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Asha's Tandoori Masala Paneer Samosas

Recipe by: Asha Loupy

Makes: 16

Asha's Tandoori Masala Paneer Samosas
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

A popular street snack and tea time favorite, samosas can be filled with a variety of fillings — the two most well-known being aloo (or potato) and kheema (spiced lamb). This playful, vegetarian take stars crumbled paneer, red and green peppers, and onion, all flavored with our house Tandoori Masala. While these bundles of deliciousness are the perfect partner for a piping hot cup of masala chai, we particularly love these at cocktail time with a stiff turmeric gin and tonic!

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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
  • 12 ounces paneer, crumbled
  • 5 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or rapeseed, plus more for frying
  • 2 tablespoons Tandoori Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Surya Salt or 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 anaheim or poblano pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems


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. Place the crumbled paneer in a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil, tandoori masala, and ½ teaspoon Surya Salt or ¾ kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add the red bell pepper, anaheim pepper, onion, and remaining ½ teaspoon Surya Salt or ¾ kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 8 to 11 minutes. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil into the empty space. When hot, add the marinated, crumbled paneer, spreading into an even layer. Cook, undisturbed, until light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat back to medium, stir, combining the cheese with the vegetables, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices lose their raw taste, another 3 to 6 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the cilantro. 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 of your choice (we particularly love cilantro-mint chutney with these) and a cup of hot masala chai or an icy turmeric gin & tonic.

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