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Asha's Kheema Samosas

Recipe by: Asha Loupy

Makes: 16

Asha's Kheema Samosas
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

The spices and flavorings for kheema, or spiced meat, samosas vary from country to country and region to region. We love ours heavy on the aromatics with a generous dose of Pragati Turmeric (we're Diaspora Co., of course!). Rounding out the spices is Jodhana Cumin, Byadgi Chillies —  but, any of our chillies are beautiful here (try Sirārakhong Hāthei for dreamy smokiness) — and a finishing sprinkle of Garam Masala. Plenty of green peas, chopped cilantro, mint, and a squeeze of lemon juice add freshness, counterbalancing the richness of the spiced lamb or beef. Serve with green and tamarind chutneys.

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For the dough
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Wild Ajwain
  • 4 tablespoons ghee, melted
  • ½ cup water
For the filling & assembly
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 2 teaspoons Surya Salt or 3 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 teaspoon Jodhana Cumin seeds
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1 to 2 Indian long or serrano peppers, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Pragati Turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon powdered Byadgi Chillies
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Neutral oil, such as canola or rapeseed, for frying


For the dough
  1. Combine the flour, salt and ajwain in a large bowl and mix to combine with your hands. Add the melted ghee and, using your hands, rub the ghee into the flour (as you would for making a short crust pastry) until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add ½ cup water and gently bring the dough together. If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together.
  2. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead it a few times until it forms a ball, about 30 seconds (This is a pastry, so make sure not to over-knead!). Flatten the dough into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
For the filling
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground lamb in big crumbles, sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons Surya Salt, and let cook until light brown on one side, 3 to 6 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, break up the meat into small crumbles, and continue to cook until mostly cooked (it’s okay if there is still a little pink, you’ll be cooking it more later). Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned meat and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Return the skillet to medium heat. There should be a few tablespoons of rendered fat in the pan, but if your meat was lean, you can supplement with neutral oil or ghee. Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, and remaining ½ teaspoon Surya Salt or ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the onions start to turn light golden around the edges, 8 to 11 minutes.
  3. Add the browned meat back into the pan along with the turmeric and byadgi chillies. Cook, stirring occasionally until the spices are fragrant and lose their rawness, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the frozen peas and ¼ cup water, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the meat is fully cooked through and most of the water has been absorbed. Off the heat, stir in the cilantro, mint, garam masala, and lemon juice. Taste, and adjust salt, if necessary.
To assemble
  1. Unwrap the dough and divide it into three, equal pieces. Loosely rewrap the two pieces you aren't using in the plastic wrap. Take one piece, cut it in half and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball with your hands and then, using a rolling pin, roll it into an oval about 8 inches x 6 inches. Cut the oval in half crosswise, so you are left with two half moons, 4 inches x 6 inches.
  2. Take one half moon and lightly wet the straight edge with water using your fingers. Bring the two straight edges together, slightly overlapping by ¼-inch and pinching together to create a cone. Nestle the cone in your hand with the seam resting on your index finger and the other side draped over your thumb. Spoon a couple tablespoons of filling into the cavity, gently packing it in with the back of the spoon. To close, lightly wet one side of the edge of the cone and then press the two edges together to seal the samosa. Place on a baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
To fry & serve
  1. Heat about 3” canola oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat to 300°F. Fry the samosas in batches. Gently place half of the samosas in oil and fry until the wrappers start to turn very light golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and continue to fry the samosas until they are golden brown, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the fried samosas to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat the frying process with the remaining half.
  2. Serve warm with the chutney(s) of your choice and a cup of hot masala chai or an icy turmeric gin & tonic.

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