An unbelievably delicious chicken samosa recipe. The crispy, golden exterior breaks into shards giving way to the tastiest warmly-spiced minced chicken filling.
This epic chicken samosa recipe is now my go-to. The filling is so yummy that I make it just to eat with naan for dinner. I even stuffed it into puff pastry for samosa sausage rolls over the holidays. Super delicious.
This chicken samosa recipe is actually Kankana Saxena’s recipe for Chicken Shingara from her BEAUTIFUL new book, Taste of Eastern India.
Kankana’s Indian-food blog, Playful Cooking, is one I’ve been following for the better part of a decade. Her photos are so pretty that her cookbook serves as a coffee table book in our house. This girl’s got talent in spades.
She explains in her book that shingara is to Kolkata what samosa is to the rest of India. Call it what you want, to me it’s a chicken samosa and a really freakin’ delicious one.
I take some liberty with her recipes to make them more accessible to my pantry. She uses nigella seeds and mustard oil frequently. I’ve been omitting the former and swapping the latter for canola oil and — although in making these swaps I may be ignorant to some whole ‘nother level of deliciousness — her recipes are GOOD.
How to make samosa dough.
The samosa dough is a simple mixture of flour, oil and water, rested and then formed into balls. The balls are flattened then the oblong rounds are sliced down the middle to make half-moons. The half-moon shapes are stuffed and sealed.
I clearly do not have the technique for beautiful samosa shaping but I’m sure it’s something you could find on YouTube if aesthetics are important to you.
(Note: I left nigella seeds out of the dough recipe and swapped the whole wheat flour for white.)
Make the chicken samosa filling.
The filling is a tasty mixture of sautéed onions, ginger, garlic and spices along with minced chicken. You will have to exercise 100% willpower to shovel it into the samosa dough and not directly into your mouth.
Fry the samosas.
WAIT! Don’t run away. Deep frying is not scary. Just use a bigger vessel than you think you need, and ideally use a cooking thermometer. I use my dutch oven and fill the oil to 3″. Don’t over-crowd the hot oil with food as this can make the oil bubble up too hard, and also will reduce its temperature. Instead, work calmly in batches so that the samosas aren’t rubbing elbows, and everything will go swimmingly.
Kankana advises to fry low and slow at 200ºF for 15 minutes, followed by a brief fry over higher heat. That’ll ensure that the pastry crust is crispy all the way through. I personally fried mine at about 350º for a much shorter time (maybe 6 minutes?) and they were super crispy outside, but the dough was softer (but still cooked) inside. It’s your call. Patience is not my strong suit.
If you love samosas as much as I do, make sure you try my Samosa Pie (totally loved by everyone who makes it), Samosa Potatoes (which we eat as a side dish with Tandoori Chicken or on its own as a satisfying vegetarian meal with warm Chapatis, and my Shortcut Flaky Samosas.
For the dough:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp water
For the filling:
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp grated garlic
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 8 oz minced chicken
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 cup frozen green peas
- 2 green chillies chopped (optional)
- To make the dough, combine flour and salt in large mixing bowl, then stir in oil. Add water, little by little, to form a workable dough. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in a damp kitchen towel to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- To make the filling, place a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When oil is hot, add the onion, ginger, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt and stir. Cook for 2 minutes or until onion softens. Add minced chicken, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then sprinkle with garam masala and add frozen peas. Stir and cook 5 more minutes. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Add chopped chillies if using (filling will be mild without).
- To shape the samosas, divide the dough into 6 equal portions, then roll each into a smooth ball on a well-floured surface. Roll each ball into a thin, oblong shape, then use a knife to slice in half lengthwise to make a half-moon. Take one half in your hand, brush some water on the edges, and fold into an open cone shape, pressing edges to seal. Hold the cone and fill with about 2 tbsp chicken filling. Pinch to seal Allow it to sit on a cutting board to form a flat bottom. Finish shaping remaining samosas.
- To fry the samosas, pour the oil into a deep saucepan or dutch oven to a depth of 3" over medium heat. Fry the samosas in batches once the oil reaches about 200ºF. Fry for 15 minutes until golden, then increase heat to high and cook for 5 minutes at a hotter temperature until deep golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.