Indian Samosa A Long Journey

by pateluday

A popular snack in India, samosa is visible on racks of all street food joints and tea shops. The triangle pastry comes in an amazingly diverse taste bouquet and is served hot.

Samosa is one of the most popular tea-time, deep-fried snacks in India, and can be eaten all over the subcontinent. On travel to any corner of the country, you will find the pastry stacked up on the racks partitioned by the glass to ward off the flies. Though more popular in the North, you can order the savory just anywhere without any disappointment. It is making inroads into major fast-food chains and finds a place among the burgers and pizza in India. There is no food like this one to incite and tingle your taste buds and none that could satisfy cravings so quickly.

The triangle-shaped pastry retains the shape and color everywhere but the size changes. It is served piping hot with tea or soft drinks just any time of the day and provides stiff competition to Indian fritters or pakodas.

The big established samosa joints do a million Rupee business every year, and their taste and flavor have become a label. There is at least one shop in major towns which is well established dating back to fifty or hundred years. People flock to such shops in large numbers to snack on the savory that is unique, robust, and almost legendry. The food concept finds a place in many countries, and finding samosas being sold in Europe, the USA and Canada is not a big surprise. Some companies are making custom samosas that are factory processed, labeled, and hygienically packed to be sold locally or shipped elsewhere.

It finds a central place in the ubiquitous Chaat Stalls which are micro street food joints on hand-driven carts in India. Here the samosa is crushed on a plate spiced up with chutney and hot spices garnished with onions and herbs before being served. It costs much less than a burger or pizza but delights equally. And before you start to guess, let me tell you it is not a poor man's snack and is consumed by all strata of the society.

Samosa With Chai

Samosa Snack
Samosa Snack
Waghbakri Tea Company

Origin of Samosa

Tea Time Snack Origin

ChutneyIndia adopts without any hesitancy that which propagates nonviolence and food that fits into its vegan profile. Samosa is one such tea time or any time snack that has become popular all over the country and is considered to be of indigenous origins. This is false, samosa like biryani was introduced from foreign lands and popularized by the Moghul invaders.   

Called Samsa a word that depicts the pyramids. In earlier times dating back to 2500 BC, it was more of a convenient food that could last longer during the travels.  It came to be known as Sambusak or Sambusa

In India, the snack finds mention in the annals of the Delhi Sultanate in the year 1300 AD. The nawabs used it during their travels, conveniently sealed in triangle-shaped pastries - they stayed preserved for long. They could be stored in tiffin or mini jars and consumed at leisure. The usual contents in those days were meat, spices, and dry fruits. Surprisingly no potato!     

In contemporary times, this snack has turned into a fast food with the spiced potato and peas being the most common filling.  You expect potato filling anywhere you go but at few places meat replaces potato. The potato was introduced by the Portuguese whence they colonized parts of India in the 17th Century. Now potato is indispensable not only in samosa and fritters but as vegetable curry for lunch and dinner.      

Tea & Samosa

Indian Snack Photo
Tea Accompaniment
Tea Accompaniment
Waghbakri Tea Company

Samosa in India


snacksIt is here in India that samosa stood the test of time and found firm ground. Deep fry and potato filling are common characteristics besides the triangle shape created by wheat pastry wrap. The thick layers of pastry enclose now a much-varied mix of fillings with potato being the main ingredient.   

Like all food in India, the recipes undergo change with distance and place, and a lot of local ingredients now flavor this food. Fennel, pepper, peas, lentils, onion, garlic, red chilly, cumin, coriander, garam masala, herbs, and even carrom seeds and asafetida finds a place in the filling across the length and breadth of the country. 

The food product has evolved into Punjabi, Gujarati, Banarasi, Bengali, and a few other variants. Mind-boggling flavors are the first thing you notice about this much diversified common snack food as you travel across the country. The diversity of recipes for common food items is the unique aspect of cooking in the country often much influenced by locally available herbs and spices. Not surprisingly the recipes are a bizarre mix that without doubt appeals to the palate and taste buds of the people. And if you like the snack to be spicy and hot just place an order.   

The tea time snack is named according to the prevalent language but it is instantly recalled anywhere if you place an order for samosa. 

Samosas are usually consumed in pair with the addition of tamarind chutney or tomato sauce. Takeaways or home delivery is usually in dozens. It is also served to guests at lunch or dinner and is a key item for parties, events, and picnic baskets.  


Video Samosa Recipe

How to make samosa

Tea Accompaniment

How to consume?

Indian snackIt is usually had with tea in the morning as breakfast or in the evening with high tea. But that does not stop the pastry from being labeled as anytime food. You can place an order as late as during supper time. Late-night snacks enthusiasts keep it on the top of their wish list. 

Like in the case of the low-income chai wallahs, it provides sustenance as a major source of income in the country to thousands. With necessary culinary skills, anyone looking for employment can start his or her own venture selling samosa with tea in the street corners.    

Such snacks are very popular in India and these small-time ventures can turn big if the recipes go viral. Although health enthusiasts decry the product as it is deep-fried, people do not bother since for many it is consumed daily and for some it is an occasional delicacy easily available and cheap. Samosa is a gastronomically delightful snack full of spices and yummy potatoes. Beware! You can be addicted.

How to Samosa Recipe?


Prep time 30 min  -  Total time 45 min
Ingredients for 3 servings
Wheat Dough  • Potato 3  • Cumin  • Fennel  • Asafetida  • Onion  • Garlic  • Salt  • vegetable Oil  • Ghee or Clarified Butter

How To?

Make a wheat dough. For filling add boiled and crush potato along with all the ingredients as per taste. Make a small ball of the filling. Place it on the round dough sheet and then give it a triangular shape. Deep fry till light brown in vegetable oil or ghee. Serve hot with tamarind of green chutney.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (37 Votes)
Updated: 07/23/2021, pateluday
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pateluday on 09/21/2022

There is one outlet in Ahmedabad Gujarat that makes Samosas using lentils or pigeon peas.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/13/2022

The next-to-last paragraph under the subheading Origin of Samosa Tea Time Snack Origin describes spiced peas and potatoes as the commonest fillings today.

There's an article, Eight food items that are native to India, in the Daily Musings June 30, 2016, section of yahoo! life. It lists pigeon peas (scientifically Cajanus cajan), as toor dal in an unspecified Indian language, among the eight native edibles.

Would pigeon peas or some other kind typically fill samosas?

frankbeswick on 09/13/2022

I think that in Britain Sampras are more popular than hot dogs are.

pateluday on 09/12/2022

Samosa is turning into diverse offerings with recipes evolving all over India. It is a hot favorite even among those with Western tastes. The excellent snack is being listed on menus all over the World. It may compete with burgers and hotdogs. Not surprising.

frankbeswick on 09/12/2022

Samosas have become popular in Britain. We British like a wide range of cuisines, and Indian food is much appreciated. After all, our favourite brew came from India, and I have a cup with me at this moment.

WriterArtist on 09/12/2022

Love Samosas especially in winter and from North India. The recipe is special and unique, it varies from one region to another. Masters of kachori and samosas are North Indian chefs. I have also loved street samosa, it is delicious too. During my travel to Delhi, I had a chance of tasting the delicious samosa with potato and peas. I think, there are many variations available now - with paneer etc. For me, the old traditional filling still stands out.

pateluday on 07/08/2022

I have not tried but alternative flours are being used in India, some of which are ragi (amaranth), water chestnut, gram, or chickpea flour always used in pakoras these alternates are less popular. I have yet to come across a samosa made using an alternate flour!

DerdriuMarriner on 07/07/2022

Have you ever tried non-wheat-based samosas, such as chickpea-floured Chana Samosa or finger millet-floured Ragi Samosa? My sister has been intrigued by alternatively floured dosas and samosas.

pateluday on 06/03/2022

This bowl system is incorporated in a thali which is a large steel plate with often walled edges. The bowls contain dal or lentil soup vegetables, sweet such as kheer or rice pudding, a number of vegetable curries, curd, paneer curry and dry vegetables. chutneys, samosa or fritters and salads are usually placed on the floor of the plate or thali. A royal meal would comprise many recipes but simpler meal comprises dal, vegetable curry, chapati or flat bread and rice.

Please visit an Indian Thali restaurant for this meal, and I am sure you will feel happy.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/03/2022

I've been meaning to ask you about the arrangement of bowls for Indian meals. Particularly the image below your subheading Samosa in India is full of so many bowls of what I guess to be dressings, gravies or sauces.

Might there be an established hierarchy or pattern or sequence for how and where they are placed?

My sister Stessily spent quite some time in your country. She would recognize the bowl contents by their scent, sight, taste and texture. But I would not ;-{.

So would there be allowance for someone not knowing and therefore pairing bowls in certain ways with certain edibles?

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