The Samosa Story
Samosa is a fried or baked snack that is stuffed with either spiced potatoes, onions, peas, dry fruits or minced meat. The pastry is folded into a triangle with the stuffing and fried until it is golden brown.
The Samosa History
The crispy mouth watering snack which originated in Central Asia, has traveled far and wide. Originally named Samsa, the travellers of old stuffed the snack with minced meat and cooked over camp fire. Samosa is claimed to have originated in the 10th century and was introduced to the Indian sub-continent somewhere around the 13th century by the middle eastern traders. During the Delhi Sultanate the humble snack got a royal touche to become a snack fit for the kings. Even there is mention by scholars that princes and nobles enjoyed the samosa prepared from ghee, meat and onions.
Having traveled across continents, samosa in each region has its own local flavor. In India the masala or stuffing is usually made of spiced potatoes with some peas and onions. The outer pastry is made of maida or refined flour. The pastry can also be spiced up with some carrom seeds. It is stuffed and folded into triangles and deep fried in vegetable oil and served with chutneys made of either mint, chili or tamarind.
There are different versions of samosas based on the stuffing. The stuffing can also be made of dried spices and dry fruits such as almonds and plums. These samosa have lesser moisture and greater shelf life. There is also a sweeter version where the stuffing is either coconut or khoya and the sweet samosas are dipped in sugar syrup. The Hyderabadi Luqmi or Lukhmi has a thicker crust and is only stuffed with minced meat.
Samosas in all their glory are an extremely popular snack served in restaurants, cafeterias, fast food joint and street food outlets. It is also served in chaat as Dahi Samosa, Samosa Chaat etc. Newer variations are such as paneer samosa and chicken samosa are also available. Its advent in the west is also popular where samosas are preferred baked rather than deep fried.