Sweet Potato Samosas

12 . 02 . 12

When the moon is out and fog hugs the city limits, the trails of airplanes — the steam, smoke, whatever it is they leave behind — appears black against the night sky. Have you seen this before? It’s stunning. Haunting.

Driving home from the movies a few nights ago, I motioned to Shaun to pull over and look at the moon in this state, the way the black line lingering up there in the sky divided it in two. We parked the car in front a dark driveway and stared, silently. “Do you think it’s an asteroid headed for Earth?” I asked. Shaun laughed, “I think it’s a plane, and, I think you’re beautiful.”

It is December now, and I am reminded by the twinkling lights on houses that guide my bike rides home at night that life can be messy and confusing and still be knock-your-socks-off-magnificent. My life is so abundant, fuller and richer than any young woman could possibly deserve in a lifetime. Tough days seem selfish, trite, ignorant. I wake some nights gasping for breath, stunned at my blessings and overwhelmed with a sense of duty to repay the world with duplicate affection for all it has given me.

A new friend asked me the other day, “seems like you’e working too hard at this stuff, is it all worth fighting for?” The answer was (and is) YES. Yes and always yes. The good is always worth fighting for. There isn’t much I feel like I know for sure about this world but this, fighting for the good stuff, I can assure. The moments parked in front of dark driveways discussing asteroids and planes and the moon and love and life and death and who we are and why we’re here and how desperately we just want to do it right – these moments will always be worth fighting for.

Sweet Potato Samosas (baked, not fried!) 

Adapted from Saveur

  • Dough:
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 8 tsps water or buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
 
  • Filling:
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 1 (1″) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • juice of 3 fresh lemons
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes cut into ¼” cubes
  • 2-3 cups veggie stock
  • sea salt, to taste
 
  • Chutney:
  • 3½ cups tightly packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup greek yogurt
  • salt to taste

Preheat the oven for 450.’ In a large bowl with measured flour, cut in shavings of butter using a paring knife. Rub together flour and butter until the dough becomes crumbly. Add in water or buttermilk and mix with hands until the dough starts coming together. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until elastic. Cover and set aside.

For the filling: Heat oil in a  skillet over then add onion, and cook until lightly browned. Add sweet potatoes and 1 cup of broth and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, coriander, garam masala, cumin, cayenne, salt and a cup more of broth. Simmer for another 10 minutes until potatoes soften, adding more stock as needed as the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat to cool.

Divide dough into 10 golf-ball sized rounds and cover with a towel. On a lightly floured work surface using a rolling pin, roll 1 dough ball into a 6″ round. Cut in half. Here’s the part I’m going to quote from Saveur, the instructions are just too good: “Gather straight edges of 1 half-round together, overlapping them by ¼” to form a cone; moisten seam with water and press to seal. Spoon 1 heaping tbsp. filling into cone. Moisten inside of top edge of cone with water, press edges together to close top of cone, and pinch along top ¼” of seam to completely seal filling in dough cone. Pleat length of seam by folding over about ¼” of the dough and pinching it together in about ½” increments. Repeat process with remaining dough and filling to make 20 pastries total. Set filled pastries aside.”

Bake Samosas for 15 minutes on one side, turn and bake for another 5. Remove when both sides are lightly browned.

For the chutney: Place cilantro, mint, lemon juice, and yogurt in a blender. Purée until smooth.

  • I love those moments when nature overtakes me like that. It is pretty amazing how nature has the power to overwhelm us with love and thankfulness. Just a few weeks ago, one of my Somali students brought me some delicious samosas that her mom made. She looked so proud when she held them out to me and I was so touched by her thoughtfulness. Thank you for sharing this recipe… I have never tried sweet potatoes in samosas before but I already know they can’t be anything but good!

  • I feel like nature is the one thing that I can get so lost in, whether in a picture or surrounding me. Those moments are the best–keep fighting! ps- Shaun sounds like a keeper!

  • Those moments are so important aren’t they? When everything seems lost and confused and jumbled up, those moments are the only thing that can help to centre me and remind me of how big the world is.

    Lovely recipe, words and pictures, as ever.

  • I’m a fan of looking up… the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, the trees blowing in the wind… it’s all so marvelous.

    I remember my first samosa… many years ago in Oxford England where I spent a summer. I ate a lot of them. I thought, “Hey, they’re vegetarian… they must be healthy.” Nope! Well, yours look a lot healthier than the deep fried ones we ate. Oh well! They were delicious!

  • beautiful. PS the new site design? killer. love it!

  • holy moly that looks decadent! can’t wait to try it out :)

  • I so love samosas and a sweet potato version is so awesome. Beautiful blog and lovely photos. Thank you for sharing.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a samosa, and I am now wondering how that could possibly be!? Your words, the photos, and this recipe. Just beautiful. Thank you!

  • I am really excited to try these. I absolutely love sweet potatoes. And samosas. So what could be better than this? Thank you.

  • Another beautiful story. And equally beautiful recipe! After college, I spent many years letting life pass me by. Wasn’t til my late 20’s that I finally caught back up. I started getting involved. Although many of these activities are time consuming/make life more complicated, I couldn’t image going back to my old ways. Definitely worth fighting for. Life is much more rewarding now.

  • shilpa

    these look amazing! thank you for sharing!

  • I absolutely love samosas and these look amazing! I especially love the cilantro sauce that pairs with traditional ones!

  • These look delicious. There’s certainly a lot less oil than deep frying the lot. Bet they’d be great with a tart chutney. Such lovely photos too!

  • “The good is always worth fighting for.” So, so true.

  • These are so gorgeous!

  • These samosas sound just amazing! I may have to make a double batch and stick some in the freezer for emergency deliciousness. :)

  • Grace

    This reminded me of a quite I think you’d appreciate.

    “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky”

    I can’t wait to try these!

  • Somewhere in Minneapolis, there is a tired Mommy sitting at her computer, with a few tiny tears welling up in her bloodshot eyes. She whispers ‘thank you, friend,’ for these reminders of purpose, and beauty.

  • Well said…..

    and a gorgeous sounding recipe.

  • I love sweet potato samosas! Made these with my dad a couple years back and we added feta to them and dipped them in a coriander chutney. We also made some variations with taro. The possibilities are endless!

  • yes yes yes. the good IS worth fighting for. I needed your words today. I have had a very insecure week and was so grateful to have my other half remind me of so many great things that have happened lately. It is so selfish to get as down as I do about mini things, but somehow they feel like big things. I love how these samosa are a process or an assembly line of filling and tucking edges. That type of cooking is my favorite this time of year – time for chatting and mindless repetition while you are left with plenty of food to share. So good.

  • Beautiful words. Gorgeous post. And some delicious looking samosas. Happy holidays.

  • Yay! Sweet potatoes!

    Interesting a friend would tell you that you’re working TOO hard. Lately I’ve felt like I’m not ever working hard enough for anything, especially what makes me feel passionate.

    I get so excited when you post a new blog. It uplifts me in ways I sometimes can’t explain. I hope someday I get to meet you. (We are only 7ish hours away! I live in Durango, CO.) And I hope you hang onto that boy of yours who tells you you’re beautiful under the moonlight. I’m sure he tells you even when the moon isn’t shining, but regardless you deserve it.

  • “The good is always worth fighting for. ” – YES. Always yes. xo

  • Wow. These are FABULOUS. I love sweet potatoes. Used to hate them, but now I am a fan, so this is great.

  • As always, your words come at the perfect time. The good in life is definitely worth the fight as we can appreciate it all the more. As for these samosas they look amazing and right up my alley. Do you think I could use spelt flour or light spelt flour for the dough?

  • I identify with every word in this post, Kelsey. Beautiful. Love the recipe and photos, too. Wish we didn’t live so far apart.

  • I love those moments. I came home late from work last night, rushing and trying to make every green light to just get home already. When I pulled up to my place, something made me look up. I was surprised by how clear the night sky was and how many stars I could see. So many more than we could see from our old place. Before going inside and finally kicking off my shoes, I took a few minutes to admire the sky. It was worth it.

  • Looking forward to make these – I adore your new layout, by the way!

  • thanks for sharing such a perfect dough recipe and explanation! i fell in love and in a week i already made samosa three times: pumpkin-lemon, potato curry, and homemade ricotta with carrots… next on the line will be spiced apple i reckon :-)
    beutiful work, very inspiring!

  • amazing recipe! we really like your new design. Keep fighting for the good stuff;-)
    mery x-mas
    Luise & David

  • I needed this reminder. The good is always worth fighting for. It’s true, but so easy to forget.

    And, I’ve been on a bit of a sweet potato craze lately. These look completely and totally in line with everything I want/need to eat. Thanks for the recipe. Beautiful and wonderful, as always.

  • Gosh these look delicious. Can’t wait to make them sometime!

  • Just another thanks…but seriously, thanks always, for these words, photos, recipe, and all.

  • I love homemade samosas! Can’t wait to try the sweet potato filling, sounds incredible.

  • Carrie

    I am making these tonight. Beautiful pictures, and I can’t wait to try them. A couple of questions, and excuse me if I need to read again. I just can’t seem to find it. When you are sautéing the onions, it seems like the temp is left out above (easy enough to figure out though.) Also, the cilantro is listed in the filling, but I can’t seem to find it in the recipe. I’m going to add it at the end.

    Thank you!

  • This is a really interesting recipe. Since Ive gotten into my senses, I only known just the one type of samosa, made from potatoes. Samosas being made from Sweet Potato is a completely new discovery. Great job Kelsey. This just gives me inspiration to get into the kitchen right away and start preparing samosas. And since you’re baking them, you should try this new gadget which I acquired recently, the Prestige Air fryer. Ive started preparing all my fried dishes using this and its the best thing to have my kitchen.

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