If you are someone who just can’t get enough of pumpkin flavoured desserts I have just the thing for you today: pumpkin pie samosas. Yes, the American classic meets the Indian classic. A cinnamon and cardamom spiced sweet pumpkin filling in crispy and flaky pastry. The filling is ridiculously easy to prepare and instead of the usual fiddly spring roll pastry, I have a simple homemade pastry that saves time.
For the Bengalis and Indians out there, these samosas tasted very similar to naikoler pob or gujjia (coconut samosas) due to the sweetness and use of spices. For the Americans out there, it’s like a mini deep fried pumpkin pie.
Before coming up with this recipe, I’d never tried pumpkin flavoured desserts before. It seems to be one of those American cultural things that hasn’t quite translated over to the UK, bar the exception of a certain pumpkin spiced beverage. I was a little bit sceptical, I must admit, I’m more used to pumpkin in soups and curries. But I told myself, Abida, you need to be brave and try new things. And really, isn’t that one of the most enjoyable things about food blogging? So I set aside my reservations as an autumn-phobe (too many memories of soggy socks) and gave it a go. And what’d you know, I discovered something pretty fabulous.
You might be wondering about the shape of these samosas, which whilst pyramid like in shape, look a little bit different to the standard spring roll pastry shape. We Bengalis call this variation of samosas shingara, with the pastry made from the standard dough used to make roti/chappatis. These are then deep fried resulting in a slightly thicker and flakier pastry. The other great thing about the Bengali samosa? No fiddly wrapping. Win.
If you loathe the time consuming process of folding samosas, I feel you, buddy. Though as a typical Desi family, we pretty much always have a batch of samosas ready prepared in the freezer, I always slightly dread the whole evenings dedicated to making them. Growing up, as I hit that age of joining the samosa-making-crew I always used to struggle with learning how to wrap the perfect samosa. My samosas would always look a little deformed and end up with holes in the corners (big samosa no-no in case you didn’t know). And I will totally admit that on a few occasions I would deliberately make some ugly samosas so that someone (usually my older sister) would tut in exasperation and tell me to just leave it to the adults. So if I can get away with not wrapping samosas, I will grasp at the opportunity. Every single time.
With this kind of pastry, all you do is roll out the pastry in a circle, cut it into quarters, add the filling and fold the corners together. And don’t worry if you are the type to struggle with rolling perfectly round rotis (you should see mine, they’re often more square…), they only have to be roughly round as you end up cutting it into fourths anyway.
I was super excited to find a tin of pumpkin pie filling in the American section of a larger branch of Tesco. It felt like some exotic overseas find, I kid you not. If however you cannot find a tin in a supermarket near you, then you can purchase it online from Amazon here.
Although I could have cut up and roasted my own pumpkin to create the filling, I didn’t. Because… well, because I’m a really lazy cook to be quite honest (if you hadn’t already figured that out by now), and I will forever take shortcuts wherever I can. As a result though, it does mean that you can prepare the filling in about 10 minutes. Making the pastry also takes about 10 minutes. I promise that it is super easy to do and as you fry the samosa in the end, they are pretty forgiving and end up tasting good even if your dough wasn’t perfect. The trick seems to be though to allow your dough to be on the slightly firmer side.
As you can see, my dough was not rolled out to a perfect circle! After you have cut the dough into quarters, add a spoonful of your filling to the middle.
Grab 2 corners and pinch them together, and then seal the side by pressing them together (no egg wash needed).
Then bring the remaining corner up to the middle, press and seal the side. Make sure it is sealed well otherwise oil will get inside. If you wanna freeze a batch of these, place samosas on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes, then move to a freezer bag and leave in freezer.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 tbs oil
- 1 425 g can of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 green cardamoms
- 1-2 cloves
- 1 tbs butter (optional)
- Place a small pot on the stove and add in the pumpkin puree and spices. Stir and then add in the sugar and milk. Stir every now and then and leave to gently cook on a medium to low heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the spices to come out and the milk to dry up. Stir through butter and allow to cook for a final 2-3 minutes then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a bowl, add flour and oil. Pour in the water from a kettle. Use a spoon to mix together so that the four and water start coming together. Once it is cool enough to handle, knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth. If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour. If it is too dry add a little bit of flour as necessary. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
- Take golf sized balls of dough, and flatten slightly then roll into large circles about 15 cm in diameter on a well floured surface. The dough should be the thickness of roti/tortilla. Cut the circle of dough into 4 equal quarters. Place a tablespoon of the pumpkin filling in the middle of one of the quarters. Take two opposite corners of the dough and pinch them together in the middle, press down the side to seal the dough. Take the remaining corner of the dough and bring it to the middle. Pinch it together and then again use your fingers to crimp the sides and seal the filling inside. The samosa should be a pyramid shape and should stand up on its own. Make sure the sides are crimped together well so that the filling is sealed inside otherwise oil will get inside when frying.
- Once samosas are done, heat up oil in a deep pan to deep fry the samosas. Allow the oil to heat up. You can test the heat of the pan by adding a small piece of dough to the oil. If the dough rises to the surface, then it is ready. Leave the oil on a medium heat, if it left on too high of a heat, the samosas will burn. Fry a few samosas at a time. Let them cook on one side for about 1-2 minutes then turn them over. Once the samosas are a light golden colour, remove using a slotted oil to drain off the oil and then place on a plate lined with either kitchen paper or newspaper to absorb any excess oil.
- Serve immediately whilst samosas are still warm.