Samoosi yirakot

Stuffed vegetable turnovers

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    (makes about 12)

Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Afghani cuisine uses many of the same spices as the Middle East and India, but is milder and lighter than its Indian cousin, as you’ll see with these lovely turnovers.

If convenient, you can make the dough a few hours ahead, which will give a better result, as the matzoh meal will absorb all the liquid in the dough.

Preparation 30 minutes
Cooking 20 minutes + 3 minutes per batch



  • 115 g (4 oz/1 cup) fine matzoh meal
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) chilled water, approximately


  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 60 g ( oz/½ cup) chopped cauliflower
  • 75 g ( oz/½ cup) green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Chaat masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • a pinch of saffron threads
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


To make the dough, mix the matzoh meal in a bowl with the egg and salt, adding just enough of the chilled water to make a moist dough that holds together. Set aside.

For the filling, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the potato and carrot and blanch for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower to the pan; if using fresh peas, add them now as well. Blanch for another 2 minutes, or until all the vegetables are firm but cooked. (If using frozen peas, add them right near the end.)

Drain the vegetables and set aside.

Heat the rice bran oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until the onion is lightly browned.

Stir in the garam masala and turmeric and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the mixture becomes aromatic.

Gently stir in the cooked vegetables, saffron, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Place a golf ball–sized piece of the dough on a lightly floured work surface and press it out into a 6 cm (2½ inch) square. Put 1 tablespoon of the vegetable mixture on the bottom half of the square, then fold it over into a triangle. Prepare all the turnovers this way.

Pour the vegetable oil into a wok or heavy-based saucepan and heat to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 15 seconds.

Working in batches, gently add the turnovers to the hot oil and cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.

Serve warm, with green coconut chutney.