Posted by: Jonjon | January 11, 2009

Oven Samosas!

The Idea of a Samosa Dough


I did quite a few variations of the samosa dough to see what works best in the oven. Here is the conclusion


After working with quite a few different type of samosa doughs, I’ve reached a conclusion as to how to work the dough.

The idea of using butter, cutting it course into the flour instead of blending it finely is so that when heat is introduced to the dough the dough will become crusty and crunchy.

Don’t worry about the prescribed water amount, it will always be wrong. Instead, just add enough water until you can roll it into the ball.

When you stretch it out, it usually breaks. Don’t worry, this is okay. Just work the dough a bit more “just in case” , maybe 5 minutes is enough, and when you can get to a point where you can roll the dough out quite thinly then you should be fine.

Two important points.
First, let the dough autolyse itself. I don’t know if I was thinking a bit too much, but when I let the dough autolyse itself after adding the salt and leavener (which I shouldn’t have) , I found that all my doughs were really easy to work with. Autolyse means to add only 90% of the water to the dough, and let it soak it in for 20 minutes and not add salt or leavener during this point . What you will expect when you come back is that the dough has “kneaded” itself and is more pliable than before. Of course, you can knead it more if you need to. I only needed to knead the dough for 3 minutes when I came back. I heard also that if you leave the dough in the fridge to get it cool (with a plastic wrap to prevent the moisture leakage) the dough can be rolled thinner when cold. However, I found not much difference, the room temperature one was easy to roll thinly so..

Second, when you roll, your dough might break. This may not be because the dough is too dry. Rather, it’s because it’s too sticky and it’s sticking to the surface. Powder some flour onto the board, and be expected to see an increase in the dough’s size as you make it flatter because it’s going to eat up all the flour on the surface of the board.

When you roll, roll from the centre so it doesn’t break. What you can do is to thin the edges first by rolling outwards, and from intwards, press either soft or hard, but in back and forth motions to even the thicker middle part out towards the edge and repeat the process. This usually worked with me.

Samosas –Wholemeal Dough 6/10

2 cups wholemeal flour
pinch salt
1/3 shortening (I use butter)
1 cup fresh milk


I don’t like the gritty feeling of wholemeal flour, though I heard it is healthier than all-purpose flour so I guess it is alright. The wholemeal was too thick as a crust, stealing the flavor of the fillings. It’s kinda strange, the prescribed water amount made my dough too wet so I ended up just doing the whole thing spontaneously and it worked out.


Samosas 3 – Plain Flour 7/10, however when used buttermilk instead of water it was 7.5/10


I actually used the recipe from the website for the filling, however adding a little bit more than prescribed of each of the spices as I also added one more half a cup of cauliflowers.

The crust was okay, but it was actually nicer with more salt. A pinch of salt was not enough, so I had to do two pinches to get it right, in addition when buttermilk was added instead of water, it tasted much nicer. Umm, as usual, the prescribed water amount was too much so I just did everything spontaneously.


Samosas 4 Half chapatti and half flour 8/10


Makes: 20-24 Medium Samosas
For the Outer Covering
• Whole Wheat flour – 1 cup (use finely ground chapati flour)
• All purpose flour – 1 cup
• Butter – 1/4 cup
• Salt to taste
• Water to knead
• Extra Flour for dusting

I did the dough, and it was alright to work with. It was actually quite hard at the first attempt but later on my second attempt the next day when I made a new fresh door with not so much water + using the autolyse process it worked out perfect. However, I don’t know….. my stomach felt funny after having the chapatti flour, or maybe I was thinking a bit too much. Anyways, what you end up with is something similar to wholemeal but much finer, and this can be rolled out quite thin. I like this crust better in terms of taste but it doesn’t seem to work well with my system. It has a more complex texture.

Samosas5 Pastry (Cake) Flour 8.3/10

Oven-bake Khol
1. Pastry Flour (Maida): 3 Cups
2. Baking Powder: 3/4 teaspoon
3. Baking Soda: 3/4 teaspoon
4. Salt: 1 teaspoon
5. Ghee or Vegetable shortening: 9 Tablespoons
Please DO NOT use oil
6. Dry Oregano leaves 1/2 teaspoon
7. Dahi (Yogurt or Buttermilk): 3/4 Cup

I liked the addition of buttermilk. Previously I felt quite sick when I just ate the white flour on its own. White flour really needs flavor to make it more palatable like the way cocoa needs. This is a finer flour, and it was so easy to dough. There were less problems with rolling this into a thin dough. What you get is a finer flour taste with buttermilk

1. Pastry Shell Dough Mix items 1 through 4 and sift well.
2. Cut shortening with your fingers forming coarse crumbles.
3. Mix in Oregano leaves. Add Dahi. Knead about 10 minutes.
4. If the dough is too sticky to fingers add some more flour.
5. Gather dough in a ball and wrap it in plastic film.
6. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
7. The Plastic film keeps it from drying.



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