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Curried Paneer Samosas

samosas filled with curried paneer

Curried Paneer Samosas

Madras curry powder packs more heat than other curry blends. If you can’t find it, add cayenne pepper to taste for an added kick. Some stores carry premade samosa wrappers if you choose not to make your own dough; wonton or spring roll wrappers also make a fine substitute.


  • DOUGH:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 teaspoons minced jalapeño pepper
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons madras curry powder
  • 2 cups diced paneer cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from about 1 lemon
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Chutney for serving


  • DOUGH: Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and rub it into flour with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in water until dough can be gathered into a stiff ball.
  • Oil a large bowl and set aside. Knead dough on a clean surface for about 5 minutes, until smooth and supple. Form dough into a ball, transfer to prepared bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  • FILLING: Warm ghee in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add garlic, jalapeño, and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in curry powder and cook, allowing spice to bloom, for another minute.
  • Salt paneer well and add to skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl, then add cilantro and lemon juice. Stir to combine and season to taste.
  • TO ASSEMBLE: Divide dough into 6 equal balls and cover all but one with plastic wrap. Roll out ball on a clean work surface to a 7-inch round. Cut in half and set aside so dough can relax. Meanwhile, roll out a second ball. Returning to first round, wet edges of one half and fold it to form a cone shape (rounded edges should overlap). Press cut edges together to seal. Fill cone with 1½ to 2 tablespoons filling, close, and pinch to seal. Repeat process with remaining dough.
  • Pour about 2 inches of vegetable oil into a large, heavy-bottom pan. Heat oil to 350°F. Working in batches, carefully drop samosas into pan and reduce heat to low. Fry samosas until golden brown on both sides, turning as necessary. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. (Alternately, heat oven to 375°F. Arrange samosas on a rimmed baking sheet, brush lightly with oil, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.) Serve immediately with chutney.

Photography by Nina Gallant, Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Polina Chesnakova

Polina Chesnkova is a Seattle-based food writer, cooking class instructor, and the author of Hot Cheese: Over 50 Gooey, Oozy, Melty Recipes.

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