Samosa Puff Pastry Braid with Tamarind Sauce | Take a shortcut with store-bought puff pastry and make this quick but impressive looking appetizer. Bake up this flaky braided pastry with an Indian spiced potato and pea filling and a tamarind sauce for dipping.
Ok first off, I've got a confession. These are not authentic samosas! You knew that though because the photo doesn't look like samosas and we're not making homemade dough. Which is also different for me, because my favorite thing to do is make things from scratch. Puff Pastry is a little involved for those moments when you need a samosa, like-right-now. So store-bought it is! But that's ok because this Samosa Puff Pastry Braid will find it's way into your heart. And belly if you make it. Please make it! You won't regret it.
If you're not crazy about this blend of spices and ingredients you could try some other fillings. What filling would you substitute?
Why should you make this recipe though?
- It's not fussy. No making homemade dough and fussing around making little half-circles into cones and filling them and frying them. (Although I have made samosa that way – and it's total YUMMMM if you have the time)
- The filling is totally delicious
- This recipe is vegetarian – I like taking a break from meat dishes! It's even vegan if you skip the egg wash (use almond milk instead) and use a brand of puff pastry, like Pepperidge Farm, that makes vegan pastry (I don't see any animal products in the ingredients list).
- This recipe uses pretty simple ingredients. Cumin seeds are easy to find if you don't have them. So is Garam Masala. Bulk stores are great for purchasing small amounts of spices that you're not sure you'll use a lot of. Tamarind concentrate is also easy to find in the ethnic aisle or an Indian grocery store and only costs a couple of dollars. You could also opt for a store-bought tamarind dip or other fruit chutney instead of making the sauce.
- Braiding the pastry makes for a really special presentation.
How to Make a Samosa Puff Pastry Braid
To start this dish you'll need to have one sheet of puff pastry ready. So if it's store bought like mine was, then you'll need to take one sheet out of the package and thaw it, either overnight in the fridge or on the counter for about an hour.
Next we'll make the potato filling (upper left). Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes and boil for about 10 minutes. In the last three minutes of cooking time, add the frozen peas and let them cook while the potatoes finish. Roll out the pastry until it's a bit thinner and bigger. Cut like below (upper right) for braiding.
Spoon the potato filling onto the center of the pastry. I used almost all of mine. The rest is good for snacking while you wait for the whole thing to bake. 😉
Now you'll fold up the small notch over the filling, like in the photos below. Then start folding the pastry over alternating between the left and right sides.
Keeping alternating and layering until about three notches away from the bottom. Then fold over the end notch before continuing to layer the rest of the pastry.
Brush with an egg wash (or almond milk for a vegan version if you're also using vegan pastry), and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Make the tamarind sauce while you wait by combining tamarind, brown sugar and water and bringing to a boil. Add a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with one teaspoon cold water). Remove from the heat and set aside. Add water a teaspoon at a time to thin when serving, if needed.
How to make other braided puff pastries
You can make any type of braided puff pastry you want as long as you cut the pastry like the photos in the method above. Add your sweet or savory filling and then fold the pastry over using the method above. Egg wash and bake!
Samosa Puff Pastry Braid with Tamarind Sauce
For the Pastry Braid
- 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed (Use a Vegan puff pastry for vegan version*))
- 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash (or almond milk for vegan))
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
For the Filling
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 lb potatoes (about 3 medium red, peeled and cut into small cubes)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon amchur powder ((dried mango powder or 2 teaspoons lemon juice))
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- small bunch cilantro (chopped)
- 2-3 tablespoons water
For the Tamarind Sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water
For the Pastry
- Thaw one sheet of puff pastry.
For the Filling
- Peel and chop potatoes into half-inch cubes.
- Boil potatoes in salted water for about 10 minutes. Add the frozen peas in the last three minutes.
- Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a frying pan over medium heat, heat the oil and then add the onions and cumin seeds. Cook for about 8 minutes or until onions are well done and browned but still soft.
- Add the garlic and spices and cook them for a minute or so. Add about two tablespoons of water to loosen up the spice mixture. Cook another minute until it thickens up. Add the lemon juice now if you skipped the amchur powder, stir and remove from heat.
- Add spice mixture to the potatoes and peas and stir everything together. Add cilantro and stir.
- Roll the puff pastry out until it's a bit thinner. Cut triangular notches off the top of the pastry as in the photos. On the outer two thirds of the pastry, cut diagonal notches into the pastry. These are the parts you will braid. See blog post photos for exactly how to do this.
- Lay the filling on the inner third of the pastry.
- Fold over the top notch of pastry, onto the filling. Fold over the pastry over the filling, alternating sides, and layering. Continue until all pastry is braided or wrapped over, folding in the bottom notch of pastry before braiding the last few pieces. See photos for the exact method.
- Once the pastry is braided and closed up, brush it with the egg wash (or almond milk) and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for about 30 minutes.
- While the pastry bakes, make the tamarind sauce if using.
For the Tamarind Sauce:
- Mix together the tamarind concentrate, brown sugar, and water. Bring to boil. Add cornstarch slurry, whisk and remove from heat. Add water, a teaspoon at a time if the sauce is too thick when serving.
- Remove puff pastry braid from oven, slice and serve with the tamarind sauce for dipping.
- This recipe is vegetarian.
- For a vegan version of this recipe, use almond milk instead of an egg wash and use a vegan puff pastry, such a Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets.
- Nutritional information is an estimate and intended for informational purposes only, and not to be used as medical or dietary advice. Estimate is for one serving, sauce included.