A classic Indian snack becomes a hearty dinner with one simple, straightforward hack: empanada dough. Stuffed with curried chicken, onions, tomatoes, and peas, these buttery pastries become crisp and golden when pan-fried (but you can also bake them if that’s more your speed). Cucumber raita salad on the side serves up a cool, tangy dipping sauce.
1 tablespoon canola oil + more for frying
12″ large nonstick pan
1 English cucumber
½ ounce cilantro
1 red onion, divided
12 ounces low-fat yogurt
1 pound ground chicken
1½ tablespoons tikka masala curry paste
⅓ cup peas
9 empanada doughs
Prefer to bake your samosas rather than fry? Preheat oven to 425ºF before prep. Rub a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon canola oil and arrange samosas in a single layer. Brush tops with more oil. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
If your samosas still have some undercooked edges, press those spots into the pan to brown a bit longer, about 15 seconds each.
Rinse all produce (see Recipe Tip). Finely chop tomato. Halve cucumber lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¼-inch half-moons. Roughly chop cilantro leaves, discarding stems. Halve lemons. Peel onion and finely chop. In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, juice of 2 lemons, 2 tablespoons chopped onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve. Pat chicken dry with paper towel.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add remaining onion and cook until soft and translucent, 3 minutes. Add chicken to pan with onion and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up meat, until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add tikka masala paste and tomato to pan with chicken and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until flavors have melded, 3 minutes more. Stir in peas and remove pan from heat.
Halve empanada doughs (it’s easiest if you stack them to cut them all together). Working 1 at a time, fold straight edges of dough together and pinch to seal seam, creating a cone shape. Spoon in 1 tablespoon fillingand pinch dough closed to seal. Repeat with remaining doughs, saving any extra filling for serving on the side. Reserve pan for frying samosas.
Wipe pan from filling clean and return to medium-high heat with enough canola oil to reach ½ inch up sides of pan. When oil is shimmering, add samosas in a single layer—you might need to work in batches or add more oil, depending on the size of your pan. Cook, standing back in case hot oil splatters, until samosas are golden, 3-4 minutes per side (see Recipe Tip). Transfer samosas to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Serve samosas with cucumber raita salad (we recommend dipping samosas in the creamy yogurt). Enjoy!
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