Open Access Articles- Top Results for Samosa


Samosas with chutney and green chillies
Alternative names Samsa, somsa, sambosak, sambusa, samoosa, singada, samuza, somasi, somaas
Course Entrée, snack
Region or state South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Horn of Africa, North Africa
Serving temperature Hot with chutney or mint sauce
Main ingredients Maida, potato, peas, onion, spices, green chili, cheese, meat (lamb, beef or chicken)
Variations Chamuça
16x16px Cookbook:Samosa  16x16px Samosa

A samosa /səˈmsə/ or samoosa is a fried or baked pastry with savoury filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils and also with minced meat (lamb, beef or chicken),[1] and sometimes pine nuts. The samosa originated in the Central Asia.[2][3] Its size and consistency may vary, but typically it is distinctly triangular or tetrahedral in shape. Indian samosas are usually vegetarian, and often accompanied by a mint sauce or chutney.[4] Vegetarian samosas originated in Uttar Pradesh.[5] Samosas are a popular entree appetizer or snack in the local cuisines of Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Southwest Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Mediterranean, the Horn of Africa and North Africa. Due to cultural diffusion and emigration from these areas, samosas are today also prepared in other regions.

Name variation

Samosa (/səˈmsə/; Punjabi: ਸਮੋਸਾ, smosa, Sanskrit शृङ्गाटकं Hindi: समोसा, Nepali: समोसा, Urdu: سموسہ‎) is generally used in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asian countries. Other names are used in other areas: (Arabic: سمبوسكsambūsak), Bengali: সিঙাড়া , sing-ra in Assamese, Template:Lang-or, Sinhalese: සමොසා, Hebrew: סמבוסקsambusak, Gujarati: સમોસા samosa, Template:Lang-kn, Malayalam: സമോസ, Marathi: सामोसा, Persian: سمبوسه‎, Tamil: சமோசா, Telugu: సమోసా, Urdu: سموسه‎, sambusak, samsa (pronounced [ˈsamsə]) or somsa in Turkic Central Asia (Kazakh: самса, [sɑmsɑ́], Kyrgyz: самса, [sɑ́msɑ];, Uzbek: somsa, [sɒmsa], Uyghur: سامسا‎, [sɑmsɑ́]), as well as Turkey (Turkish: samsa böreği), sambusa among Arabs, Djiboutians, Eritreans, Ethiopians, Somalis (Somali: sambuusa) and Tajiks (Tajik: самбӯса), sanbusé among Iranians (Persian: سنبوسه‎), samosha, (Burmese: စမူဆာ, IPA: [sʰəmùzà]) among Burmese, sambosa [sam͡bosḁ] among Malagasy or chamuça in the Portuguese-speaking world.


The word "samosa" can be traced to the Persian: سنبوساگsanbosag.[6] The pastry name in other countries also derives from this root, such as the crescent-shaped sanbusak or sanbusaj in Arab countries, sambosa in Afghanistan, samosa in India, samboosa in Tajikistan, samsa by Turkic-speaking nations, sambusa in parts of Iran, and chamuça in Goa, Mozambique and Portugal.[citation needed] While they are currently referred to as sambusak in the Arabic-speaking world, Medieval Arabic recipe books sometimes spell it sambusaj.[7]


File:Sweets 1.jpg
Preparation of wada for the Sultan Ghiyath al-Din, the Sultan of Mandu. Samosas being prepared. Small inscription 'sanbusa', samosa. Ghiyath Shahi seated on a stool in a garden is being offered a dish, possibly of samosas. A cook is frying them over a stove, while another is placing them on a round dish.

The samosa is claimed to have originated in the Middle East (where it is known as sambosa[8]) prior to the 10th century.[9] Abolfazl Beyhaqi (995-1077), an Iranian historian mentioned it in his history, Tarikh-e Beyhaghi.[10] It was introduced to the Indian subcontinent in the 13th or 14th century by traders from the Middle East.[6]

Amir Khusro (1253–1325), a scholar and the royal poet of the Delhi Sultanate, wrote in around 1300 that the princes and nobles enjoyed the "samosa prepared from meat, ghee, onion and so on".[11][12]

Ibn Battuta, the 14th-century traveler and explorer, describes a meal at the court of Muhammad bin Tughluq, where the samushak or sambusak, a small pie stuffed with minced meat, almonds, pistachio, walnuts and spices, was served before the third course, of pulao.[12][13]

The Ain-i-Akbari, a 16th-century Mughal document, mentions the recipe for qutab, which it says, “the people of Hindustan call sanbúsah”.[14]

Regional varieties

Regions where the dish serves as a staple of local cuisine have different ways of preparing it.


Samosas being fried at a road-side vendor in India

The samosa contains a maida flour shell stuffed with some filling, generally a mixture of mashed boiled potato, onion, green peas, spices and green chili.[15] The entire pastry is then deep fried to a golden brown colour, in vegetable oil. It is served hot and is often eaten with fresh Indian chutney, such as mint, coriander or tamarind. It can also be prepared as a sweet form, rather than as a savoury one. Samosas are often served in chaat, along with the traditional accompaniments of yogurt, chutney, chopped onions, coriander, and chaat masala.

In Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and other Northern States of India, a bigger version of the samosa with a spicy filling of masala potatoes, peas, crushed green chilies, and sometimes dry fruits, as well as other variations, is quite popular. The samosa is bigger compared to other Indian and foreign variants.

File:Burmese style samusa.jpg
Burmese-style samusa are flat and triangular, and usually smaller than their Indian counterparts.

In West Bengal, shingaras (Bengali version of samosas) are snacks. They are found almost everywhere. Shingaras are easy to make but the folding is little tricky and many people do not know how to fold or make shingaras. Bengali shingaras are a bit smaller compared to those in other parts of India and the filling is mainly of small pieces of potato and unmashed boiled potato along with other ingredients. They are wrapped in a thin dough and fried. The coating is of white flour, not wheat flour, and it is slightly sweet in taste. What distinguishes good shingaras are flaky textures, almost as if they are made with savoury pie crust.

Usually, shingaras are deep fried to a golden brown colour in vegetable oil. They are served hot and consumed with ketchup or chutney, such as mint, coriander or tamarind. Shingaras are often served in chaat, along with the traditional accompaniments of yogurt, chutney, chopped onions, coriander, and chaat masala. Usually shingaras are eaten during the tea time as tiffin. They can also be prepared as a sweet form, rather than as a savoury one. Bengali shingaras tend to be triangular, filled with potato, peas, onions and diced almonds or other vegetables, and are more heavily fried and crunchier than either shingara or their Indian samosa cousins. Fulkopir shingara (shingara filled with cauliflower mixture) is another very popular variation. In Bengal, there are non-vegetarian varieties of shingara called mangsher shingara (mutton shingara) and macher shingara (fish shingara). There are also sweeter versions like the narkel er shingara (coconut shingara) and others filled with khoya and dipped in sugar syrup.

In Hyderabad, India, a smaller version of the samosa with a thicker pastry crust and mince-meat filling, referred to as lukhmi, is consumed, as is another variation with onion fillings.

In South India, samosas are slightly different, in that they are folded in a different way more like Portuguese chamuças, with a different style pastry. The filling also differs, typically featuring mashed potatoes with spices, fried onions, peas, carrots, cabbage, curry leaves, green chilies, etc. It is mostly eaten without chutney. Samosas in South India come in different sizes, and fillings are greatly influenced by the local food habits. Samosas made with spiced mashed potato mixture are quite popular in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.


Both flat-shaped and full-shaped samosas are popular snacks in Bangladesh. The Bengali version of the full-shaped samosa is called a shingara and is normally much smaller than the standard Indian variety. The shingara is usually filled with pieced potatoes and vegetables, however, shingaras filled with beef liver is very popular in some parts of the country. The flat type samosa is called a somucha and is usually filled with onion and minced meat.


The samosa is also called singada in Nepal. As in India, it is a very popular part of local cuisine. Vendors sell the dish in various markets and restaurants.


They are called samusa in Burmese, and are an extremely popular snack in Burma.

File:Samsa in Karakol.jpg
Filled and cut samosa ready to be baked in Karakol, Kyrgyzstan.


Samosas of various types are available all over Pakistan. In general, most samosa varieties sold in the southern Sindh province and in the eastern Punjab, especially the city of Lahore, are spicier and mostly contain vegetable or potato based fillings. On the other hand, the samosas sold in the west and north of the country mostly contain minced meat based fillings and are comparatively less spicy. The meat samosa contains minced meat (lamb, beef or chicken) and are very popular as snack food in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, samosas of Karachi are famous for their spicy flavour, whereas samosas from Faisalabad are noted for being unusually large. Another distinct variety of samosa available in Karachi is called kaghazi samosa ("paper samosa" in English) due to its thin and crispy covering which resembles a wonton or spring roll wrapper. Another variant, popular in Punjab, consists of samosas with side dishes of mashed, spiced chickpeas, onion and coriander salad, as well as various chutneys to top the samosas. The samosas are a fried or baked pastry with a savoury filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils and minced meat (lamb, beef or chicken).

Central Asia

File:Uyghur samsa.jpg
Uyghur-style samsas (samosas)

In Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang, samosas are almost always baked and never fried. The best traditional samsa is often baked in special clay oven tandoor. The dough can be a simple bread dough, or a layered pastry dough. The most common filling for traditional samosa is minced lamb and onions, but minced beef, chicken, and cheese varieties are also quite common from street vendors. Samosas with other fillings, such as potato or pumpkin (usually only when in season), can also be found.

In Central Asia, samsas (samosas) are often sold on the street as a hot snack. They are sold at kiosks, where only samosas are made, or alternatively, at kiosks where other fast foods (such as hamburgers) are sold. Many grocery stores also buy samosas from suppliers and resell them.


The local equivalent of samosas in Indonesia is known as pastel. It is usually filled with eggs, minced beef or chicken.

Horn of Africa

Somali sambusas being deep fried

Samosas are a staple of local cuisine in the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia), where they are known as sambusa. While they can be eaten any time of the year, they are usually reserved for special occasions, such as Ramadan, Christmas or Meskel.


In Israel, a sambusak is a semicircular pocket of dough filled with mashed chickpeas, fried onions and spices. It is associated with Mizrahi Jewish cuisine. An Israeli sambusak is not as spicy as the Indian version.[16] According to Gil Marks, an Israeli food historian, sambusak has been a traditional part of the Sephardic Sabbath meal since the thirteenth century.[17]


In the Maldives, the type of samosa made in Maldivian cuisine is known as bajiyaa. It is filled with a mixture, which includes mainly onions and Maldive fish.[18]

Portuguese-speaking regions

In Goa (India) and Portugal, samosas are known as chamuças. They are usually filled with chicken, beef, pork, lamb or vegetables, and generally served quite hot. Samosas are an integral part of Goan and Portuguese cuisine, where they are a common snack.

A probably samosa-inspired snack is also very common in Brazil, and relatively common in several former Portuguese colonies in Africa, including Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and Mozambique, where they are more commonly known as pastéis (in Brazil) or empadas (in Portuguese Africa; in Brazilian Portuguese, empada refers to a completely different snack, always baked, small and in the form of an inverse pudding). They are related to the Hispanic empanada and to the Italian calzone.

English-speaking countries

Samosas are popular in Uganda, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, and are also growing in popularity in the United Kingdom, Canada,[19][20] and the United States. They may be called samboosa or sambusac, and in South Africa they are often called samoosa.[21] Frozen samosas are increasingly available in grocery stores in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

While samosas are traditionally fried, many Westerners prefer to bake them, as this is viewed as more convenient and more healthful by some diners. Variations using phyllo,[22] or flour tortillas[23] are sometimes used.

See also


  1. ^ Meat Samosa
  2. ^ "Samosa Connection". Samosa Connection. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Did you know Samosa didn't originate in India?!". IBN Live. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Arnold P. Kaminsky; Roger D. Long (23 September 2011). India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic. ABC-CLIO. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-313-37462-3. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "10 Best Recipes From Uttar Pradesh". NDTV. October 25, 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Lovely triangles "Hindustan Times", 23 August 2008.
  7. ^ Rodinson, Maxime, Arthur Arberry, and Charles Perry. Medieval Arab cookery. Prospect Books (UK), 2001. p. 72.
  8. ^ Uzbek samsa Consulate General of Yemen in New York City. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
  9. ^ Davidson, Alan (1999). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-211579-0. 
  10. ^ Beyhaqi, Abolfazl, Tarikh-e Beyhaghi, p. 132.
  11. ^ Savoury temptations The Tribune, 5 September 2005.
  12. ^ a b "Origin of the Samosa". The Samosa Connection. sambusak: "minced meat cooked with almonds, pistachios, onions and spices placed inside a thin envelope of wheat and deep-fried in ghee". 
  13. ^ Regal Repasts Jiggs Kalra and Dr Pushpesh Pant, India Today Plus, March 1999.
  14. ^ Recipes for Dishes Ain-i-Akbari, by Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. English tr. by Heinrich Blochmann and Colonel Henry Sullivan Jarrett, 1873–1907. Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, Volume I, Chapt, 24, page 59. “10. Quṭáb, which the people of Hindústán call sanbúsah. This is made several ways. 10 s. meat; 4 s. flour; 2 s. g'hí; 1 s. onions; ¼ s. fresh ginger; ½ s. salt; 2 d. pepper and coriander seed; cardamum, cuminseed, cloves, 1 d. of each; ¼ s. of summáq. This can be cooked in twenty different ways, and gives four full dishes.”
  15. ^ Samosa recipeSamosa recipe from Gujarat. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Gems in Israel: Sabich - The Alternate Israeli Fast Food". 
  17. ^ Olive Trees and Honey:A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World Gil Marks
  18. ^ Xavier Romero-Frias, Eating on the Islands, Himal Southasian, Vol. 26 no. 2, pages 69-91 ISSN 10129804
  19. ^ "Lineups threaten to stall Fredericton's hot samosa market". 30 January 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  20. ^ Fox, Chris (29 July 2009). "Patel couldn't give her samosas away". The Daily Gleaner ( p. A1. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  21. ^ South African English is lekker!. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  22. ^ Fennel-Scented Spinach and Potato Samosas. Retrieved 6 February 2008.
  23. ^ Potato Samosas. Retrieved 6 February 2008.

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