Gluten-free beef samosas are a fried gluten-free pastry parcel filled with a spiced minced beef, potato and pea mixture. Samosas are one of India’s most popular street food snacks and are enjoyed from breakfast to social gatherings. These samosas can also be oven-baked and are delicious served with mango chutney and/or mint yoghurt.
Singapore food memories
Living in Singapore throughout my childhood and then later with my husband and children, samosas were a highlight every time I visited Little India, an Indian neighbourhood known for outstanding Indian restaurants, dosa cafes and bakeries. After spending several hours bargain shopping at the many stores and street vendors, my appetite was always ready for Indian snacks, especially freshly made samosas. To me, it didn’t matter what filling it had, as long as it was spicy and perfectly fried.
Making samosas gluten-free
I have been lucky to come across some homemade samosas in Vienna – either at shops or restaurants, but unfortunately, they are all with gluten. Since going gluten-free, I have missed them so much. Until I developed a recipe that makes samosas possible for us “gluten-free eaters”. It is awesome either fried or baked; spicy or mild; vegetarian or with meat. With a bit of effort making an authentic filling and a worthy pastry, I am sure you will be very pleased with the results.
The importance of using xanthan gum in the samosa pastry
A word about xanthan gum: As many of you know, gluten-free pastry can be tricky to perfect, due to the missing gluten that normally keeps the pastry together. By adding xanthan gum, this samosa pastry recipe behaves and hardly tears while rolling and filling the samosas. This is why it is essential to add xanthan gum, otherwise, you may have a tricky time assembling the samosas. Xanthan gum is starting to hit the shelves at many health stores, but there appear to be many online companies worldwide selling it. With a bit of planning ahead, buy this important ingredient which will make your baking so much easier and more satisfying.
Gluten-Free Beef Samosas
Beef Samosa Filling
- 60 g ghee or clarified butter
- 2 onions, chopped coarsely
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 green chilli, chopped finely (and more if you like it spicy)
- 6 cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- ½ tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- ½ tbsp chilli powder (add an extra ½ tablespoon if you like it spicy)
- 1 large potato, cubed
- 300 g minced beef
- 100 g fresh or frozen defrosted peas
- 250 ml water or homemade beef stock
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cornflour Known as cornflour in the UK and corn or maize starch in the USA
Gluten-Free Samosa Pastry
- 1 tbsp store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
- 2-3 tbsp cold water
For deep-fat frying
- 750 ml sunflower or vegetable oil
For oven method
- 1 egg, beaten well
- 2 tsp water
- 1 small bowl mango chutney
- 1 small bowl plain yoghurt mixed with some chopped fresh mint or store-bought mint sauce
Beef Samosa Filling (Prep Time 40 mins)
- Gather and measure all the beef samosa filling ingredients.
- Heat the ghee or butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, green chilli, ginger, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder, stirring often for 2 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes. Fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the beef mince, stirring and breaking apart any clumps for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the peas, water or stock and tomato paste, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice with the cornflour to form a slurry, add this to the pan and blend it in. This will thicken the beef mixture and remove any excess liquid.
- Allow the beef mixture to simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to appear dry with a very small amount of liquid. This is important so the samosa pastry does not get soft from too much liquid.
- Set aside the beef samosa filling and allow it to cool down at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before filling the samosas. Otherwise, cover and place in the fridge for several hours or overnight to develop more flavour.
Gluten-Free Samosa Pastry (Prep Time 30 mins)
- Whisk the flour, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the oil.
- Add half the warm water and using a wooden spoon, bring the flour into the centre, adding more water until all the flour is incorporated.
- Using your hands, form a dough ball and give it a short knead inside the bowl. Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- In a small bowl, mix the plain flour with the cold water until a paste forms. Cover and set it aside for later when assembling the samosas.
Assembling the Samosas (Prep Time 30 mins)
- Divide the dough into equal balls measuring roughly the size of a tennis ball.
- Between two sheets of baking paper, roll the dough out as thinly as possible. 1 cm thick is ideal.
- Using a pastry cutter or a large knife, cut out rectangular shapes measuring approximately 7 cm by 17 cm.
- Place a heaped tablespoon of the beef filling on the corner of the pastry.
- Fold over one corner of the pastry over the beef filling and press the corner into the pastry side as shown in the photo.
- Fold over the pastry with the beef filling to the other pastry side as shown in the photo.
- Fold over one last time and press the seams together gently with your fingers.
- Rest the assembled beef samosas on a floured tray while continuing with the remaining samosas.
Deep Frying Method (Frying Time 5 mins)
- Heat a deep pot or frying pan with the oil on medium-high heat. Allow the oil to increase in heat gradually. Test the oil by adding a small piece of pastry dough to the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top quickly, the oil is ready. Otherwise, increase the heat slightly.
- Add the assembled samosas one or a few at a time, depending on the size of your pan. It is important not to overcrowd the pan as this will lower the oil temperature and not cook the samosas well.
- Fry the samosas for approximately 5 minutes, flipping them over twice. Remove with a slotted spoon, allow to drain on kitchen paper and continue to fry the rest.
Oven Method (Cooking Time 20 mins)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F
- Make the egg wash by mixing the egg and water in a small bowl.
- Brush the top of each samosa with the egg wash.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Flip over the samosas and brush the top with the egg wash.
- Return the samosas to the oven to cook a further 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes or more before serving or storing.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with either mango chutney and/or mint yoghurt.
- Cooked beef samosas keep for 3 days chilled
- Suitable to freeze either uncooked or cooked
- The beef samosa filling can be made ahead of time and will improve in flavour over a few days in the fridge. The filling also freezes well.