extra. It would be excellent on chicken, or even used simply as a dip with some pita or tortilla chips. If loquats aren’t available where you are, I think apricots or mangoes would make acceptable substitutes.

Vegetable Samosas

Yield: 24 samosas

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups AP flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ – ¾ cups water (for dough)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 cups peeled, boiled, diced potatoes (from about 3 small-medium potatoes)
Salt and pepper
½ cup water (for filling)
½ cup frozen or fresh peas, boiled and drained

METHOD:
Make the dough: Mix together the flour, oil and salt with your hands until it is coarse. Add water a little at a time, kneading until a firm dough forms (I used just over ½ cup water). I’m sure this can be done in a food processor or stand mixer with dough hook attachment, but it comes together by hand in just minutes. Knead for a few more minutes then allow to rest, covered, for at least 20 minutes (can also wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight).

Make the filling: In a sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat and add the cumin, mustard seeds, coriander, curry powder, and garlic. Toast, stirring often, 1 minute until the mustard seeds just start to pop. Add the onion and ginger and stir to coat. Cook until the onions are just tender. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the water, stir, and simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using the back of a wooden spoon, lightly mash the potatoes; you want them to still be chunky. Gently fold in the peas. Allow to cool.

Divide the dough into 12 balls. Using the palm of your hand, flatten a ball. Roll it out into a 5- to 6-inch circle. Cut in half to form a semi-circle. Roll into a cone shape, overlapping about ¼-inch of dough, and press to seal. Hold the cone gently in your hand and spoon in 1 tablespoon of filling. Press the top opening together and pinch to seal (you can press with a fork for extra sealing). Set aside on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and continue until the dough and/or filling is used up. (Note: I had extra filling, which my husband happily ate with a spoon and covered in sriacha sauce, but you could also make extra dough).

Heat about 1-inch vegetable or other high-temp oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until it is about 350F, very hot but not smoking (or, if you have a deep fryer, go nuts). Add the samosas one at a time; work in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in a 200F oven if desired. (Note: samosas can be baked in a 425F oven for 15 minutes for a healthier version; I tried both and preferred fried.) Serve with loquat-onion chutney (recipe below).

Note: samosas can be frozen. Allow to cool slightly then place on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to an air-tight container or freezer bags. To reheat, take straight from the freezer and bake at 350F for 15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Loquat-Onion Chutney

Yield: 1¼ cups

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 loquats, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 small red chili, thinly sliced (add more or less depending on preference)
Salt

METHOD:
Heat the oil in a small pot and add the cumin, mustard seeds, and curry powder. Toast, stirring often, 1 minute, or until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the loquats and bring to a simmer. Stir in the ginger, vinegar, sugar, chili, and salt and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and mixture is syrupy. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

This recipe was selected as a food52 Editor’s Pick!

Testing notes from recipe tester gingerroot: For a delicious starter or snack that is a wonderful contrast in textures and flavors look no further than kmartinelli’s Samosas with Loquat-Onion Chutney. Unable to source loquats, I made my chutney with local mangoes, as suggested by kmartinelli in her headnote. Bright and sour from the vinegar, with an underlying sweetness from the fruit, the chutney dances on your palate before the crisp shell and soft, spiced potato and pea filling balances each bite. I had eaten four before realizing it; if you make these, they will not last long. Do not be discouraged from making your own dough — it comes together quickly and rolls out easily. I fried half the batch and baked the remainder. Although my preference was for the fried, the baked version (whose tops I brushed with a touch of melted butter) are a good substitute for those averse to frying. I’d recommend making sure you season the potato and pea filling well.


12 Comments

  1. These were soooo good. I didnt even get to try them with the dipping sauce and they were still so yummy. Thanks for bringing me a taste for breakfast! :)

    • Katherine

      Thanks Beth! Any time :-) Tomorrow you may just get some kubbeh.

  2. The shesek chutney looks delicious. I’ll be making it myself and I’ll let you know how it comes out. I like the Israel-India fusion going on.

    • Katherine

      Thanks Ben! Definitely let me know how it comes out. I’m always looking to improve my recipes.

  3. Wow! Loquat chutney, what a great idea. I love love love samosas and have made a vegan, baked version once before (though I completely agree that fried is the way to go for optimum flavor). We have just moved to an apartment with a giant loquat tree that grows right onto our balcony, so I will definitely be giving these a try!

    • Katherine

      Thanks Ariella! That is amazing that you have a loquat tree right at your fingertips! I’d love to hear what else you come up with to put this beautiful fruit to good use.

  4. Oooooh never heard of a louqat chutney. Funnily enough, I’ve always thought it was a native Indian fruit, unknown elsewhere. I think the season just passed us by, but will look out for some! I ♥ samosas, and yours sound delish!

    • Katherine

      Loquats are definitely native to the region, but I’m not sure where specifically. I had never had them before moving here but apparently they get them on the West Coast of the US, so who knows. All I know is I’m in love! The season is just ending now but they are still available.

  5. And I was just wndoenrig about that too!

  6. Maayan

    If anyone in Beer Sheva wants to try the chutney: I won’t have time before our exam and Julia left me a bunch of loquats, let me know.

  7. I really like the idea of loquat in chutney! It looks fantastic.

    • Thanks Leaf! I just made this again the other day and it’s even better than I remember. Seriously so good!

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