These samoosas are a childhood favorite of mine, and many people around the world. Samosas are some of the most popular snacks all around the world. You can find them in India, in Central, Southwest and Southeast Asia, in the Arabian countries, the Mediterranean, North Africa, and of course South Africa. Because of its popularity, the way it’s prepared varies among the countries. However, they are all usually triangular in shape and have a variety of different aromatic fillings – whether chicken or beef mince, vegetables, or cheese – and they are all delicious.
This version of samosa is of the Cape Malay variety and can be found in many Cape Town homes, especially durning Ramadan (the month when Muslims are fasting) and on Eid al-Fitr (the day we celebrate the end of the month of fasting). The folding or shaping of the samosas require some effort and most tend to give up before they have even started. I’ll be frank, samosa shaping is not something I would willing choose as a past time. I only ‘mastered’ this skill when I moved to Croatia and desperately trying to ensure that we had all of our Cape Town Ramadan treats for iftar after a long day of fasting. On the day I choose to prepare these samosas, I set up a little assembly station in the comfort of my lounge, turn on Netflix or a few reruns of Friends and get folding.
The filling I used is chicken mince since it’s light and my kids prefer it over the others. I should mention, I do not fry the onions as this keeps the filling dry. The pastry, which I consider to be the most important part of the samosa, can be homemade (although is not simple and straightforward) or store-bought. I either use samosa pastry (called purr) or if you cannot find that you could substitute it with spring roll pastry or even strudel pastry. When frying the samosas it is important to ensure the oil does not get too hot, you need to keep the heat medium-low heat otherwise the pastry shell won’t cook through before the outside burns.
chicken mince samosas
- five hundred grams of chicken mince
- half a cup of spring onions, chopped
- one onion, chopped finely
- half a cup of fresh coriander, chopped finely
- half a treaspoon of turmeric
- one teaspoon of ground coriander
- half a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
- half a teaspoon of dried chili flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- two cups of vegetable oil
- three tablespoons of flour
- water, as needed
In a pan on high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and begin to brown the chicken mince. Stir continuously and cook until all the moisture and liquid has evaporated.
Once the chicken mince ais cooked and slighly browned, trasnfer the mince to a bowl and leave to cool for fifteen minutes. Once cool, break up any large pieces of mince into finer bits using your hands.
Add to the chicken mince the chopped spring onion, onion, fresh coriander and all the spices. The filling is now ready to be used.
To prepare your pastry, take a damp tea towel and place the strips of samosa pastry in the middle, folding the towel over it. This keeps the pastry moist and pliable for folding. If you are using spring roll pastry cut it into equal strips, roughly ten centimeters wide.
In a small bowl, combine the flour and water to create a paste-like "glue" to hold your samosa together.
Take a strip of the pastry and fold over one edge to form a triangle. Fold your triangle flap up towards the center to make a cone shaped pocket. Pull open the pocket you just made, holding the top tip of the fold, to keep its cone shape and fill the pocket with two teaspoons of your filling. Fold your triangle filled samosa over tightly secure it with the flour and water "glue" to get your perfect triangle shaped samosa.
Heat a pot with vegetable oil fifteen minutes prior to frying. When frying the samosas it is important to ensure the oil does not get too hot, you need to keep the heat medium-low heat otherwise the pastry shell won’t cook through before the outside burns.
Flip the samosas every thirty seconds to ensure your samosas have a gorgeous golden colour on both sides. After two minutes of frying take out of the oil and place on a baking sheet with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
Serve warm with a sweet and chilli sauce or a delicious coriander mint chutney.