In Uganda, samosas are a popular and very common snack food. They are an African “fast food” that you can buy at kiosks on the side of almost any road. They are delicious, and quite inexpensive to make.
Samosas can be made with or without meat. The most common meat used is beef. Vegetarian or not, they are always delightfully spiced and seasoned mixture of veggies, wrapped in a thin sheet of pastry, and then baked until golden brown and crispy.
Ugandan Samosas Recipe-
- 12 oz. lean ground beef
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
- tbsp. freshly grated ginger root
- 2-1/2 oz. green peas
- 1 tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. red chile powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground course sea salt (or to taste)
- 1-1/4 lb. potatoes, peeled, boiled until soft, and then mashed
- 4 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped fine
- 1 package frozen phyllo pastry dough, thawed
- 5 tbsp. melted butter
- fresh water
- green (coriandor or green tomato) chutney, for condiment
- Preheat your oven to 425° Fahrenheit.
- Heat the oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium-high flame. Add in the mustard seeds and fry until they begin to splutter – 10 or 12 seconds should do it.
- Raise the heat to high, then add and stir in the ginger and onion – fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Adjust the heat back down to medium-high, and put the ground beef in the skillet, breaking it apart into small bits. Fry, stirring, until nicely browned, but not yet cooked all the way through.
- Add and stir in the peas, followed by the chile powder, garam masala, coriander, cumin, and salt, to taste. Also add in a dash of water. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, and then add the potatoes and cilantro, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Do a taste test; adjust the seasonings if necessary. Reduce the heat to lowest possible, just to keep the filling mixture warm.
- Unroll the phyllo pastry dough on a clean, flat working space. Cover it with plastic wrap and a moist kitchen towel. Peel off one sheet; keep the rest covered so that they don’t dry out. Lay the pastry sheet out flat, and brush it with melted butter. Fold in one third of the pastry lengthwise and inward, toward the middle. Brush again with the melted butter, and then fold in the other side – making a long triple-layered strip.
- Place one full tablespoon of the filling mixture at one end of the strip, leaving a 1″ border. Take ahold of the right corner and fold it to the left, diagonally, encasing the filling and forming a triangle. Fold again along the upper crease of the triangle. Keep folding in manner until you have reached the end of the pastry strip. Brush the outside surfaces with more melted butter. Position the triangle onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover it with a moist kitchen towel. Repeat this process until you have used up all of your filling mixture.
- Put the full tray in the center of your oven, and bake until they are a rich, golden brown and crispy. half an hour to 35 minutes should do it, and turn the samosas over halfway through the baking time.
- Serve your Ugandan Samosas either hot or at room temperature, with a dipping condiment of green chutney.
Note: For more delicious, traditional and authentic dishes from Uganda, click here.
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