I-Can't-Believe-They're-Not-Deep-Fried Baked Samosas

Before you dismiss this healthier take on the scrumptiousness that is the samosa, please give it a chance. Yes, oftentimes the baked, healthier version of anything doesn't live up to its deep fried counterpart (think oven french fries and potato chips...I've even tried baked doughnuts. They weren't good.) But this is one of those times that I prefer the baked version. This is still crispy with all the flavour of the traditional samosa, but lighter tasting and much flakier.

Enter my favourite substitute for all greasy pastry: phyllo dough! You don't need a lot of butter in between the layers and you still get flaky crispness. There's also no need to deep fry it, and they freeze wonderfully. Make a large batch, stash them in the freezer, and you're always a half hour away from fresh, golden brown and delicious samosas.

I served mine with a yogurt sauce. Just stir together 1/4 cup shredded cucumber, 1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt, and 1 tablespoon chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Some tips for working with phyllo dough:
-Try to thaw frozen phyllo dough in the refrigerator overnight, rather than on a countertop
-Cover the stack of dough with a damp kitchen towel as you work with each individual sheet
-You don't need to brush every layer with melted butter. I often do every other or every three sheets
-Brush the tops of your pastries with melted butter to encourage browning
-For images on how to fold phyllo triangles, see: http://greekfood.about.com/od/makephyllosweetsavory/ig/Folding-Triangles/

Baked Samosas:

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in potatoes and peas. Cook until potatoes are tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash together and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, heat the oil. Brown cumin seeds and bay leaf. Mix in onions and ground beef. Cook until beef is evenly brown and onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic, fresh ginger root. Season with black pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir in the mashed potato mixture. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until cool.
  3. Mix cilantro into the potato and beef mixture. Layer 3 sheets of thawed phyllo dough and cut lengthwise into 3 long strips. Place approximately 2 tablespoons of the mixture onto one end of each phyllo strip. Fold sheets into triangles. Brush tops with melted butter
  4. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden brown (If baking frozen, bake for 30 minutes)
Makes 18

Adapted from Beef Samosas on allrecipes.com

Image property of beets and bites

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