What is a Samosa?

Triangular pastry, Samosa, Pakistani snack

A samosa is a fried or baked pastry with a savory filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils, and meats. They are part of Pakistani and Indian cuisine and are popular in many other South Asian countries. These are often served with chutney or yogurt on the side.

Depending on the locale, it may have a variety of shapes, such as triangular, cone, or half-moon shapes. Chutney is frequently served with samosas, which date back to the mediaeval era or before. In the culinary traditions of South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, East Africa, and its diasporas, they are a common entrée, appetiser, or snack.

In English, Samosa is called “triangular pastry,” owing to its triangular shape. The Middle Persian word sanbosag is where this English term derives from. The Arabic word for these pastries is sambusak, while some mediaeval Arabic cookbooks spell it sambusaj. In South Africa, samoosa is the preferred spelling.

Today, this snack is enjoyed all over the world. It can be found at street vendor carts, in cafes, and even at some high-end restaurants.

History of the SnackHistory of samosa, Pakistani snack, Street food

The samosa originated in Central Asia. Ishaq al-Mawsili, a poet of the Abbasid era, praised the sanbusaj and made the first reference to it in his work. Arab culinary books from the 10th to the 13th centuries contain recipes with the titles sanbusak, sanbusaq, and sanbusaj, all of which are derived from the Persian word sanbosag. The dish was well-liked in Iran up to the 1600s, but by the twentieth century, it was only popular in a few areas (such as the sambusas of Larestan). In his history Tarikh-e Beyhaghi, Iranian historian Abolfazl Beyhaqi (995–1077 CE) made reference to it.

Chefs from the Middle East and Central Asia who worked in the royal kitchens for the sultans of the Delhi Sultanate brought the Central Asian snack to the Indian subcontinent in the 13th or 14th century. Around 1300 CE, the royal poet and scholar Amir Khusro (1253–1325) of the Delhi Sultanate noted that the princes and noblemen favored “samosa cooked from beef, ghee, onion, and so on.”

Ibn Battuta, a traveller and explorer from the 14th century, records a banquet at the court of Muhammad bin Tughluq, when the samushak or sambusak, a little pie filled with ground meat, nuts, and spices, was presented before the pulao for the third course. The method of creating samosa is mentioned in Nimatnama-i-Nasiruddin-Shahi, a medieval Indian cookbook written for Ghiyath Shah, the emperor of the Malwa Sultanate in central India. A 16th-century Mughal text known as the Ain-i-Akbari cites the qottab recipe, which it claims that the inhabitants of Hindustan call sanbúsah.

Modern Variations on a Theme

Samosas Variations, Pakistani snack, Street food

The humble samosa has been given a modern makeover, with creative cooks experimenting with different ingredients and fillings. From sweet to savory, there are now endless possibilities when it comes to this popular snack.

For those looking for a traditional experience, there are still plenty of options available. But for those who want to try something new, there are many modern variations to choose from. Popular fillings include chicken, lamb, paneer, and even chocolate. And for those who want to skip the fried dough entirely, there are now recipes for baked or even raw samosas.

With so many delicious options to choose from, it’s no wonder that the humble snack has become a global favorite.

The Numerous Types

Types of Samosas, Pakistani snack, Street food

When it comes to samosas, there are many different types to choose from. Whether you like them with a potato filling or a meat filling, a spicy one or a sweet one, there is definitely a special type out there just matching your taste. Here are some of the different types of samosas that you may come across:

Keema samosa

A keema samosa is a type of fried pastry, that is popular in many parts of the country. It is made with a filling of spiced minced meat, usually lamb or chicken, and is served with a chutney or dipping sauce.

The dough is usually made with maida flour, which is a type of white wheat flour. The dough is deep-fried in oil until it is golden brown and crispy. The meat filling is cooked with onions, ginger, garlic, and spices such as cumin and garam masala.

Keema samosas are often served as an appetizer or snack, but they can also be part of a main meal. They are usually accompanied by a chutney or dipping sauce, such as mint or tamarind chutney. These are a delicious and easy way to spice up your dinner table. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a flavorful and hearty dish that will please even the pickiest of eaters.

Chicken Samosa

Chicken Samosa is a delicious Pakistani snack that is perfect for any occasion. Just like the previous one, Chicken Samosa is made with a flaky pastry dough and filled with a savory chicken filling. The difference between these two lies in the filling; while the Keema one is made with ground lamb or beef, Chicken Samosa is made with chicken. This dish can be served as an appetizer or main course, and can be enjoyed with a dipping sauce or chutney of your choice.

Aloo Samosa

Aloo Samosa is one of the most popular snacks available in Pakistan. It is a deep-fried pastry filled with spiced potatoes and peas, and is often served with chutney or tamarind sauce. Aloo samosas are generally triangular in shape, but can also be found in rectangular or crescent shapes. They are typically made fresh and served hot, but can also be bought pre-made from many stores.

It is an extremely popular street food and you can find these at any restaurant, or a roadside dhaba. These are usually served as samosa chaat. It is a popular street food dish that consists of broken up pieces of samosa, topped with chickpeas, yogurt, tamarind chutney, and other spices. It is a favorite among both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Chocolate Samosa

A chocolate samosa is a type that is made with a chocolate filling. The pastry is made by folding a dough around a chocolate filling and then frying it. These are usually served with a dipping sauce.

Chocolate samosas are a popular dessert in Pakistan, but not as popular as Keema/chicken or Aloo ones. They are often served at weddings and other special occasions. They can be made with different types of chocolate, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. The fillings can also vary, but they typically include nuts, dried fruit, and spices.

Paneer Samosa

Cottage cheese, Potato, Snacks

A popular snack mostly found in India but also having a lot of Pakistani fans, paneer samosa is a delicious treat. Made with a spiced potato and paneer filling, these crispy fried snacks are perfect for any occasion. Serve them hot with a chutney or sauce of your choice.

Paneer, also known as cottage cheese, is a fresh cheese that is popular in Indian cuisine. It is made by curdling milk with lemon juice or vinegar and then draining off the whey. Paneer has a mild flavor and a firm, crumbly texture. And the union of these two items will definitely leave you asking for more.

Irani Onion Samosa

Onion samosas, often referred to as Irani samosas, are fried pastries that are crisp and filled with a hot onion filling. Typically, potatoes, peas, or even meat are used to make these. Just coarsely diced onions and evenly beaten rice (poha), together with the spice powders, are used in this recipe.

The patty sheets are also homemade and are best made ahead of time. In this recipe, we utilise semi-cooked patty strips that are trimmed to a rectangle form rather than forming the patty layer semi-circle using fresh dough. When the extra-thin patty strip is folded two to three times and then fried in hot oil, it becomes fairly crunchy.

Fish samosa

Some may think that samosas are only meant to be filled with potatoes and spices, but the truth is, you can put almost anything inside of these delicious fried pastries. From sweet to savory and everything in between, there are endless possibilities when it comes to what goes inside a it. One of our favorite fillings? Fish!

That’s right, fish samosas are a thing, and they are absolutely delicious. The combination of flaky fish, aromatic spices, and crispy pastry is simply irresistible. Plus, they are surprisingly easy to make at home. So if you’re looking for something new and exciting to try the next time you make snacks, give this recipe a go. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!

Mushroom Samosa

A Mushroom Samosa is a delicious Pakistani dish that is perfect for any occasion. They are easy to make and can be served as an appetizer or main course. These are made with fresh mushrooms, onions, and spices. The filling is cooked in a special blend of spices. The finished product is then fried until golden brown.

Mushroom Samosas are a healthy alternative to traditional ones. They are low in calories and fat, and are a good source of protein and fiber. These are also vegan and gluten-free.

Sweet Corn Samosa

Sweet Corn Samosas can be enjoyed at any time of the day. These bite-sized snacks are perfect for parties or as a quick snack on the go. Made with a simple dough and filled with sweet corn, these are sure to be a hit with everyone.

For the filling, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. When the onions are golden brown, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add sweet corn and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Fill in the patties with this delicious filling, and deep fry. You can serve them with green chutney or tomato ketchup. 

Cauliflower Samosa

Samosas are typically filled with spiced potatoes and peas, but this cauliflower version is sure to win over even the staunchest carnivore.

Cauliflower makes for a hearty and satisfying filling, especially when spiced with cumin, ginger, and chili pepper. It is also relatively easy to work with as compared to several other types, so even novice cooks can make these tasty treats. Whether you’re serving them up as an appetizer or main course, these cauliflower samosas are sure to be a hit with your guests.

Chowmein Samosa

Chowmein Samosa is a mouth-watering fusion dish that is sure to please any crowd. This dish takes the classic Pakistani snack and stuffs it with chowmein, making for a delicious and unique flavor combination. The best part about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time and simply reheated when you’re ready to serve. Whether you’re hosting a party or just looking for a new and exciting dish to try, it is definitely worth a try!

Dal Samosa

Dal samosas are a delicious and popular Indian-Pakistani snack. They are made with a spiced lentil filling and a crispy fried pastry and are traditionally served with chutney or yogurt on the side. They make a great appetizer or snack, and are also vegan and gluten-free.

If you’re a vegetarian and looking for a tasty and easy to make snack, look no further than dal samosas!

Carrot Samosa

Carrot Samosa are a traditional dish that is made with carrots, potatoes, peas and spices. Some cheese lovers also like to add cheese to these delicacies and yes, it’s worth a try. They are typically served as a side dish or appetizer, but can also be enjoyed as a main course. Carrot samosas are a delicious way to enjoy carrots in a new and exciting way. If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy carrots, then look no further than the carrot samosa.

Tuna Samosa

A tuna samosa is a delicious dish that is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. Although it’s not much popular in Pakistan, but it is highly cherished by other countries. The savory filling of tuna and potatoes is wrapped in a flaky pastry shell, making it a handheld treat that is hard to resist. This recipe is easy to follow and can be made in under an hour, so you can enjoy a tasty samosa any day of the week.

Khoya Samosa

A Khoya Samosa is a traditional dessert that is made with khoya, a type of milk pudding. The pudding is then deep fried and served with a sweet syrup. The dish is often served during festivals and celebrations.

While Khoya Samosas are traditionally made with khoya, some modern recipes call for using ricotta cheese or cottage cheese as a substitute. Regardless of the type of cheese used, the dish is always served with a sweet syrup and is loved by all foodies.

Coconut Samosa

Coconut Samosas have an exterior that is crispy and an interior that is bubbling warm and sweet, similar to McDonald’s apple pie in a traditional shape. Every time you make them, everyone will gobble them up and there will never be any leftovers. You can make them on a nice evening with your loved ones or a party and impress everyone.

Apple Samosa

Apple samosas are the perfect way to use up those extra apples lying around your kitchen. The best part about this recipe is that it only requires a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Plus, the samosas can be baked in just 20 minutes, so they make the perfect last-minute snack or dessert. Serve them warm with a dollop of yogurt or ice cream for an irresistible treat.

To make Apple samosas mix together diced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Add this filling in cones made of phyllo dough, which is brushed with melted butter. Wrap them up and fry or bake in a preheated oven. Voila, you’re all set to enjoy them!

Cream Cheese Samosas

Cream cheese samosas are a delicious and easy to make snack or appetizer. They are made with cream cheese and your favorite filling. You can use a combination of shredded chicken, veggies, and spices. The filling part is up to your liking.

To make the cream cheese samosas, start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Then, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, chicken, veggies, and spices. Fill the sheets of phyllo dough with the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

Baked or Fried?

Pakistani snacks, Baked snacks, Fried snacks

When it comes to samosas, there are two schools of thought: those who prefer them baked, and those who prefer them fried. Which is the better way to enjoy this delicious Pakistani snack?

Baked samosas have a light and flaky crust that pairs perfectly with the spiced potato filling. They can be enjoyed as is, or with a dollop of chutney on top.

Fried samosas have a crispy and golden brown exterior that contrasts well with the soft filling. These are best served hot out of the fryer, and are often considered to be more flavor packed than baked samosas.

The best results can be obtained by frying the samosas, although baking them yields healthier outcomes. Since deep frying adds a lot of oil and fats in the samosas, they are heavy and cannot be eaten more than two or three at a time. They are not much loved by diet conscious individuals, who are more into baking them so as to prepare the snack with as less fats as possible. These are definitely healthier and since they are not having much fats, you can eat five to six samosas at a time. The fried ones are better to help you fill your stomach quickly.

So, which is better? Baked or fried? The answer may depend on personal preferences, but both versions of this popular snack are sure to please.

Why the Dish is so Popular?

Popular snack, Triangular pastry, Samosa

Samosas are a popular food item in many cultures. There are many reasons why samosas are so popular. First, they are relatively easy to make. The dough is simply flour, water and salt, rolled into a thin sheet and cut into triangles. The filling is usually potatoes and peas, but can be anything from ground beef to lamb to cheese, as discussed above. And they’re usually fried, which makes them even more delicious.

But beyond being easy and delicious, samosas are also versatile. They can be served as an appetizer or a main course, for breakfast or lunch or dinner. And because they’re usually small, they’re perfect for on-the-go snacking.

The popularity of samosas can be attributed to their versatility and convenience. They can be made ahead of time and reheated when needed. They can be eaten as a snack or a meal, and can be made ahead of time. Another reason for their popularity is that they are portable, making them ideal for picnics and other outdoor events. This makes them ideal for people who are on the go or don’t have time to sit down for a meal.

Additionally, samosas offer a good balance of flavors and textures. The combination of spices and the crispy pastry is very appealing to many people. They offer a good balance of textures. The fluffy pastry contrasted with the soft filling is enjoyable to eat. They are usually served with chutney or other dipping sauces, which makes them even more delicious. They are also relatively inexpensive to make. This makes them a great option for people on a budget.

Samosa Variations Around the World

Snack variations, Pakistani snacks, Bengali snacks


All around Pakistan, samosas of numerous varieties can be found. Samosas in Punjab and Sindh are highly spiced up. The majority of the contents in samosas served in the west and north of the state are made of minced beef and are less spicy. You can find Kaghazi samosa in Pakistan, which has a very thin and spicy covering.

In Pakistan’s cities, notably Peshawar, sweet samosas are often available for purchase; these samosas are dunked in viscous sugar syrup rather than having a filling within. Samosa chaat is a different popular Punjabi snack meal from Pakistan. This dish consists of a crumbled samosa, yoghurt, chutneys, and spiced chickpeas (channa chaat). The samosa can also be consumed by itself with a dollop of chutney. During the month of Ramadan, samosas are a traditional Iftar dish for many Pakistani families.


In Bangladesh, samosas come in both full and flat shapes (triangular and pyramid). A “shingara” is the Bengali name for the full-shaped samosa, which is often smaller than the common form. Typically, the shingara is filled with chopped vegetables, almonds, potatoes, etc. However, in some regions of the nation, shingaras with beef liver within are particularly well-liked. Somosas or somuchas are flat-shaped samosas that are typically loaded with minced meat and onions.


In Nepal’s eastern region, samosas are known as singadas; elsewhere, they are known simply as samosas. It is a very well-liked snack in Nepalese cuisine, just like in India. The dish is offered by vendors in a variety of markets and eateries.


Bajiyaa refers to the different kinds and varieties of samosas made in Maldivian cuisine. They contain an assortment of ingredients, such as onions and fish or tuna.


The term “sambusa” or “lentil sambusa” refers to a type of samosa produced in Ethiopian cuisine that is filled with lentils. It is frequently consumed during Ethiopian Orthodox fasts since it is vegan.

How to Make a Samosa?

Triangular pastry, Samosa, Pakistani snack

A samosa is a fried or baked pastry with a savory filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils, and ground lamb or chicken. The dough is usually unleavened and may be wrapped in a triangular or cone shape.

Here are instructions on how to make a samosa:

  1. Start by mixing the flour, salt, cumin seeds and oil in a large bowl. Then add enough water to form a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes to make it smooth and pliable.
  2. To make the filling, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes, onions, peas, and spices. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the spices are fragrant. If you are making any other type, go for the relevant ingredients such as meat, lentils, chowmein or anything of your choice.
  3. To assemble the samosas, divide the dough into 12-16 balls. Roll the balls to make them flat circles. Divide it in half and apply water on the sides.
  4. Join the edges to give it the shape of a cone and make sure the sides stick well.
  5. Add the filling into the cones that you have already prepared. Apply water to the bottom side and stick the sides well so the filling gets enclosed in the cone. Repeat the same process for all balls.
  6. Deep fry the samosas in a pan with preheated oil. Fry until golden brown.
  7. Serve the hot samosas with green chutney, yogurt, ketchup or any dipping sauce of your liking.