Baked Samosas

June 2, 2011 at 10:19 am 4 comments

I got my bicycle tire fixed yesterday.

It ends up that the tire didn’t just have a whole in it (easy enough to fix), but had actually burst (not so easy to fix), so they had to put a new tire on it. Like I said before though, I’m just glad it was just a tire and not stolen! So now my bike is back in working order.

Another great discover I made this week, I discovered that they DO have prescription Singulair in Japan!

What? You’re not excited about this? *gasp*

Okay, for those who don’t know, Singulair is a prescription allergy/asthma medicine in the States. It’s also the only allergy medicine I’ve had that actually helps, unlike Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, etc.

I’ve had horrible allergies for as long as I can remember. Grass, trees, cats, mold, you name it, I’m probably allergic to it (except for food allergies. Thank God I don’t have any food allergies!!!). In elementary school, I tried the shots for about a year, but I couldn’t tell any significant difference, and shots are just not fun. Especially when you’re in elementary school. I had to have surgery on my sinuses in high school, because I’d developed polyps in them due to years of allergy-caused irritation. All I have to say about that, is 2 1/2 inch-long sponges in each nostril for 48 hours. Not. Fun.

Anyway, so even here in ‘ole Japan I still have allergies. When I first came to Japan, I had no allergies for the first year. It was glorious, and the only time in my life I’ve never had allergies. I thought I simply didn’t have allergies in Japan. Over time, however, I discovered that my system was simply in a kind of shock from the new environment, and after I year, I adjusted, and my allergies came back. While my allergies aren’t quite as bad here as they are in Oklahoma (I think this is due to the general lack of grass which I’m allergic to), they’re still pretty bad.

Now, for reasons I don’t understand, there is no over the counter 24-hour, non-drowsy, all-symptom covering allergy medicines like in the U.S. They only have medicine for individual symptoms. For example, for itchy eyes, you can get allergy eye drops. For a stuffy nose, some nasal spray. For sneezing and a runny nose, you can get a pill that will make you drowsy. They don’t have anything like Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.

Because of this, I was under the impression that they also don’t have Singulair, and it seems that I was partially right. They didn’t have Singulair, but at some point recently, they got it here in Japan. I have no idea when.

Upon this discovery, I immediately looked up the closest ear, nose, throat doctor, and yesterday I hauled butt to his office (after getting my bicycle tire fixed). I explained my situation to the doctor, and he wrote me a prescription for Singulair then and there. I went downstairs to the pharmacy, got my medicine, and then the glorious rays of heaven shined upon me as the angels came down and sang “hallelujah”. Well, ok, maybe not that last part. All in all, it only took about 30 minutes from the time I entered the building, to the time I left with my medicine. And it was cheap. Oh, Japanese health insurance, how I love thee!

Long story short (too late, I know), I not have Singulair here in Japan, and I am one seriously happy camper.

Despite the the fast that this post is already a bit lengthy, I’m going to tell you about making baked samosas! I made them for dinner last night, and they’re so good! If you don’t know what samosas are, they’re an Indian pastry that’s stuffed with either meat or vegetables and spices and then fried or baked. They can be a little time consuming to make, but they’re so worth it! They also make great party/pot-luck food!

This recipe is based on the Spicy Lamb Pastries recipe in Nourishing Traditions. I’m always mentioning this book. Just do yourself a favor, and buy the book. It has a lot of great recipes and nutrition information. Go on, do it. Do it.

First, cream 1/2 c. of yogurt and softened butter together. Try not to accidentally partially melt your butter in an attempt to hurry up the softening process like I did.

Add 1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour and 1 tsp. sea salt.

Mix until everything is combined like so.

Not stick in your (clean) hand and start mushing!

Eventually, you’ll get a lovely ball of dough like this. Set it aside.

Brown 1 lb. ground meat and one diced onion in a skillet.

Add 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts, or if you’re like me, and never buy pine nuts because they’re expensive, then you can use 1/4 c. chopped up toasted almonds (or walnuts).

Add 1 c. cooked rice.

Add cinnamon, cayenne, the grated rind of one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat. At this point, the filling is done. Try not to eat it with a spoon.

Take a break, have some graham crackers and milk, and communicate with your inner child. Oh, shut up.

Take some dough, make a roughly 1 1/2 inch ball, and place it on a floured surface.

Roll it out into a roughly 6-inch circle.

Place about 1/4 c. of the filling in the center of the dough.

Wet the edge with water, and fold up three sides to make a triangle. Pinch the sides closed to seal them, but leave a small opening in the top for steam to escape. You don’t have to fold over the edges like I did. I just do that so they’ll fit on my pan better.

Repeat until you use up all the dough. Bake in a 350 degree F (175 C) oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown.


Baked Samosas (makes 10 – 12)

  • 1/2 c. plain whole yogurt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • 1 med. onion, diced
  • 1 c. cooked rice
  • 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts (can substitute with walnuts or almonds, chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a large bowl, cream yogurt and butter together. Add flour and salt, and mix until combined. Use hands to squeeze dough together into one large ball. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet cook ground meat over medium heat for a few minutes. Add onion and continue cooking until meat is completely browned. Add cooked rice and mix until combined. Add nuts, spices, and lemon rind. Mix everything so well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
  4. On a lightly floured surface, take a piece of dough and make a 1 1/2 inch ball. Flatten with hand and roll into roughly a six-inch circle. Place about 1/4 c. of meat filling in center of dough circle. Moisten the edge of dough with water and fold up three sides to make a triangle. Pinch sides closed leaving a small opening at the top for steam to escape. Place on a greased (or covered with baking paper) baking sheet. Repeat until all dough is used up.
  5. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with yogurt dipping sauce.

2 simple yogurt dipping sauces:

plain yogurt, garlic powder, lemon juice, peeled & diced cucumber

plain yogurt, dash of salt, pinch of sugar, cumin powder

For dinner last night, I served the samosas with yogurt dipping sauce (not pictured), and carrot curry with steamed rice.


Entry filed under: Baking, Beef, Chicken, Indian Food, Recipes, Side dish. Tags: , , , , .

Korean kimchi chigae, tukbokki, and chijimi Menu Plan Monday for June 6 – 10

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  June 14, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Those look amazing. I just used up my ground lamb, but will need to get some more.

    • 2. The Joyful Kitchen  |  June 14, 2011 at 8:40 am

      Thanks! You can use other types of ground meat for these. They don’t have to have ground lamb in them, unless of course you just really want ground lamb in them, in which case I would totally understand as ground lamb is just that good. Sadly, it’s pretty hard getting lamb here in Japan, so I usually have to use a different ground meat. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

  • 3. Nick Livermore  |  June 14, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Really been wanting to make samosas, and these look fairly healthy – as they’re baked. Reckon they’d be delicious too. Nice-one!

    • 4. The Joyful Kitchen  |  June 14, 2011 at 8:37 am

      Thanks! Yeah, these are definitely more on the healthier side compared to their fried counter-parts. They’re oh-so good though!


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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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