Crispy Baked Samosas

Turn a freezer staple into an Indian delicacy.

Online Jewish Week Columnist
Photo Galleria: 

For the past few months, there's been a package of phyllo pastry in my freezer. I don't really remember what I bought it for, obviously some grand recipe idea I never got around to. But every time I open the freezer to find something, there it is, staring me in the face. So I got to brainstorming what I could use it for, and came up with a grand plan: Samosas! Samosas are an Indian pastry, often made with potatoes, peas and onions. (Some places also make a meat version). You can make the filling a day in advance and only assemble and bake the day you want to eat. They can be baked or fried, but I went the slightly healthier route and used my oven. Or, you can also use this recipe and then fry for the last step instead of baking for an extra crispy version. I got about 24 from one package of dough, but you can make them larger or smaller.

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

1 package phyllo pastry, defrosted
2 medium potatoes
2-3 tablespoons oil
1 large or 2 small onions
3/4 cup peas (can use frozen, just defrost)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
extra oil or melted butter for brushing
Recipe Steps: 
Peel and dice the potatoes. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly, then mash until smooth with some chunks.
Heat the oil in a large pot. Peel and dice the onions and add the pot, stirring, cooking for about 5 minutes until just translucent. Add the spice and stir to coat the onions. Cook about another 10 minutes, then add the peas to the pot, and cook for five minutes. Add in the mashed potatoes and stir until everything is evenly combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper and more seasonings to your preference.
Unroll the phyllo pastry. Place one sheet on a flat surface, brush with oil or melted butter and top with another sheet, and brush that one as well. Slice the sheet lengthwise into strips about 1.5" wide and the length of the sheet. Place about a tablespoonful of filling at the end, and fold up to form a triangle. Then continue to fold up the length of the strip, keeping the triangle shape (see gallery photos). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and brush the whole thing again with oil or melted butter.
Bake on 450 F for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Serve hot.

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