Maangsher Shingara (Mutton Samosas)

Ten years ago in the month of August I began a chapter in my life which, ever since then, has shaped a part of my identity. I began my journey as a student of the prestigious History department in the even more prestigious Presidency College. A decade later, I still remember vividly the manner in which the day unfolded. After our induction at Derozio hall, historian and head of the department Dr Rajat Kanta Ray took the 25 of us on a tour round the college. In his trademark style (which you won't be able to fathom unless you've met/talked to him), he detailed us about the history and story behind each nook and cranny, each brick of the monumental structure that the college is.
After traversing the entire campus, drenched in the rain that had poured upon us from the August sky, we were ushered into our classroom, where our second and third year seniors waited for us like tigers on the prowl. A friendly interactive session later, we were handed over a food packet, which contained among other things that one item which the college canteen was renowned for — Promod Da'r Chicken Shingara. Promod da is a man who is timeless, who never grows old. He is the man who mans the canteen, he has seen so many come, so many go and so many stay. He is famous not just within the campus but outside it as well, nationally and even internationally. Don't believe me? See for yourself!
Jokes apart. Now those Chicken Shingaras had become our staple diet for the next three years. We had them for breakfast, for lunch, for tea, in between classes, and while attending classes. Post 2007, the chicken shingaras progressively featured less and less in my diet and finally stopped. Only till the time I was reminded of them by my blogger friend Manjari a couple of months back.
Manjari had called me over for some homemade brioche and coffee and ended up making a lavish Leek and Cheese Quiche and Mutton Shingaras as well. Now mutton inherently is different from Chicken but twice as much awesome. I ate like pig and also carried back the leftovers. :P Ever since then I've been looking for an opportunity to create those shingaras which were not just brilliant to eat, but also transported me back to those days when I would sit in the college canteen with my friends, clad in jeans and kurta, and sing away Rabindrasangeet and Chandrabindoo alike with a tiny glass of lebu cha (lemon tea) in one hand and a chicken shingara in another.
Recipe partially adapted from Manjari's For the Love of Food
Makes 20 small samosas


Mutton keema/mince: 500 gm
Mustard oil: 1 tbsp
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Onion, chopped finely: 1.5
Green chillies, finely chopped: 3
Ginger paste: 1 tbsp
Garlic paste: 1.5 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Tomato ketchup: 3 tbsp (or puree of 1 tomato)
Garam Masala: 3/4 tsp
Salt. to taste
Sugar, to taste (optional)

For marinade:

Onion paste: 3 tbsp
Garlic paste: 1.5 tsp
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Lime juice: Of 1 lime
Black pepper powder: 3/4 tsp
Salt: a fat pinch

For dough:

Flour: 350 gm
Oil/Ghee: 3 tbsp (more or less)
Salt, a fat pinch
Water: as required

Oil: for deep frying


1. Marinade the mutton keema with the ingredients listed under marination and refrigerate for 2-3 hours at least. The more the merrier.

2. Heat oil and 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed kadhai. Add onions, green chillies and sugar and sauté on high heat for 2-3 minutes till translucent and golden. Add the ginger and garlic paste and sauté for a minute or so more. 

3. In a bowl, mix the powdered spices with 2 tbsp of water and add to the pan along with some salt. Keep stirring for 3-4 minutes till the raw smell goes and oil is released from the sides.

4. Add the keema, stir well to get it mixed with the spices, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer covered for approximately 20 minutes. Stir in between so prevent the onions and keema from scalding. 

5. Uncover and add tomato ketchup, cook for another 5 minutes or till keema is completely cooked. Sprinkle garam masala and the remaining 1 tbsp ghee and mix. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down.

6. For the dough: Knead the flour well with the oil/ghee, salt by gradually adding water. Once it is smooth and almost shining, cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes. 

7. Now for the assembly: Roll out the dough into longish semi-round shapes, almost elliptical, like the letter "O". Cut it into half from the centre. Take one half, fold it into a conical shape, seal the pointed end. Now stuff the keema into the cone and press the ends together to form similar shapes like the one shown in the picture. Repeat with all the dough and keema.
8. Heat enough oil in a deep-bottomed pan but make sure it is not smoking. Fry the samosas, 2 at a time, till crisp and golden. This takes very little time so don't leave your gas while your samosas are frying. Drain on kitchen towel.

9. Serve them with ketchup and onion rings or some Green Chutney (as Manjari did), if you haven't already popped some in your mouth by now!


  1. Looks yummy and mouth watering. i will surely try this once.


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