Chicken tikka samosa are our favorite Ramadan treat! This recipe is also the perfect excuse to use any leftover chicken tikkas from last night.
WHAT are SAMOSAS?
Samosas are fried or baked pastry which has savory or sweet fillings in it. There are different ways you can fold a samosa. Most popular ones include the triangles, moon shaped or boxed. You can either make the wrapping pastry from scratch or use ready made sheets. This recipe uses ready-made samosa sheets.
Chicken Tikka Filling
- Chicken – For this recipe you need boneless chicken fillets, thigh or breast. If you are making it with regular bone-in chicken, make sure to pick of all the bones before shredding the chicken.
- Chicken tikka spice mix – I used my homemade chicken tikka spices to season and flavor this recipe. But you can also use the boxed ready to use spice mix available at most grocery stores. Follow the instructions on the box and just add an additional 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 cup additional yogurt to the marinade to compensate for the additional onions and mint that is going to go in the filling.
- Cream – This recipe needs about a dollop of cream. You can use any cream available to you, including the canned ones, fresh, tetra pak or cooking creams.
- Onions and Mint – The onions help in forming the bulk of the filing so that you can make more samosas (life hack!) but also, they add to the tikka-ness of the filling, it that even makes sense lol
- Charcoal – A small piece of coal to give that smoky flavor to the tikka chicken filling. If you are sensitive to smoke, you can also use 1/2 tsp of liquid Smoke. It is essentially a smoke essence that you can use with ease to flavor your dishes.
- Flour slurry – You need a DIY edible glue to keep the folded samosa edges intact. A mixture of flour and water is the most popular choice, but you can also use just water as well. I personally prefer the flour slurry because I feel like it flows into small nooks and seals those as well.
- Samosa Wrappers – These are long rectangular dough sheets that are easily available in South Asian or Mediterranean stores. You can also make them at home if you are willing to put in the effort. You can also use square spring roll sheets and cut them into 3 strips. Each strip can be used to fold samosas. Here in the Middle East, the brand that I use is called Switz which is way better than others available in the market.
When you make the chicken marinade, and marinate the chicken, you will notice that the marinade is more than needed. That’s ok! You need the leftover marinade to season the onions.
The chicken only needs a 20 mins marination time.
Simply grill the marinated chicken pieces in a pot or on a pan at low flame. Add 1/2 cup of water as well towards the end. Cook the chicken covered and pierce the pieces to check if they are cooked.
Now remove the pieces of tender chicken in a bowl and shred them. I find using a hand mixer does the job within 2 mins! Simple use an electric beater or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and see the magic happen!
Now come back to the pot with another tablespoon of oil and add in your onions, mint and leftover tikka marinade. You need to cook these for about 10 mins at low flame or until all the water from onions have dried out.
NOTE: Always dry out water from onions or any other vegetable for samosa fillings, because excess moisture can leach out while frying and cause the oil to splatter or make your samosas soggy.
Add the shredded chicken back in the onions with a bit of cream and mix well. Now I heated up some coal on the stove and added it to the chicken with a tablespoon of oil on top of the coal and covered it for about 10 mins. This gives your filling a nice smoky flavor.
PROTIP: Use an aluminum muffin liner to hold your coals safely on top of the chicken.
After your filling cools down, you start assembling. You’ll need your samosa wrappers, your flour and water slurry, a plate lined with foil to place all the folded samosas in and some extra foil. If you are new to folding samosas, HERE’s a tutorial you can watch which is quick and easy!
Now you can decide if you want to fry them straight away or freeze them for a later date. To freeze, simply put the samosas in the freezer and once they harden up you can put them in a ziplock back and store.
Frying – Simply heat some vegetable oil (or any oil of your choice) and shallow fry the samosa at medium flame until golden on both sides. Remove them and place them on towel papers to blot any extra oil.
Airfryer – Preheat to 350 degree F or 175 Degree C and Coat each samosa with oil and arrange them in your air fryer basket. You’ll need about 15 to mins of air frying time. Depending on the size of your basket, you may need to do this a couple of times.
Baked – To bake the samosas, preheat the oven at 350 degree F or 175 Degree C and grease a baking tray. Place your samosas on it and use a brush to coat it with oil. Bake for 20 mins, flipping over at 10 min mark. Remove when they turn a nice golden brown.
- Make sure to dry out all the water from onions to make a nice water free filling. If your onions will retain water, after you fry your samosas, they can turn soggy OR produce oil splatters
- Never overcrowd your plate while freeze the samosas to harden up. Always leave enough space in between so that your samosas don’t touch. Or else the can get stuck together and break when you try to seperate them. Once they are hard enough, then you can easily store them in a ziplock back
- Same tip for frying, air frying or baking. DO NOT over crowd your pans, or airfryer basket, to get nice crispy samosa.
Can I use leftover Chicken tikka from last night to make this filling?
Absolutely! In Fact that’s how I made these samosas for the first time. Just use half of the marinade quantity mentioned and start the recipe from shredding the chicken!
Can I reheat leftover fried/baked samosas?
Yes you can! IT won’t be exactly like it was when freshly baked or fried but it’ll be VERY close. Heat a frying pan at medium flame and then turn it to low. Simply place the samosa on a frying pan (sprayed with cooking oil) and leave at low flame for 10 mins, flipping halfway through. They should be ok!
I don’t like onions very much, can I skip it or substitute it?
The onions help this recipe in 2 ways, they add bulk to the filling so you’ll have more filling than you would with just chicken. And it also bring about a mild sweetness. IF you are not a fan of the onions, you can skip it and use boiled and grated cauliflower instead. IF you want to skip vegetables completely, then reduce all the spice quantities mentioned by half.
Can I use the filling in other recipes?
Wraps, sandwiches, open sandwiches, puff pastry or for stuffed buns. These are all amazingggg options to use the tikka chicken filling in. You can also add the filling to boiled and mashed potatoes to make potato and chicken cutlets.
As you can see, I am little obsessed with this spice blend!
Chicken tikka samosas
- 500 gm boneless chicken fillets
- 2 tbsp cream fresh / canned / cooking or any that is available
- 4 cups sliced onion or 240 gm (or 4 medium onions)
- 1/2 cup mint leaves about a handful
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 30 samosa sheets.
- 2 pieces charcoal to give smoke.
Chicken Marination (to use boxed spices see notes)
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper powder
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder zeera
- 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder all spice powder
- 1 tbsp Garlic ginger paste
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 3 pinches of orange-red food color
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Vinegar
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- Mix everything together from the chicken marination list and marinate the chicken in it for about 20 mins.
- In a pot or a pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and turn it on at medium flame.
- Tap the chicken pieces to make sure the extra marinade stays in the bowl and add the chicken fillets in the pot. Sear lightly on both sides for 5 mins. Add 1/2 cup of water and cover the lid to cook the chicken through for another 10 mins.
- Turn off the flame and remove the chicken in a bowl. Use the paddle attachment in a stand mixer or a hand held electric beater to shred the chicken within 2 mins. Set aside.
- In the same pan, add another 1 tbsp of oil at medium low flame and add onions, mint leaves and left over chicken marinade.
- Allow the onions to cook for around 10 mins or until all the water from the onions dries up.
- Add the chicken and cream back into the onions. Mix at high flame for 2 mins. Turn off the flame and allow the chicken to cool down.
- Make a flour slurry by mixing flour with about 1/2 cup of water. You can also use plain water if you like.
- Use a tablespoon of filling to fill each samosa wrapper and sealing with the flour slurry.
- Place all wrapped samosas on a plate and fry/bake directly or freeze for later.
Airfryer OR Baked- Preheat airfryer or oven at 350 degree F or 175 Degree C and Coat each samosa with oil and arrange them in your air fryer basket. You’ll need about 20 to min to get a nice golden color, flipping the samosas at the 10 min mark. Depending on the size of your basket, you may need to do this a couple of times
- You can also use Boxed or packet pre-made chicken tikka spice mix instead of using all the ingredients mentioned in the chicken marination, simply follow instructions on the box and add 1/2 tsp extra salt.
- To freeze samosas, allow them to harden up on a plate in the freezer without touching each other, and then put them in a ziplock bag and freeze for about 3 to 4 months.