Flaky and tender fried samosa are one of the most popular snack recipes in North Indian cuisine. They feature a pastry-like crust but are filled with savory potatoes and peas for a hearty, delicious snack. This step-by-step guide will help you to make the flakiest, tastiest, absolutely best Punjabi samosa from scratch!
What makes this the best homemade samosa recipe? My foolproof instructions will guarantee that your potatoes and peas samosa are hearty yet light, with a perfectly flaky, crispy crust.
I use a bit less water than some other recipes to make my dough, which creates an ever flakier and crave-able samosa crust. (This is also the trick I use to make samosa pie, which is a great non-fried alternative to traditional samosa.)
Plus, the filling in these Best Punjabi Samosa is just fantastic. It’s super easy to prepare in a stovetop pressure cooker or using an Instant Pot and on the stove. Green peas and potatoes are blended with classic Indian spices for a warm, satisfying stuffing that will keep you wanting more.
With a perfect crust and comforting filling, this recipe is a real winner! Give it a try and you’ll be amazed at how simple and fun it is to make samosa from scratch at home.
Our personal favorite is always a Punjabi samosa which is what this recipe is all about. The classic potato and peas stuffing recipe is adapted from my cooking school samosa recipe.
I have also made a video which shows the shaping, stuffing and deep frying the samosa. You can have a look at the video in the recipe card below, if the photos don’t help.
How to Make Samosa
Below is my complete step-by-step guide with photos for making the best Punjabi samosa from scratch.
You start by making the savory filling and pastry dough. Then assemble the samosa, fry, and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces and chutneys!
Making the Stuffing
1. The first step to homemade samosa is to cook the potatoes and peas for the filling.
- To cook the potatoes and peas in a stovetop pressure cooker: Place 3 medium-sized whole potatoes and 2.5 cups water in a 3 or 4 litre pressure cooker. On top of the potatoes carefully set a small trivet and pressure cooker-safe bowl with ½ cup green peas. Pressure cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium to medium-high flame.
- If using an Instant Pot: Place 3 medium-sized whole potatoes in the steel insert of a 6 quart IP. Add 2 cups water. Place a trivet on top of the potatoes, and on top of the trivet set a bowl with ½ cup of green peas. Pressure cook on high for 20 to 25 minutes.
2. For the stovetop pressure cooker, remove the lid after all the pressure falls in the cooker. For the Instant Pot, do a quick pressure release after 5 to 7 minutes. Check with a knife or fork to see if the potatoes are cooked well.
The knife or fork should be able to slide through easily if the potatoes are cooked properly. If the potatoes are undercooked, then cook them for a few more minutes using the sauté function. Once done, drain the potatoes and peas in a colander and set aside to cool.
3. Next, toast the spices. This skip will help to release their flavors and should not be skipped!
To a small frying pan over low heat add ½ inch cinnamon stick, 1 clove (optional), 1 green cardamom, 3 to 4 black peppercorns, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds and 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
Heat the spices for just a few minutes until aromatic, being careful to not burn.
4. Remove the spices from the heat and allow to cool completely. Then, put them in a spice grinder or small mixer-grinder jar.
5. Grind the toasted spices to a semi-fine powder, and set aside.
6. Peel the skin off of the cooked potatoes, and chop them in ½ to 1 inch cubes.
7. In a small skillet, heat a bit of cooking oil and crackle ½ teaspoon cumin seeds until fragrant.
8. Keep the heat on low and add 1 teaspoon finely chopped or minced ginger and 2 teaspoons finely chopped green chillies. Sauté for a few seconds until the raw aroma of ginger goes away.
9. Now you can switch off the flame or keep flame to a low. Then add the cooked green peas, ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder, 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing), the dry ground spice mix that we made earlier and 1 to 2 teaspoons dry mango powder.
The mango powder is what gives the samosa filling its signature tangy flavor that balances so well with the savory, spicy flavors of the other stuffing ingredients.
10. Stir together and sauté for a minute. You can add less or more dry mango powder depending upon personal taste. I added 2 teaspoons as just 1 teaspoon was not quite enough sour flavor for me.
11. Next add potato cubes, salt as required and 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (also known as cilantro) to the skillet.
12. Mix very well and sauté for a minute. Check the taste, and add more of the spices, salt or dry mango powder if needed. Cover and set the filling aside while you make the dough.
Making the Dough
13. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams), 1 teaspoon carom seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and 6 tablespoons ghee (50 grams).
14. With your fingers, mix the ingredients together until they make a breadcrumb-like texture that holds its shape when you form.
15. Then, working just a bit at a time, add in 7 tablespoons water and knead. You can add 1 to 2 tablespoons extra water if needed when the dough looks dry.
16. Continue kneading to form a smooth, tight dough. It should not be soft or sticky. Cover the samosa dough with a moist kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Assembling the Punjabi Samosa
17. After the dough has rested, divide it into 6 to 7 even pieces. Take each piece and gently roll in your palms first to smooth and soften. Place it on your work surface or on the rolling board.
18. Then roll it with a rolling pin, being mindful to keep the thickness even at 1mm and not too thin.
19. Cut the with a knife or a pastry cutter, right through the center of the samosa pastry.
20. Use a rolling pin to gently flatten the half moon shape to make even.
21. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the samosa dough with water around all of the edges.
22. Next, fold to join the straight edged side together to form a cone, like shown in the photo below. I recommend working with slightly damp hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.
Be sure to press the edges well so that they are sealed!
The samosa cone is now ready to be stuffed with the potato and pea filling.
23. Carefully spoon and lightly pack the prepared potato and pea stuffing into the samosa cone. Make sure to not over or under-fill to prevent the samosa from bursting during the frying process.
24. Crimp and pinch the edges to close as shown in photo below. This helps the samosa to stand once made.
25. Evenly press all of the edges, making sure there are no cracks in the dough. The edges should be sealed very well so that the stuffing does not come out while frying.
Prepare all the samosa this way as described above, and cover with a moist kitchen napkin to keep the samosa from drying out.
The final step to making the best Punjabi samosa from scratch is to fry them to a perfectly crisp golden brown.
26. Heat the oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. Test the oil by adding a small piece of dough – it should come up quickly if the oil is hot enough for frying.
Once the oil becomes hot, gently slide 3 to 4 of the prepared stuffed samosa into the oil, and then immediately reduce the flame to low. Do not overcrowd the pan to ensure each samosa fries evenly!
27. Fry the samosa on a low to medium-low heat, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn.
28. When one side is pale golden, use tongs or a slotted spoon or skimmer to gently turn the samosa over and continue frying.
29. Fry until each samosa is crisp and golden. The oil will stop sizzling once the samosa are fried well.
30. Use a skimmer to carefully remove fried samosa from the oil, and place them on paper towels to remove extra oil. Repeat the frying steps with the remaining samosa.
31. Serve Punjabi samosa hot or warm or at room temperature with coriander chutney or tamarind chutney, or with a zesty tomato sauce. In North India they often serve chana masala, also called samosa chaat, with this dish. The combo of samosa with masala chai is irresistible.
Variations in the stuffing
There are many variations of stuffing depending on the region and state in India. We always prefer the classic authentic Punjabi stuffing of peas and potatoes. The following are the samosa stuffing variations:
- In Delhi and Punjab, potatoes alone or a combination of peas and potatoes are common – where the potatoes or peas are not crushed or mashed. The potato cubes are cooked perfectly but in shape with a few green chili pieces in the filing. There is a some sourness in this stuffing as dry mango powder or dry pomegranate powder are added. A few more spices are added as well.
- In some variations, raisins are also added in the filling which gives the samosa a a sweet-sour taste. Sometimes cashews are also added for some crunch.
- In some places, the filling is totally mashed unlike the Punjabi samosa.
- If the green chilies are not added in the filling then fried green chilies are usually served separately.
- Some people also add ginger-garlic paste and on few rare occasions, I have found chopped carrots pieces also in the filling.
- A variation with mix vegetables is also made. Veggies like peas, carrots, cauliflower and potatoes are added.
- Onion samosa is another variation where a spiced mixture of onions and poha (flattened rice) is filled in the samosa.
- Sweet samosa is also made with a stuffing of khoya (mawa), nuts and dry fruits. This is made usually during festivals like Diwali or Holi. These samosa are also known as khoya samosa or dry fruit samosa.
- A variation is also made with paneer cubes added in the stuffing.
- Cocktail samosa is a small sized samosa stuffed with a dry filling of spices, nuts and dry fruits.
So you must be wondering what should be the perfect proportions of ingredients in the pastry dough and the correct frying method – to get that flakiness and crispiness in the crust. I break it down for you in detail.
1. Proportion of fat
The amount of fat which we also call as “moyen or moyan” in Hindi has to be in the correct proportion in a samosa pastry dough. One of my culinary expert friend always suggests to add ⅕ of fat to 1 part of flour in weight.
Example: If you use 1 kilogram of flour, then you have to add 200 grams of fat. In this samosa recipe, I have kept the same ⅕ proportion of fat – which is 50 grams for 250 grams of flour.
2. Proportion of water
A samosa crust dough has to be kneaded to a tight and firm dough. The dough should not be soft like a roti dough. Thus less water is added when kneading the dough. The amount of water to be added depends on the quality of the flour. So keep in mind to add water in parts and knead the dough.
3. Rolling samosa crust
You have to roll the crust evenly keeping 1mm thickness all over. Do not roll the crust too thick. This takes up plenty of frying time resulting in a hard texture.
Do not roll the dough too thin. It won’t be able to contain the potato stuffing and burst in oil. So remember these points while rolling the dough.
4. Two methods to fry samosa
There are two frying techniques for that perfect crispy flaky crust in a samosa.
1. Frying at a low temperature
In this method, first the oil is heated to a high temperature. Then the samosa are added in the hot oil. As soon as the samosa are placed in the hot oil, the flame is reduced to a low and then the samosa are fried on a low heat.
This ensures that they do not absorb too much oil. If you directly put the samosa on a low temperature oil and fry in sim, then it will absorb too much oil. If you fry in hot oil, then there are chances of tiny air bubble pockets forming outside. The insides are also undercooked when fried in highly hot oil.
2. Frying twice
This is a little lengthy method and the one which I will suggest you to try while making samosa at home if you have time. In this method initially the samosa are very lightly fried not allowing them to become golden – just that the dough cooks well.
Add the samosa in hot oil and remove them when the crust has become opaque and creamish white. They should be just about lightly fried that if you remove them from oil then they will not break. Set them aside.
Later lower the heat and again fry the lightly fried samosa until they are golden.
With both the methods, the final samosa will be crisp & flaky from outside and cooked well from inside – like the one you get in the markets and there will be no air pockets on the crust.
How to make Samosa in an air fryer
If you have an air fryer then do try making samosa in it. You will be pleasantly surprised with the texture of the air fried samosa. They do taste similar to the fried samosa, minus the extra oil. For air-frying, preheat air fryer at 180 degrees celsius for 10 minutes. Brush samosa with oil and air fry at 180 degrees celsius till the samosa are golden.
I have compiled below answers to questions based on the queries asked by readers in the comments.
Yes, you can do that. In fact many Indian recipes that use (all purpose flour) can be easily made with whole wheat flour. Just remember to add more water while kneading as whole wheat flour absorbs more water.
You can freeze the samosa. Either shape them and then freeze or you can first fry them till the crust becomes opaque and then freeze them. This way the samosa will stay better for a longer time. Before frying, let the samosa come to room temperature and then fry. If fried when they are still cold, then they absorb more oil.
A few air pockets are fine, but the samosa should not be covered with a lot of air pockets. If the samosa dough is soft, then the air pockets occur on the crust. Too much moisture in the dough makes the crust soft as well as gives it plenty of air pockets. While frying, if the oil is too hot, air pockets appear on the crust.
If using puff pastry sheets, then bake samosa. You can even air fry.
For spring roll wrappers, you can either fry or bake them.
With phyllo dough sheets bake the samosa.
Usually in an authentic Punjabi samosa, onions and garlic are never added. But we can always make our own variations and be creative. So you can add onions and garlic if you prefer.
Samosa can become soft due to two reasons. Either the dough is soft or the oil is at a too low temperature while frying. When you knead the dough, make sure that dough is tight and stiff. It should not be soft like roti dough.
The first method is to slit the green chillies keeping them whole. Shallow fry or deep fry them till you see a few light golden blisters on them. Later sprinkle some salt on the fried green chilies and mix. You can also sprinkle some chaat masala or amchur powder.
The second method is to stuff a mixture of amchur powder (dry mango powder) and salt in slit green chilies. Shallow fry them and then serve.
You can easily store it for a couple of hours at room temperature. If you don’t plan to eat them at all, then store them in an air-tight box (dabba) in the fridge. When serving you can warm them on a tawa or in an oven.
You can warm it on a tawa (griddle) or oven (at 120 degrees celsius in a preheated oven) and have them with bread, pav (dinner rolls) or roti.
Yes. To make a vegan samosa, use a neutral tasting oil instead of ghee (clarified butter) while making the dough crust.
Yes of course you can air-fry samosa. Please do read the air-frying part I have described above.
Yes definitely. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust becomes crisp and golden.
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Samosa is a classic and popular Indian snack stuffed with spiced potato peas filling.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course: Snacks, Starters
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Servings 12 samosa
For cooking potato & peas
Other stuffing ingredients
Whole spices to be ground
Making samosa pastry dough
Take the flour, carom seeds, salt in a bowl. Mix well and add ghee or oil.
With your fingertips rub the ghee or oil in the flour to get a breadcrumb like consistency.
The whole mixture should clamp together when joined.
Add 1 or 2 tbsp water. begin to knead adding water as required.
Knead to a firm dough. Cover the dough with a moistened napkin and keep aside for 30-40 mins.
Making potato stuffing
Steam or boil the potatoes and peas till are cooked completely.
Peel the boiled potatoes and chop them into small cubes
Dry roast all the whole spices mentioned in the above list till fragrant.
Once cooled, grind them in a dry grinder or coffee grinder to a fine powder.
Heat oil in a pan. add the cumin seeds and crackle them.
Add the ginger-green chili paste. saute till the raw aroma of ginger goes away.
Add the peas, red chili powder, the freshly ground spice powder and asafoetida.
Stir and saute on a low flame for 1-2 minutes
Add the potato cubes and saute for 2-3 minutes with frequent stirring.
Keep the filling aside to cool.
Shaping and making samosa
After keeping the dough for 30-40 mins. Knead the dough lightly again.
Divided the dough 6 equal pieces.
Take each piece and roll in your palms first to make a smooth ball.
Then roll it with a rolling pin keeping the thickness neither thin nor thick.
Cut with a knife or a pastry cutter through the center of the samosa pastry.
With a brush or with your finger tips, on the straight edge of the sliced pastry, apply some water.
Join the two ends bringing the watered edge on top of the plain edge.
Press the edges so that they get sealed well.
Stuff the prepared samosa cone with the prepared potato-peas stuffing.
Apply some water with your fingertips or brush on the round samosa cone circumference.
Pinch a part on the edge (check the video & pics). This helps the samosa to stand.
Press both the edges. Be sure there are no cracks.
Prepare all the samosa this way and keep covered with a moist kitchen napkin.
Now heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. Once the oil becomes hot (test by adding a small piece of dough – it should come up quickly once added to the hot oil) gently slide the prepared stuffed samosa & quickly reduce the flame to low.
You can also fry the samosa twice as I have mentioned above in the post.
Turn over in between and fry till golden. Drain the fried samosa on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Fry them in batches. For frying the second batch, again increase the temperature of the oil.
Add the samosa and then lower the flame, thereby decreasing the temperature of oil.
This way fry all the samosa in batches.
Serve them hot or warm with coriander chutney, saunth (tamarind chutney), tamarind-dates chutney or tomato sauce.
They can also be served with a yogurt dip or plain raita. Another way is to serve it with punjabi chole (a spiced chickpea curry).
A chaat can also be made with it. We usually have samosa with masala chai or ginger chai.
Even bread or pav (indian bread rolls) can be served with it.
Whatever you serve samosa with, remember to have hot masala chai along.
- If you do not have dry mango powder, then add 1 teaspoon lemon juie when the stuffing is prepared and mix well.
- Many times samosa is served with fried green chilies. Slit the green chilies keeping it whole. Shallow fry them and later sprinkle some salt and mix. You can also sprinkle some chaat masala or amchur powder.
Samosa Recipe (The BEST!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Vitamin A 84IU2%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 3µg3%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 44µg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This recipe post from the archives (November 2013) has been republished and updated on 13 November 2020.