meat samosas

When growing up in South Africa, I enjoyed meat samosas or "samoosas".  These were thin, crisp, deep fried, perfect equilateral triangle pastry that enclosed a somewhat spicy, savory meat filling. These were one of my favorite snacks served with tea!

In many South East Asian restaurants, there is always some type of samosa.  Samosas come in different shapes, wrapper thickness and "regional" fillings. My meat samosa recipe is what I grew up with in South Africa, and I usually make my own since it's hard to find those kind of samosas here in the USA!

Tips to make South African Indian meat samosas.

Samosa wrapper.

I don't make my own samosa wrappers, since I usually buy ready-made samosa wrappers that can be found in the frozen pastry section in most South Asian grocery stores. However, I have found that the samosa wrappers are just like the Chinese spring roll wrappers except for the shape.  You can make samosa wrappers from spring roll wrappers by cutting them into thirds.

samosa wrappers

Samosa wrappers found in frozen section at South Asian ethnic markets.


8" or 20 cm Chinese spring roll wrapper can be cut into thirds.



You can make the filling with a meat of your choice such as ground chicken, turkey, lamb and beef.  They all taste delicious.  You can use diced potatoes if you want a vegetarian alternative.


The spiciness of the samosa filling can be customized to your heat tolerance by adding or omitting the fresh chilis.  You can also alter the amount of chili powder you add to the filling.  My suggestion is to start with 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder and keep tasting the filling until you get the heat level that is appropriate for you!


This recipe uses both cooked, caramelized onions and raw onions.  The fried onions add "sweetness" to the filling and the raw onion gives a little bite and crunch to the samosa. However, when the samosas are baked or fried, the raw onion and other veggies / herbs do get cooked.

Caramelized onions and garlic.

Caramelized onions and garlic.

Meat filling for samosa

Meat filling for samosa.

Raw onion, other fresh herbs and garam masala is added after the meat filling has cooked.  This really brings out the taste and aroma!  I also add petit pois for added vegetable!

Flavoring herbs needed for samosas.

Flavoring herbs needed for samosas.

Frozen peas.

There is a texture difference between regular frozen peas and petit pois.  Petit pois are smaller peas and tend to be less mushy!  Mushy peas are probably one of the few things that I don't enjoy eating!  So, I never buy or use regular frozen peas.

Fresh cilantro and raw onions are added

Add fresh cilantro and raw onions to the meat mixture before folding the samosa wrappers.

Wrapping the meat samosas.

A flour-water paste is used to seal the samosa wrappers properly.  Folding the samosa is the tricky part, because it is somewhat difficult to get that rectangle into an equilateral triangle.   See video for tips.  

Cooking the meat samosas.

Traditionally, meat samosas are deep fried.  You can shallow fry samosas in a pan of oil to reduce the amount of oil needed. Turn them over once one side of the samosa is golden brown. Fried samosas are golden brown and crisp.  After frying the samosa, drain the excess oil from the samosa by turning it so that a tip of the triangle faces down onto a paper towel.  

Frying samosas

Frying samosas in a small shallow saucepan of oil.

Cooling and draining fried samosas

Cooling and draining fried samosas

Fried samosas

Fried samosas

I have brushed samosas with cooking oil and baked them for a healthier alternative. They are not as crispy as the deep fried version, but definitely healthier and less oily!

Freezing meat samosas

Freeze meat samosas by placing them on a baking sheet, keeping them separate. Place them in a freezer bag when frozen.

Baked samosas

Baked samosas

Freezing meat samosas.

When I make samosas, I make a large batch, eat some fresh and freeze the rest.  Place the wrapped samosas on a baking tray, making sure they do not touch each other. Freeze the samosas.  Once frozen, they can then be placed in a freezer bag.

Freezing meat samosas

Freeze meat samosas by placing them on a baking sheet, keeping them separate. Once frozen, place them in a freezer bag.

Chimichurri with samosas!


Michelle Sam
These South African meat samosas have a spicy, Indian meat filling and made with samosa wrappers or Chinese spring roll wrappers.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Wrapping 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, South African
Servings 60 samosas
Calories 66 kcal



  • 750 g ground meat lamb, beef, chicken or turkey
  • tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • medium diced onions to be used during cooking
  • medium diced onions to be added after cooking
  • ½-1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 finely diced green chilis
  • ½ tsp ground tumeric
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 50 g fresh chopped coriander
  • 15 g fresh chopped mint
  • 5 g chopped green onion optional
  • ½ cup frozen petit pois (green peas) optional
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil.
  • salt to taste

Flour paste

  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp flour

Baking / Frying samosas

  • Cooking oil


  • 1 package samosa wrappers Chinese spring roll wrappers cut into thirds will work.


Making the filling

  • Dice onions. Half will be used during cooking, half will be used after cooking.
    1½ medium diced onions, 1½ medium diced onions
    Flavoring herbs needed for samosas.
  • In a large saucepan, preheat oil.
    3 Tbsp cooking oil.
  • Add garlic, ginger and half of the onions.
    2 Tbsp garlic ginger paste, 1½ medium diced onions
  • Saute onions until caramelized.
    Caramelized onions and garlic.
  • Add fresh chilis.
    2 finely diced green chilis
  • Add chili powder, ground tumeric, salt, white pepper, black pepper, ground coriander and ground cumin to "roast" briefly.
    1½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground tumeric, ¼ tsp white pepper, ¼ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½-1 tsp chili powder
  • Add ground meat and stir ingredients together.
    750 g ground meat
  • Cook until done.
    Meat filling for samosa
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add the garam masala spice blend, rest of the raw, diced onion, fresh chopped coriander, fresh chopped mint, fresh chopped green onion and frozen peas.
    1½ medium diced onions, 1 Tbsp garam masala, 50 g fresh chopped coriander, 15 g fresh chopped mint, 5 g chopped green onion, ½ cup frozen petit pois (green peas)
    Fresh cilantro and raw onions are added
  • Add additional salt and chili powder to taste if necessary.
    salt to taste

Assembling the samosa

  • In a small bowl, mix the flour and water together to form a "glue" paste.
    3 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp flour
  • See video on how to wrap the samosas.

Frying the samosas

  • Preheat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. NOT HOT!
  • Place samosas in oil and flip over when golden brown.
    Frying samosas
  • Remove from oil
  • Allow excess oil to drain by placing one corner of the triangle facing the bottom with a paper towel touching the tip.
    Cooling and draining fried samosas

Baking the samosas

  • Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C)
  • Brush each samosa with oil.
    Brush raw samosas with oil
  • Bake on a piece of foil on a baking tray for easier cleanup.
    Baked samosas
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp, making sure that the tips don't burn.
    Chimichurri with samosas!



The nutritional facts is per samosa.


Serving: 4gCalories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 116mgPotassium: 59mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 83IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
Keyword meat samosa, samoosa, samosa, Samosa recipe, South African samosa recipe
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was or if you have any questions or suggestions!
I want to see!Follow @Sammywongskitchen on Instagram or Facebook, snap a photo and tag it #sammywongskitchen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Rate this recipe

  1. Good job Sam! I remember buying these "samoosas" in Fordsburg, Johannesburg in the 60s and 70s before I emigrated. Cannot buy a beef samosa here in Canada, so I tried yours. Excellent: I made mine very spicy (6 chilis), the way I remember them. I also love your pastry hack 🙂

    1. Those were the good old days. I remember my parents buying lamb samosas. They were the best! Unfortunately, the only time I get to eat them is when I make them! Luckily they’re just as delicious as I remember. Thanks for trying the recipe!

  2. Meat samosa is something unique that I am getting to know. Never before I have tried such samosa now. Today I tried this recipe and it really turned out to be great thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Need meal ideas?