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All of the flavor. None of the deep-frying.

Samosa quesadillas on a white plate with a small bowl of coriander chutney.

If you love samosas but are terrified of the deep-fryer, it’s your lucky day. Spiced potatoes and peas are stuffed inside tortillas and pan-fried for a “quesadilla-fied” version of the classic samosa that’s simple enough to make for dinner any night of the week. It is a typical samosa? Absolutely not. Is it incredibly delicious and satisfying? Completely.

8-inch soft white flour tortillas are best for these samosadillas. Any smaller and the filling might spill out. Any larger and the samosadillas will be difficult to flip in the pan, leading to—you guessed it!—filling spillage. Also, while I love the sweetness of a corn tortilla in a taco or enchilada, in this case there’s just something special about the flavor and distinctly chewy texture of a toasted white flour tortilla that works particularly well with the spiced potatoes and peas.

Samosa filling with potatoes, peas, and chopped cilantro in a metal pan on the stove.

The filling for these samosadillas is inspired by the classic samosa filling: spiced mashed potatoes and peas. A trip down the research rabbit hole revealed that, while established recipe sources agree on certain (cumin seeds, serrano chili, fresh ginger, garam masala, and turmeric), they widely differ on the inclusion of others. With that in mind, I streamlined my ingredient list, simplifying as much as possible without sacrificing the essence of the flavor. I also decided to leave out two very common but very niche ingredients: amchur and asofatida. Amchur (dried mango powder) will add an acidic zing to the filling: if you happen to have it, you can add ½ a teaspoon in exchange for the lemon juice that I’ve included. You can also add ¼ teaspoon asofatida if you have it: it will add some extra umami and a slightly funky flavor. If you don’t have it, though, don’t worry. The filling will be just as delicious without.

As with an actual samosa, these samosadillas are best served with vibrantly green coriander chutney: its fresh spiciness balances and accents the rich filling. Swad makes a great jarred version or, if you’d like to make your own, you can find the recipe here. If you’d prefer less spice, you can also serve these samosadillas with a tangy tamarind chutney, seasoned yogurt, or just on their own. Whatever you serve them with, they won’t last long.




(Makes 12)

Samosa quesadillas on a white plate with a small bowl of coriander chutney.

1 lb russet potatoes (about 2 medium)

2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

8 tbsp. neutral oil, divided

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. garam masala

½ tsp. ground turmeric

¼ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. lemon juice

½ cup frozen peas

¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped

6 flour tortillas, each sliced into two half-moons

Coriander chutney, for serving

Special equipment: medium pot, large pan


Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender, 20-30 minute (depending on potato size). Drain and let cool slightly, then peel and roughly mash with a fork, leaving some craggly larger chunks.

In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chili and ginger, and cook until softened, about 1 minute more. Add salt, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and cumin, and stir until combined and fragrant, 30 seconds, then stir in lemon juice. Fold mashed potatoes and peas into the spice mixture until well combined, then remove from heat and fold in fresh cilantro. Transfer filling to a bowl and wipe out pan.

Samosa quesadilla partially folded on a wooden cutting board beside a bowl of samosa filling and extra flour tortillas.

Set a tortilla half on a clean surface, flat cut side closest to you. Scoop ¼ cup samosa filling into the center, then fold right third of tortilla over top, forming a triangular flap that covers the filling. Fold left third of tortilla over top of this, creating a triangular package or flat cone (the top will remain open). If necessary, stick the top two tortilla flaps together using a finger dipped in water. Repeat with remaining halved tortillas and samosa filling.

Add about ½ tablespoon oil to pan and set over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add two samosadillas to pan and cook until golden-brown on the bottom, 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 1 minute more. Remove to a serving plate and repeat five more times with remaining oil and samosadillas.

Serve warm with coriander chutney.

Samosa quesadillas on a white plate with a small bowl of coriander chutney.

Originally posted November 4, 2023.


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