Vegan Pumpkin Samosas are just what we need at this time of the year with beautiful pumpkins waiting to be savoured in various Autumn dishes.
Samosas are one of the most delicious snacks that is loved by almost everyone I know. I grew up eating many kinds of samosas with different types of wrapping — the thin and crispy kind to bulkier and flaky, more pastry-like ones — and various fillings, spiced potatoes being the most popular.
Adding pumpkin to the common potato samosa filling makes these vegan samosas exceptionally delicious. When pumpkin isn’t in season, it can easily be replaced with butternut squash or just use potatoes.
The recipe makes 36 samosas which is quite a lot. But I find it convenient to make a bigger batch then freeze the rest for later use. Samosas make wonderful snacks or finger foods be it for yourself or when you have unexpected guests.
It does take a bit of time to make a bigger batch, so if you’d prefer you might want to half the recipe. The dough also keeps in the fridge for 1-2 days. So, you can make the dough in advance too if that saves you some time.
Making samosas is actually not that difficult at all, even the folding is relatively easy. Rolling out the dough, filling and shaping the samosas is what takes the most amount of time. But after making a few, you get the hang of it and it goes faster. And the result is very rewarding as you’ll enjoy eating these delicious crispy stuffed pastry pockets that’ll make you come back for more.
The Samosa Wrapper
There are two schools of thought with samosa wrapper dough— whether to add fat or not in the dough.
I’ve found that if you’re going to fry the samosas, which is tastier and yields a nicer texture, you don’t need any fat in the dough. In fact, it’s best not to add it as this tends to cause blisters on the skin when the samosas are fried.
If you’d prefer to bake them however, they’d still be delicious but not as golden and flaky, then it’s better to add a bit of fat in the dough, pretty similar to pastry dough.
Having said that, I’ve used canned coconut in the dough, which in itself contains a high amount of fat but in a different composition to pure fat. And the dough is quite amazing indeed, tasty, crispy, flaky and doesn’t cause any blisters. Still, frying will yield better texture and taste.
To Make the Vegan Pumpkin Samosas
The dough is no more difficult to make than pastry dough. It is slightly firmer than pastry dough however. Once all the dough ingredients are mixed to form a ball, the dough is left aside to rest while you prepare the filling.
The diced potatoes and minced ginger are stir fried until potatoes are almost done.
Next the pumpkin or butternut squash is added, followed by the spices and seasonings. These are cooked, partially covered, until butternut squash are soft and mushy.
Then, the tomatoes and herbs are added and the liquid is reduced to avoid the samosas from becoming soggy.
While the filling is allowed to cool, you can make the wrapper. Each ball of dough is divided into 6 equal triangles. Then, each triangle is rolled again into a small ball.
The small ball is placed on a floured work surface, flattened a little, then rolled out to 2-3 mm thick. The disc is cut in half along the middle. A small amount of filling is placed in the middle of each half.
To close and form the samosa, one end is folded across so that the straight edge forms an angle and the circular sides are on top of each other (as pictured below), enclosing the filling. Then the other end is folded on top similarly to form the triangle.
The circular edges are sealed making sure all fillings are well enclosed. Optionally, you may pinch and twist the sealed edge but that is purely for decoration.
To serve Samosas
Samosas are best served warm with a selection of chutneys and dips like this Apple Carrot Chutney, Coriander (cilantro) Chutney or Cucumber Mint Raita.
Restaurants also tend to serve samosas with Tamarind Chutney, which is one of my favourite chutneys.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Water, if required
- 4 cups diced butternut squash or pumpkin
- 2 cups diced potatoes (2 medium)
- 1 thumb size ginger root, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Few sprigs of fresh herbs like dill or coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- Salt to taste
Make the dough
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dough ingredients together to form a somewhat medium soft dough. You may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of water to bring the dough together but don’t make it too soft otherwise the samosa will not hold its shape very well.
- Place the dough in the bowl, cover and let it rest while you prepare the filling.
Make the filling
- Place 2-3 tablespoons of cooking in a large skillet on medium heat.
- Add in the diced potatoes and a little salt. Stir to coat in the oil. Then, stir occasionally and cook partially covered from time to time. Let potatoes cook until they are more than halfway done, about 12 - 15 minutes.
- Next, add in the minced ginger and let it sizzle for a minute.
- Then add the diced butternut squash followed by the spices — curry powder, ground cumin, turmeric powder — and dried thyme. Season to taste.
- Cover and let cook until the butternut squash and potatoes are fully cooked and start to become mushy, about 10 - 12 minutes.
- Add the tomato and lightly mash the mixture. Cook for a few more minutes, then add the fresh herbs.
- Adjust seasonings and turn off the heat. Let the mixture cool before filling the samosas.
To make samosas
- Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Take one portion of dough and knead a few times, then shape into a ball. Place the ball on the work surface and flatten it a little. Cut into 6 equal triangle portions. Take one portion and roll into a ball again. Repeat for the rest.
- Flour the work surface, and place the small ball of dough and flatten it a little; flour the dough lightly.
- Begin to roll out the dough into a disc of about 2-3 mm thick. Then cut the disc in half across the middle.
- Wet the edges of each half of the rolled dough.
- Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each half.
- To fold the samosa, take one end and fold across so that the straight edge forms an angle and the circular sides are on top of each other, enclosing the filling. Bring the other end towards the centre in the same way to form the triangle. Press the circular side to seal the samosa. Make sure it is properly sealed and all fillings are well enclosed. You may optionally pinch and twist the sealed edge.
- Repeat for the rest of the samosas.
- Once all samosas are made, you may fry or bake them
To freeze samosas
- Freeze the samosas uncooked. Place them in ziploc bags, make sure they are not touching one another, then freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to use, just fry or bake from frozen, no need to defrost.
- You may also freeze samosas cooked for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven or toaster oven for about 10 minutes.
To fry samosas
- Place enough cooking oil in a saucepan to cover the samosas completely.
- Heat oil until it’s hot. Test by inserting the handle of a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil. If bubbles form, the oil is hot enough.
- Gently lower one samosa at a time into the oil, using a slotted spoon. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Fry for about 10 minutes, flipping the samosas occasionally for even frying.
- Once golden and crispy, remove the samosas from the oil and drain on absorbent paper.
To bake samosas
- Preheat the oven at 180C/350F.
- Brush samosas with a little oil and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until samosas are golden and crispy.
Restaurants also tend to serve samosas with Tamarind Chutney.
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