Paneer Samosa

June 6, 2016mayurisjikoni
Blog post




What is a Samosa?

Samosa is a fried snack. The pastry is crispy or flaky and its stuffed with a spicy filling of vegetables, meat or paneer. Spices, herbs, are added to the dry cooked. The filling is stuffed in a pastry which is usually made at home.

There are two main different types of samosas

The difference is in the way the pastry is made. The more famous samosas that are widely available in India have a flaky pastry and are folded into  more plump triangles.

The ones that I grew up enjoying have a thin precooked pastry that becomes crispy on frying. They are triangle in shape but not as plump as the Indian samosa.

Samosas in some parts of the world may not be triangle but are half moon shaped.


Origins of Samosa

The word samosa originates from the Persian word sanbosag.Known as sanbusaj in the Arab world, its also called samoosa, sambusa,sambosa and sambuus. Its believed that samosa originates from Middle East and Central Asia. The Indian Sub Continent was introduced to samosa by traders from Central Asia during the 13th or 14th Century.


Samosa and Swahili Cuisine

Samosa is an important part of the Swahili Cuisine which prevails along the coastlines of Kenya and Tanzania. Mostly, the filling is either minced mutton or beef or a mixture of vegetables which generally are peas, potatoes, carrots and onion along with spices and fresh coriander. So not surprising at all that samosa is not only a part of the daily or weekend snack but also an integral snack during the month of Ramadan.


FoodieMonday/Bloghop Group

We are a group of 12 members and each week we decide on a theme and accordingly post the recipes on a Monday. The whole idea of Monday is to overcome Money Blues and our dedicated followers have a recipe to look forward to. This week the theme is Ramadan Special. I come from an area that is famous for its Swahili Cuisine and samosa is a part of it. Since I don’t have meat, decided to make Paneer Samosa.

Blog Hop



What is Ramadan(Ramazan)?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar during which all devout Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for the whole month. Observing fast during this month is considered one of the highest form of Islamic worship. Muslims believe that the holy text Quran was first revealed during the ninth month. Islam follow the lunar calendar, therefore fasting month each year varies. This time round its June -July. That means Muslims in some countries like Iceland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, etc will be practically fasting for over 20 hours. Fasting begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. That means Muslims abstain from any type of food and water during that period.


Suhoor (suhur) is the pre-dawn meal consumed by Muslims before sunrise. Usually this meal in most families tends to be simple. Its usually what we all would have for breakfast – oats, yogurt, toast, tea, eggs, smoothies, etc.



Iftar is the evening meal consumed to break the fast. Usually, during the month of Ramadan, families try and have iftar together. Some have it at the mosque, some at home. A variety of food is prepared for the evening meal. The fast is usually broken by having some dates. It is believed that Prophet Muhammad quoted that ” When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then he should break his fast with water, for water is purifying.”While families and friends get together for Iftar, a variety of snacks are prepared. Samosas is a must for most families.


Other famous Snacks that are prepared during Ramadan

Mamri/Mahamri– usually enjoyed with coconut based curries.

Makate Sinya – usually enjoyed as a tea snack or for breakfast with tea.

Kaimati– the Swahili version of doughnuts, usually served as desert

Vitumbua – Swahili ball pancakes usually prepared for breakfast

Dal bhajia – served as a snack

Viazi Karai– a potato snack

Vibibi– a flat rice pancake served for breakfast


Mombasa during Ramadan

During the month of Ramadan Mombasa is different. Shops remain open till late as families come out after Iftar and dinner for shopping or to enjoy desserts. Streets and shops are lit up with fairy lights. Vendors sitting in and outside the main Mackinnon Market sell fresh succulent radishes which many Muslims break their fast with. Its believed that having a radish is cooling for the digestive system. A huge variety of dates, big, small, sweet, soft, are sold everywhere. Best time to stock up on dates and to prepare date tamarind chutney. Raw pawpaw ‘noodles’ are are common sight during Ramadan. The raw paw paw noodles are used either to tenderize meat or is cooked in milk or coconut milk to make a kheer or pudding like dessert. Ready made snacks  are sold for those who don’t get time to cook after a hard day’s work.


Paneer Samosa

For this theme, I decided to make paneer samosa is just right. While most Muslims prefer meat samosas, some enjoy vegetable or paneer ones. When I was growing up there were no paneer stuffed samosas. As popularity of paneer (fresh Indian cottage cheese), grew in Kenya, it became a fad to use it as a filling for samosas. I so prefer the paneer ones as opposed to the vegetables ones. Grated or crumbled paneer with finely chopped onion, fresh ginger and chilli paste with spices and lots of chopped fresh coriander are mixed and filling in the Patti or manda as its called in Kiswahili.

Samosa with different filling:

Chickpea Spinach SamosaMireille’s totally different filling with black chickpeas and spinach is very tempting.

Bohri SamosaShobha’s Bohri Samosa is what is commonly made here in Kenya by most of the Muslim Communities.


Ingredients required for Paneer Samosa

Plain Flour – all purpose flour. For the pastry (patti, manda) and extra for dusting

Rice Flour – makes the pastry more crispy

Salt – for the pastry and the filling

Lemon Juice – for the pastry and the filling

Water – for the pastry dough

Fresh Paneer – best to use homemade paneer. If you don’t have homemade paneer then make sure the ready made one is soft and not hard.

Peas – either steamed or boiled for the filling

Oil – for the filling, for making the pattis and also for deep frying

Cumin seeds – also known as jeera, for the stuffing

Asafetida – or hing for the stuffing. Omit if you don’t have any

Fresh Green Chillis – either finely chopped or paste

Fresh Ginger – paste or grated

Cinnamon Powder – for the filling

Clove Powder – for the filling

Sugar – to balance the flavors of the filling

Onion– finely chopped for the filling

Fresh Coriander – with the tender stems, finely chopped

Lemon Wedges –  for serving

Green Chutney –  to serve the samosas with


Dietary Tips:

  • Vegetarian
  • For Satvik version omit using onion
  • Enjoy samosa in moderation as they are high in calories




Paneer Samosa is a crispy and ultra tasty fried snack. The pastry is filled with soft paneer, peas and spices. Perfect as a starter, appetizer or as a snack. Best enjoyed hot with some chutney.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Snack, Starter
Cuisine Indian, Kenyan, Middle East
Servings 24 PIECES



  • cups plain flour
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ -½ cup water room temperature
  • extra flour for dusting
  • some oil for smearing


  • 250 g paneer grated or crumbled
  • ½ cup green peas boiled or steamed
  • ½ cup chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste or 2-4 finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp clove powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp water



  • Mix both flours and salt in a bowl.
  • Add lemon juice and water and make a soft dough. It should not be sticky or too hard.
  • Take a tbsp of oil and rub it over the dough. Place the dough in a bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.


  • Divide the dough into 12 parts.
  • Put a tawa or frying pan over low heat.
  • Using some flour, roll out one piece of the dough into a 2″ circle. Do the same with the second piece of dough.
  • Smear each circle with about a ½ tsp of oil. Dip the oiled part in the flour.
  • Sandwich both the pieces with the oil and floured part inside.
  • Using extra flour roll out the sandwiched dough into a circle of about 8″. The rolled flatbread should be thin.
  • Make sure you don’t get any folds or creases so roll the dough carefully and keep on turning it so that both parts roll equally.
  • Place the rolled circle on the hot tawa.
  • Roast both sides just for 15 – 20 secs. Do over roast as it will become crisp.
  • Peel both the rotis apart carefully. Be careful that the hot steam does not scald you.
  • Cover the rotis with a kitchen towel so that they remain moist.
  • Repeat using the remaining dough. So in total you will have rolled out 6 rotis. When peeled there will be twelve.


  • Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  • Add cumin seeds. As soon they begin to sizzle, add asafetida.
  • Add the paneer and stir fry for 20-30 secs. You don’t want to overcook the paneer otherwise it will become dry.
  • Take the pan off the heat. Add ginger, chillis and onion.
  • Mix and let the mixture cool down.
  • Add coriander, salt, sugar, lemon juice, peas, clove and cinnamon powder. Mix well.


  • Mix the plain flour and water to make a thick paste (glue, lahi).


  • Cut each roti into half.
  • Trim the thick part of the arc on both sides. Now you will have a trapezium shape.
  • With the shorter side facing away from you, fold one half exactly in the middle. Fold the other part over it to form a cone shape.
  • Stick the overlapped part to the under part using the glue or paste.
  • Now you have a hollow triangle shape with flaps on top.
  • Put about 1½ - 2 tbsp of the filling and gently press it down. Don't press down too hard otherwise the pastry will tear.
  • Apply the glue or past on the top flaps.
  • Close the filled hollow with the flaps. Voila, you have a perfect triangle.
  • Repeat with the remaining patti or pastry and filling.


  • Heat oil in a wok, frying pan or karai over medium heat.
  • Put a small part of the trimmed patti/pastry in the hot oil. If it sizzles up immediately then the oil is ready.
  • Reduce the heat and semi fry 6- 8 samosas. That means don’t fry till they are golden brown. Fry them for a 30-40 secs and put them in a colander. Fry all the samosas in this manner.
  • At this stage you can freeze the samosas when they cool down. Line an airtight tin with parchment paper. Make a single layer with the samosa. Close the tin and freeze the samosa.
  • Just before serving time, heat the oil up over medium heat. When its hot, add 6-8 samosas, reduce the heat and fry till they are golden brown in colour.
  • Remember to keep turning them over while frying so that they brown evenly.
  • Serve hot samosas with lemon wedges and your favourite chutney.


  • Don’t fry the samosas over high heat. The pastry will become brown but the inside part of the pastry will be raw.
  • Remember the trimmed parts? Well don’t throw them away. Fry them, add a bit of red chilli powder and serve as a crunchy snack.
  • If you have any filling left, make a sandwich.
  • To make mini samosas divide the dough into 16 to 18 parts. Roll the rotis to a diameter of 6″.
  • You can use ready made samosa patti (manda) or even the wonton wrappers which are readily available in grocery stores or supermarkets.
  • Be careful when folding the triangles. You don’t want the tips to have large holes as oil will get into the filling.
  • Don’t overfill the samosas otherwise the pastry will tear.
Keyword crispy paneer samosa, homemade paneer samosa

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A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • Nisa@flavour Diary

    June 6, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Yummy pictorial descriptive share dee …

  • Swathi Iyer

    June 6, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    delicious love with a cup of tea.

  • Saswati Hota

    June 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Mouthwatering share dee and through you we are getting to know so much about African food.

  • Saswati Hota

    June 7, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Mouthwatering share dee and through you we are getting to know so much about African food.

    1. Priya Srinivasan

      September 8, 2020 at 9:18 am

      5 stars
      Wow love that paneer filling mayurji! Never knew making samosa pastry at home will be easy! Paneer samosas look crispy and crunchy, perfect with a hot cup of chai!

      1. mayurisjikoni

        September 8, 2020 at 1:15 pm

        Thanks Priya, have grown up helping my mum to make the pastry at home as we never use to get ready made ones before. Nowadays they are easily available.

  • TerriSue

    June 7, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Mayuri, These look wonderful! The filling has my mouth watering. I only found you recently. When I see a post from you in my inbox I can't wait to open it. I have gone through your archives and found so many recipes I want to make. One thing I need to buy is asafoetida. I used to live near a Co-Op that carried it. Now the only place I know of is quite a jaunt away. I live in Texas. This coming weekend my son is coming to take me grocery shopping. One of the stores we are going to go to is the one that carries it. You have so many recipes, including this one, that use it, I have to get a supply so I have it on hand!

  • Moumita Malla

    June 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Woow…nice write up with a mouthwatering dish

  • shibani hota

    June 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    So nicely explained dee…and samosas are do yummy and shiny…lovely share by you

  • Sujata Roy

    June 7, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Superb share Mayuri. Samosas looks so tempting.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you Nisa.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Come over Swathi… we'll have a tea party.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 7, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks Saswati.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 7, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you Terri for the kind words. You can make most of the recipes without asafoetida.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 7, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you Moumita.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you Shibani.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you Sujata.

  • Shobha

    June 7, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Love these crispy samosas. But we make them with aloo or keema stuffing. .. will try with paneer too.

  • Dannii Martin

    June 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Everything looks so good! I am really in to paneer at the moment.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you Shobha. I also make them with veg filling.

  • Mayuri Patel

    June 12, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks Danii, I too love paneer and its a good protein option for those who follow a vegetarian diet.

  • Preethi Prasad

    July 3, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Love the detailed explanation. Superb clicks too.

  • Shobha Keshwani

    September 6, 2020 at 12:38 am

    5 stars
    The samosas look nice and crispy. I have never tried the paneer filling. Good one for a change.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 7, 2020 at 10:14 am

      Thanks Shobha, paneer filling is quite popular in Kenya and UK.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    September 8, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    5 stars
    The paneer samosa look so crisp and tasty. Loved the filling that you have put into it, but never had a paneer samosa.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 8, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks Jayashree, you should try them, they are very delicious. Quite famous in Kenya as an alternate to meat samosas.

  • Chef Mireille

    September 9, 2020 at 3:56 am

    5 stars
    I live in an area with a large Pakistani/Bangladeshi population and it so nice to see all the activity in the evenings during Ramadan. kids playing and the restaurants open all night to grab delicious snacks.

    So interesting all the different kinds of samosa from central Asia to South Asia – will definitely have to try this version out soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 9, 2020 at 10:58 am

      Thanks Mireille and hopefully one day will be able to visit your area and city.

  • Priya Srinivasan

    September 13, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    5 stars
    Paneer samosa looks very inviting mayuri ji. I have never tried making the outer cover this way! Looks pretty easy! Yumm snack to enjoy time a cup of chai!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 13, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you so much Priya. For us here, the main type of samosa we all usually make or get ready made are these type.

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