These authentic Indian keema samosas taste like a dream and are the perfect spicy snack. Ideal as a show-stopping starter before a big hearty curry or as the star finger food at a party, keema samosas never fail to raise a smile. They are just so good!
They can be pretty tricky to make at first, but follow this keema samosa recipe, and you'll soon get the hang of it. Then you'll want to make them again and again!
Why you'll love this keema samosa recipe
- The combination of the spicy rich filling and the crispy outside is irresistible
- Homemade samosas are just so rewarding!
- Once you've got the knack of folding samosas, you can experiment and use all kinds of different fillings
- Make these for friends and family, and they'll be seriously impressed!
Equipment you'll need for this recipe
There are a few things you'll need to make these keema samosas:
- Frying pan – get yourself a cast iron skillet or frying pan to make these keema samosas
- Thermometer – a deep fry oil thermometer is the best way to make sure your samosas are cooked to perfection
- Strainer spoon – these skimmer, spider, strainer spoons are great for removing food when deep frying
- Masala dabba – a masala dabba is a spice box that contains essential spices. No Indian household is without one!
How to make keema samosas
Place the flour and water in a small bowl.
Stir until a paste/glue forms.
Get your pastry sheets and cooled filling ready.
Take 2 spring roll pastry sheets and fold them diagonally to form a triangle.
Take one corner of the triangle and fold it towards the center, creating a cone shape.
Now fill the samosa.
Use a spoonful of filling at a time.
Press the edges firmly to ensure a secure seal, using a slather of the samosa paste.
Repeat the process until the filling is used up.
Deep fry them until crispy and golden.
Use TWO layers of spring roll pastry when folding the samosas. This prevents the skins from bursting.
What to serve with keema samosas
They are best enjoyed with chutneys, sauces, or yogurt-based dips.
Variations to this recipe
- You can go for a beef samosa instead of a lamb keema samosa.
- Add a teaspoon or two of garam masala to the keema mix for a more earthy, spicier flavor.
- If you prefer a healthier samosa, you can cook them in the oven or an air fryer instead of deep frying them. See below for instructions on how to bake or air fry samosas.
- Swap lamb mince for beef mince in the lamb keema recipe below if you prefer beef keema samosas.
- The secret is to use TWO layers of spring roll pastry when folding the samosas. If you don't, you might split the pastry sheets, with all the filling spilling into the oil. This happened to me the first time!
- Ensure that the keema filling is on the dry side. If it's too wet, the pastry will become soggy and burst open during the frying process. Also, make sure it's completely cool before you start filling the samosa patti.
- Choose the right oil: Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola. Avoid oils with intense flavors, as they may overpower the taste of the samosas.
- Fry in small batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lower the oil temperature and result in soggy samosas. Fry the samosas in small batches, typically 3-4 at a time, depending on the size of your pan.
- Gently lower the samosas into the oil: Carefully place the samosas into the hot oil using a strainer spoon, slotted spoon, or tongs. Please be careful to avoid any hot oil splatters.
What is keema?
Keema is a minced meat curry dish cooked in one pan, first at high/medium heat on the hob, then low and slow in the oven. It contains many spices, including cumin, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, chilies, fresh ginger, onions, and garlic.
Chopped or fresh tomatoes are also included to form a rich tomato sauce that complements the meat and spices.
Keema is often used to fill samosas. Typical keema samosas include keema lamb samosa and beef keema samosa.
What is a samosa?
It's a very popular triangular-shaped pastry typical in South Asian cuisine. The samosa is made by folding the samosa patti into a cone shape, filling it with a special filling, sealing it, and then deep frying. The thin, crispy crust and the delicious spicy filling are a match made in heaven!
There are lots of different types of samosas. Popular types include keema samosa (lamb, beef, or vegetable keema), aloo samosa (spiced potatoes and peas), chana daal samosa (chickpeas, onions, garlic and spices), and matar samosa (spicy peas).
The fillings and samosa pastry vary from region to region. Some fillings are more fiery, while the pastry can be fairly thick or paper thin.
While today, the humble samosa is a gastronomic symbol of South Asia, its origins are from central Asia. Accounts of people making samosas go back well over 1,000 years to Middle Eastern cuisines around Iran or Persia as it was known.
Tiny baked minced-filled snacks known as "sanbusak" were eaten around campfires by traveling merchants from the region, who would pack them for the long journey across the continent. It's said that samosas eventually became popular in India in the 14th century.
What's in these lamb keema samosas?
The filling for these samosas is from my classic lamb keema recipe. There's a whole host of flavors going on, from ingredients including the following:
Fresh ginger and garlic, crushed to make a ginger garlic paste
Spices such as cardamom, fenugreek, green chili, garam masala
Vegetables like chopped onions and peas
The ingredients for a lamb keema are cooked on high heat before everything is cooked low and slow in the oven to develop sensational flavors.
What oil should I use to fry samosas?
Choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola. Avoid oils with solid flavors – such as olive, peanut, or groundnut – as they may overpower the samosa taste.
Can you bake samosa?
Yes, you can bake samosas. However, they are not as delicious as fried samosas. Baking is healthier than deep frying, and it will only matter a little if the samosa pastry splits.
To bake samosas, preheat your oven to 390°F (200°C). Lay your samosas flat on a baking tray (don't crowd them; give them enough space). Brush gently with oil or ghee, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn them over, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Can you cook samosas in an air fryer?
Yes. As with baking them, you'll need to brush each samosa gently with oil or ghee and air fry them for around 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
How do you store leftover samosas?
The best way to store samosas is in an airtight container in the fridge. Storing samosas in the fridge will keep them fresh for 3-5 days. However, the sooner you eat them, the better.
Can you freeze samosas?
Yes, you can freeze samosas. I recommend flash-freezing them before freezing them properly to prevent them from sticking together.
First, allow the samosas to cool to room temperature. Then, place the samosas on a baking tray and place the tray in the freezer for an hour or so. The samosas will be partly frozen and can be placed in an airtight container without sticking together once fully frozen.
Samosas can be frozen for up to six months. After this time, the taste and texture will be affected too much.
More wonderful South Asian starters and snacks
Indian cuisine is full of amazing finger food and snack recipes. Here are just a few of my personal favorites:
- Vegetable samosa – my simple vegetable samosa recipe is an ideal alternative to this lamb mince keema samosa recipe
- Potato bhaji – one of the best loved Indian snacks, potato bhaji is a deep fried delight. Serve with a cucumber raita or a traditional pakora sauce
- Mushroom bhaji – a crispy, crunchy snack, mushroom bhaji is one of the best alternatives to the famous onion bhaji. Lightly spiced and full of rich flavor, it's the perfect starter or side for an Indian-inspired feast.
- Gluten-free puri – a wonderfully delicious Indian starter, gluten-free puri is light, healthy, and tasty. It's the perfect pairing with a flavorful curry, as it mops up the juices.
- Veggie puffs – these crispy spicy snacks contain a beautifully spiced filling with tons of Indian spices such as garam masala and turmeric powder. Similar to a typical Indian samosa
- Aloo ki kachori – a filled fried potato flatbread with spicy masala, this is Indian finger food at its finest