These are not your typical samosas. First off, some of the so-called samosas are really stuffed mushrooms with a samosa filling. The other ones are baked rather than fried. Nevertheless, don’t let those differences prevent you from trying these spicy, aromatic appetizers. The presentation may be unique, but the spices and flavorings used are as traditional as they come.
Stuffed mushrooms are often a disappointment at parties and potlucks, but that’s because most people don’t know how to get the mushrooms to release excess water and concentrate their flavor. Mushrooms have a protective coating on the top, almost like a cuticle, that prevents dehydration. To get around that, simply score a cross-hatch pattern in the tops of the mushrooms before prebaking them.
The result is a firm, flavorful mushroom that acts as the perfect base for the spicy potato and pea filling. The use of mushrooms keeps them light, yet hearty.
The filling used in both of these recipes combines golden brown onions with garlic, ginger, a potpourri of Indian spices, potatoes, and peas. It will seem like your kitchen has ended up in India for the day.
Now, if you’re looking for a more traditional recipe, try these baked samosas. A simple whole wheat dough is wrapped around the filling and baked until golden brown and crisp. I admit, I was skeptical at first, but I left all my doubts behind on the first bite.
Although they don’t look quite the same as samosas on the menu in Indian restaurants, they are just as enjoyable. When they come out of the oven, steaming, with flaky crusts that yield to hot potatoes, you won’t ever miss the fact that they were not prepared in 3 quarts of boiling oil.
So take your pick! Chewy roasted mushrooms stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas, or a hot baked samosa. The choice is yours. Whichever one you choose, you’re sure to love it.
Samosa Stuffed Mushrooms
12 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, cut into ½ inch chunks
12 small portabella mushrooms (labeled as “stuffing mushrooms”)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, diced finely
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon curry powder
¾ cup green peas, frozen or fresh
1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400F and set a baking sheet on the middle rack. Using a sharp knife, carefully score a crosshatch pattern on the back of every mushroom, placing the cuts about ¼ -1/2 inch apart. Brush the mushrooms with ½ tablespoon canola oil and sprinkle with sea salt. When the oven has preheated, take the hot baking sheet out of the oven and place the mushrooms, gill side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the juices have begun to release themselves. Remove the mushrooms from the oven, flip to gill side up and bake for 8-13 more minutes until all the juices have evaporated.
- Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a saucepan with water, enough to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain and mash with a fork until smooth.
- Rinse out the saucepan and add the remaining ½ tablespoon canola oil. Heat over medium heat, then add the onion and the table salt. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until beginning to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds. Then add the red pepper flakes, mustard and coriander seeds, cumin, garam masala, and curry powder. Stir, letting them toast until fragrant. Add the peas and cook, stirring until heated through.
- Add the potatoes and lemon juice to the saucepan and stir until everything is fully combined, adjust with salt to taste.
- Stuff the mushrooms with the potato filling, about 3 heaping tablespoons per mushroom. Return the mushrooms to the oven and broil until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.
Makes 13 samosas
1 recipe prepared filling (See above, following the recipe from steps 2-4—do not use mushrooms)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canola oil
6 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon table salt
- Preheat the oven to 425F and brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon canola oil.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the two flours and the salt. Pour in 2 teaspoons canola oil and the water, and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces n (the 13th samosa comes from the dough scraps of all the other pieces.)
- To fill and shape the samosas, roll 1 piece of dough out into a 5 inch square. Trim the edges as necessary to have neat corners. Place 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of the dough square in a mound. Take two adjacent corners of the dough and bring them together in the center of the samosa. Pinch them to close and seal the seam that runs along the side between them. Repeat this process until the samosa is filled—you can make either 3 or 4 pointed samosas, depending on which is easier for you to shape.
- Place the samosas on the prepared baking sheet and brush with the remaining tablespoon of canola oil. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, flip (onto some flat side, it won’t balance completely on the edged side), and reduce oven temperature to 375F. Bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown, then serve.