A very popular food cart and festival food here is “samoosas”. You probably know them as samosas. Because that’s what I know them as. I’m not sure why they’re known as that here- if you know, please enlighten me.
Anywho, a samoosa is usually a ground (referred to more commonly as “minced” here in Cape Town) meat or potato filled, deep fried dough pocket. Can you really go wrong with that? Better yet, the filling gets lots of lovely Indian-inspired spices.
Another great thing about these treats, they’re pretty easy to make and would be a fabulous appetizer or finger food at parties. Avocados are abundant here and I’ve been sneaking them into everything, so I also whipped up a little avocado puree to dip them in.
To start, soften onions, garlic, green bell peppers, and green chiles in a little bit of olive oil until just translucent.
Add ground (minced) lamb, or you can use beef if lamb just isn’t for you. Once browned, add water, turmeric, cinnamon, chili powder, paprika, ground cardamom, cumin, salt, and pepper. Let simmer until the water has evaporated. Do a little taste test and adjust if you need to.
Roll out a package of defrosted puff pastry. You could also use phyllo dough and have some pretty tasty samoosas. Cut into 12 squares.
Put a spoonful of meat onto each square. Wet the edges of the squares to get the dough to stick to itself. Fold over and press edges with a fork.
Heat up a big pot of sunflower or canola oil and fry them in batches so they don’t crowd. Not pictured because I am a spaz and whenever there’s screaming hot oil in the kitchen, all of my focus must be on it. I have scars to prove that I can’t be trusted when deep frying.
To make the avocado puree, just use a stick blender or food process and blend an avocado, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Super easy and always tasty.
These are incredibly addicting. It took every bit of my will power to limit myself to three of these samoosas.
Serve them at a party, or eat them all in one sitting for dinner. Whichever works. I had a good amount of leftover lamb mixture, so I adjusted this recipe for you all to be half a pound of lamb, but I used a full pound. I’ve been eating the leftover lamb in my scrambled eggs and it’s been incredible, so no leftover complaints from me! Use a full pound if you wish.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- ½ green bell pepper, diced
- 1-2 green chiles, diced (use more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ pound ground lamb or beef
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 package puff pastry dough
- 3 cups canola or sunflower oil (for frying)
- 1 avocado, pitted and removed from skin
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, chiles, and garlic. Saute until a little soft and translucent.
- Add the ground lamb or beef and cook until browned.
- Add the water and spices to the beef and let simmer until water has evaporated and the meat is well seasoned. Taste test and adjust spices as necessary. This would be an opportunity to add more chiles if you want more of a kick.
- Roll out the puff pastry dough over a little bit of flour and cut into twelve squares. Fill each square one by one with the lamb or beef. Wet the edges of each square, add a spoonful of meat, then fold over into a triangle. Seal closed by pressing a fork around the edges. Continue until all squares have been used.
- Heat a large pot of canola or sunflower oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees. Work in batches so as to not crowd the pot and remove samoosas to paper towel lined plate when golden brown.
- To make the avocado puree, blend together the avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth. A stick blender or food processor will work well.
- Serve hot with avocado puree on the side.