I recently had a craving for some good Indian food but I didn’t want anything very spicy or a curry like I’d usually go for. So I was flicking through Rick Stein’s India looking for inspiration and came across his recipe for lamb samosas. Bingo! Samosas are fried or baked pastry parcels with a savoury, lightly spiced filling. I had lamb mince that needed using so I decided to give them a go. Also, they are something else I can make in bulk and freeze, and you know how much I like to stock the freezer. As usual I had an aul google to check out other recipes to see what hints and tips I could use. I found a recipe on the Channel 4 website that included peas and another that was just peas and potato, no meat. So I took a bit from each. I also saw suggestions to bake the samosas rather than deep frying them which I thought would make them slightly healthier. You can of course deep fry yours if you prefer.
The lamb filling can be made in advance as it needs to cool down anyway before you stuff the pastry. I have used mango powder in the recipe, sometimes sold as Amchoor. This is to add sourness to the dish. If you can’t get it you can use the juice of ½ a lime instead. I was never fond of working with filo pastry as it dries out so quickly. But once I actually followed all the advice to cover it with a slightly damp cloth while you work with each piece, it’s not so fiddly. Tips are there for a reason! I have tried to describe below the way to fold the pastry around the filling but watching this video might make a lot more sense.
Adapted from Rick Stein’s India and makes approx. 12 samosas
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 2 medium onions, very finely diced
- 1 medium potato, peeled a chopped into small cubes
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 5 cm fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp kashmiri or red chilli powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1½ tsp mango powder or amchoor, or the juice of ½ a lime
- 2 fresh green chillis, finely chopped
- 500g lean lamb mince
- 1½ tsp garam masala
- 80g frozen peas
- A handful each of fresh coriander and mint leaves
- 1 packet of filo pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry for a few seconds until they start to pop.
- Add the onions and potato and fry for about 10 minutes until the onions soften and the potato begins to cook through.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute.
- Then add the salt, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, mango powder and fresh chillis. If you are using the lime juice do not add it now, put it in at the end with the fresh herbs. Stir the spices through until everything is fully coated and cook for another minute.
- Increase the heat slightly and add the mince and the garam masala.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the lamb has browned and cooked through completely. If it starts to dry and catch on the pan while cooking add a splash of water to loosen it again.
- Add the peas and cook for a few more minutes. Then leave to one side to cool.
- Chop up the herbs and stir them through the cooled lamb along with the lime juice if you are using it. I don’t use a lot of mint as I am not crazy about it, but you can add as much or as little as you want.
- Once the lamb has cooled you can make the parcels. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6.
- Unroll the pastry sheets, there are usually 6 in a pack, and cut them in half or thirds depending on how large you want your samosas to be. I halve them to make 12 parcels. Cover them with cling film and a damp tea towel. I cannot stress how important this is!
- Take out one sheet at a time and place some filling at one end of the strip roughly in a triangular shape and allow a 2cm border around it. Take the empty corner and fold it diagonally over the filling to encase it and form the triangle. Fold it again along the sides of the pastry and keep going until you reach the end of the pastry strip. Brush the parcel with the beaten egg and seal the edges together. Again, if this makes no sense, I refer you to the video above! You will get the hang of the technique quickly.
- Place on to a lined baking sheet and cover while you make the other parcels.
- Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, turning halfway though, until they are golden and crisp.
- If you want to deep fry them, heat your oil to 180c and fry in batches for about 5-7 minutes until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve with chutney and natural yoghurt or raita.