Samosas are a common snack food you can buy at stalls on the side of the road. There are generally two types of Samosas, beef or vegetable, and the mixture of spicy vegetables and/or meat is wrapped in a thin sheet of pastry and then fried. In this case we’ll use phyllo dough for our pastry (perhaps not always so traditional) and bake them. Following the recipe I’ve included a short, 2-minute video on how to fold phyllo pastry into triangles that I think you’ll find helpful.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
¾ cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
½ cup peas (frozen are fine)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red chile powder
½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala (Indian spices)
kosher salt to taste
splash of water
1 lb and 5 ounces potatoes, peeled, boiled until soft and crushed into large lumps
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 package frozen phyllo pastry dough, thawed
5 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing (olive oil can be used as well)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the oil in a small nonstick pan. Add the mustard seeds and fry for about ten seconds, or until they begin to splutter, next quickly add the onion and ginger, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over high heat. Add the peas, remaining spices, salt to taste, and a splash of water. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and remove from heat. Add the pea mixture along with the chopped cilantro to the potatoes and mix thoroughly. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning as necessary – potatoes can absorb a lot of salt so you may need to add more. Make sure this mixture is cool when you use it to fill the phyllo pastry – you can make it one day ahead.

Unroll the phyllo dough, cover with plastic wrap and a damp tea or kitchen towel. Peel off one sheet and keep the rest covered so that it doesn’t dry out. Lay the pastry sheet flat on a clean surface, with the short side facing you, and brush it with melted butter. Fold in one third of the pastry lengthwise towards the middle. Brush again with the butter and fold in the other side to make a long triple-layered strip.

Place one rounded teaspoon of the filling at one end of the strip, leaving a 1-inch border. Brush a little melted butter along the bottom edge of the strip, this will help the pastry stick together on your first fold. Take the right corner and fold diagonally to the left, enclosing the filling and forming a triangle, pressing down on the buttered edge to seal well. Fold again along the upper crease of the triangle. Keep folding in this way until you reach the end of the strip. When you reach the end of the strip, brush the end again with more melted butter to help seal the package, and brush the outer surface with more butter. Place the triangle onto a baking sheet and cover while you make the rest of the samosas. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and crisp, turning halfway through the cooking time.

Note: Samosas can be made ahead of time and frozen, unbaked. Just add a few more minutes to your baking time – no need to defrost them.

Here’s a short video from BBC GoodFood that shows how to use phyllo dough.

Recipe source –



Notes and Instructions

Recipe and photo credit with permission from