Spices and Seasons – Samosas with Squash, Cranberries and Turkey/Lamb


Leftover Turkey or Lamb SamosasA crazy busy weekend of food and some mini tech disasters make this a late edition of spices and seasons. The tech disasters included no internet and phone until fairly late this evening, somehow all the rain on Tuesday damaged a wire and we were not the only one.

All of this meant that I missed the news about the Metro North disaster, and it took me some time this morning to catch on. As I went into work today, I faced a somewhat somber audience on the train. It is amazing how tremulous life can be, I take the commuter train so many days a week, it is ironic to think that all one needs is to be on the wrong train at the wrong time. So, folks before I get to the recipe, I do want to take a minute to be thankful that I am safe and wish everyone a safe season. All this and a badly corrupted photo disc left me a little lost. That one, I shall not discuss in public, particularly since it might ruin the mood of this otherwise delectable dish that I shall be sharing this evening.



I have increasingly gotten better with holiday leftovers, but, it would not be Thanksgiving if I did not have some leftover turkey, right. Today’s recipe is a seasonal filling for samosas, that work well with leftover turkey and when you do not have turkey around you can use ground lamb. The best part of this is that the samosas can be assembled and frozen, something that I like to do. Currently, with everything redolent of cranberries, squashes and turkey, this filling may not be all that interesting, however, freeze these in small batches and when during those cold days in January fry up some for yourself and your guests or family and you will love the flavors of the season on your table. Frankly, this would be a great dish even without the need to use up leftovers.


Samosas are possibly such a popular snack that they may not need any introduction, however, they are dough encased turnovers usually filled with potatoes or ground meat and fried and served piping hot. My dough recipe adapted from my cookbook, that I hope is on your holiday giving or wishlist, is enriched with whole wheat flour offering a little more character and depth of flavor. If you find shaping the pyramids a little difficult you can shape them into empanada like crescents. Yes, in my house we call them crescent samosas!


Samosas with Squash, Cranberries and Turkey/Lamb

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

A seasonal take on Indian samosas with leftover, turkey, squash and cranberries.


    For the dough
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of whole wheat pastry dough
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening or oil
  • ¾ cup ice cold water
  • For the filling
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium sized red onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 cup of very finely chopped cooked turkey or ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 medium sized apple, peeled cored and very finely diced
  • 1 cup of cooked mashed butternut squash (leftover sweet potatoes would work)
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries or 1/3 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • To combine
  • 2 cups of grape seed or canola oil


  1. Place the flours in the bowl of a food processor with the salt and nigella seeds and pulse once or twice.
  2. Add in the shortening and oil and pulse a few more times. The mixture should be fairly crumbly at this point in time.
  3. Gradually add in the ice cold water and process for about a minute or so, the mixture should form a tight ball.
  4. Remove from the food processor and give it a nice knead for a minute or two. Wrap in cling foil and refrigerate for an hour and a half.
  5. In the meantime, heat the two tablespoons of oil for 30 seconds or so and add in the onion and ginger and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add in the chopped turkey or the ground lamb. If using the turkey cook for 2 minutes and if using the lamb cook for 5 minutes until the lamb is no longer pink.
  7. Sir in the salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, thyme and the apple and mix well.
  8. Increase the heat to high and cook mixing well until the mixture is fairly dry.,
  9. Mix in the mashed squash or sweet potatoes and the cranberries. Continue cooking until the mixture has the consistency of a soft fairly dry hash. (there are a few variables in the mixture, so this will determine the cooking time).
  10. Stir in the cilantro and set aside to cool.
  11. Remove the pastry from the fridge and break into walnut sized balls.
  12. Roll the balls into 6 inch circles, cut them into half, bring the halves together into a cone, making sure there are no gaps in the tip, fill with a comfortable amount of the filling, using a teaspoon to press down the filling. The shape should resemble a pyramid.
  13. Seal the pyramid closed. Continue shaping all of the dough and filling this way.
  14. Heat the oil for 3 minute in a wok, test with a small bit of dough, the dough should sizzle and rise to the surface.
  15. Continue frying all the samosas in this manner.
  16. Drain on paper towels and serve with your favorite condiment or dipping sauce. Note: the uncooked samosas freeze week, too!


A large part of the prep time includes freezing the samosas.



About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

Leave A Reply