Last week, I made cha gio (Vietnamese fried rice paper rolls), and picked up a package of egg roll wrappers on that same grocery trip as a back-up should the rice paper rolls go wrong. Fortunately, the cha gio turned out flawlessly! And unfortunately, the egg roll wrappers brand that I used (Wing’s) failed miserably. This is not an exaggeration. Upon frying, the wrapper is so thick that it just becomes floury and there’s no way that you can enjoy the filling. Although fresh, they somehow tasted a day old and became comparable to the egg rolls offered at a low tier Chinese fast food chain. The end result was a very thick wrap and are floury at the bite — not at all ideal for egg roll making.
In exploring ways to best enjoy these wrappers, because I’m determined that there must be a better way, I tested a few cooking techniques: Boiling, pan-searing, baking.
After a taste of the baked one (middle picture), the crisp reminded me of a samosa. This was it. I had to make it. This samosa recipe is adapted from Vah Reh Rah, a very impressive chef from India who creates YouTube videos & somehow makes every recipe seem so incredibly simple. I highly recommend trying his recipe if you are able! Someday, I’ll have a try at a homemade samosa wrap to truly pay tribute to this delicious snack, but right now, I’m looking to use up my packet of not-so-great Wing’s wrappers.
- The filling is addictive! And truly customizable. Samosas are typically filled with vegetarian or savoury minced meaty fillings of spiced potato, onions, peas, cheese, beef, chicken or lentils.
- Baked or fried. Go whichever route, and either air-fry or oven-bake until golden. The fillings are already cooked, so there’s no worry about under cooking!
- Use fresh dough using the recipe by Vah Reh Rah (warning that the ingredient list does not include water measurements) or go the simplest route with pre-made wrappers “egg roll” (or puff pastry) if you have some to use.
- This recipe is so easy & simple, the most time-consuming is cooking it in the oven/frying, and the hardest part is not eating all of the filling before it gets into the wrapper. It’s honestly so addictive!
Samosas are either baked or fried, and filled with savoury fillings of spiced potato, onions, peas, cheese, meats or lentils. The shape of the samosas differ according to the region. I’m most familiar with the triangular shape.
Local Toronto food recommendation! My favourite vegetable samosa is from Leela Indian Food Bar in Dundas West. Leela is an excellent restaurant, which I have not found a miss yet – my Instagram post here from our visit. If you’re visiting, you can’t go wrong with any dish, but my top recommendations are: chili garlic naan, lamb biryani, vegetable samosas and butter chicken.
Samosa (with Makeshift Dumpling Wrappers)
Cooking time: 20
Preparation time: 5
½ tbsp Neutral oil
¼ tsp Mustard seeds, yellow
¼ tsp Cumin seeds, whole
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Curry Powder
¼ tsp Salt
½ lime, zested
2 tsp Lemon Juice
½-1 Red Thai Birdseye chili, sliced (optional)
1 tbsp water
5g Coriander leaves, roughly chopped
200g Potato, mashed
- Bring a large pot to boil. Peel potato and cut into quarters. Salt water with 1/2 tsp of salt, and add potato to water. Once fork-tender, drain. Mash potato roughly.
- To a pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add Mustard seeds. As soon as mustard seeds begin to pop, add cumin, curry powder, turmeric powder, lime zest, lemon juice, salt & cilantro. Sauté further for 1 minute. Add water and mix well. Add mashed potato and mix thoroughly. Saute for 5 minutes on medium heat until dry.
- To fold the wrap, start with cutting one square dumpling wrapper in half, to create two rectangles. Fold beginning with a cone shape, and fill with filling, and pinch closed with a dab of water.
- Bake or airfry until just crispy and golden brown. Airfry at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Or bake for 400 at 15 minutes.