samosa pie


This is the story of the pie I made for the 3rd Annual Brooklyn Pie Contest (to benefit BK Farmyards — a very cool organization). I’ve got to blurt it out — my samosa pie won! Well, it won “People’s Choice” out of all 62 pies entered, and the judges gave it 2nd place in the judged category. I don’t think I’ve ever won a raffle, let alone a cooking contest. I couldn’t believe it! So I can officially, un-sarcastically put “Prize-Winning” in front of the name of this recipe. For the story of and recipe for Zoe’s Prize-Winning Samosa Pie, keep reading …

This pie is a favorite of mine, because it is savory and filling. The original idea came from Kate Croft, a friend who is off adventuring now, but once made vegetable pot pie in her Brooklyn apartment for Jeremy’s birthday. And then she gave me the recipe! And then I played with it, but it still has her crust, and her technique. I’ve made it as a huge sheet-pie, a regular pie, and as little muffin pies. Which version is best depends on your ideal crust-to-filling ratio. The crust ratio I’m giving you makes a little more than a top+bottom crust. Get started making your crust and put it in to pre-bake and then I’ll tell you my story.


2 2/3 cups flour (sometimes i use all-purpose, sometimes i mix with whole wheat. and its totally different … you pick!)

1.5 tsp salt

1 cup all vegetable shortening

8 Tbsp ice cold water

(i use shortening because a) thats how Kate Croft made it the night i fell in love with vegetable pot pie and b) i thought strategically it might attract some voters at the pie contest if my pie was vegan. butter crusts are better. but this crust is an old standby.)

Pour flour into a bowl. Don’t level the cups or shake them down. You definitely don’t want too much flour. It’s a small 2 2/3 cups. Add salt, and 1 cup shortening (at room temperature). Hold a table knife in each hand and use them cut the shortening into the flour. Cut crosswise, so the knives are scraping against each other. Cut until shortening is mixed into the flour but still holds its shape in pea sized chunks. Add the water, one Tbsp at a time. The original recipe says 7 – 8 Tbsp water, so add slowly. I’ve never ever added less than 8, so I am going to be bold and edit to be more exact. Form two balls of the dough, and press between waxed paper.

Roll out each ball between the waxed paper until they are pie-dough-thin. Remove top sheet and press one crust into the pie dish. Trim around the edges so it fits. “Rustic” is sometimes a good look to shoot for here … it is forgiving. Prick the crust all over with a fork and pre-bake for 10 – 15 min at 425 degrees.

“Prize Winning” Samosa Pie Filling Part 1

Now that your crust is pre-baking, chop an onion and a big potato. Cook the onion with a little vegetable oil over medium heat until it caramelizes a little bit and becomes soft and transparent. Add potatoes, and let cook for a bit longer.

This is when you’ll have a little time to take a break … while all this stuff cooks, so here’s some pie-contest story to keep you busy.

Remember your bottom crust — don’t let it burn!

The pie contest itself was a bit of a disaster. It was supposed to be the five of us, and then Nicole had to be in the Bronx and Claire danced her way to a hell of a hangover at our party the night before, so only three little pigs had pies baked for the contest. And even for the three of us it was a challenge. Chopping vegetables sounded like a chain saw in my ears. Sami’s pie had further disasters (apple. in fridge. straight into pie. remember?) but was bandaged with a healthy dose of whipped cream and chocolate ganache. Emily’s pie was an incredible pear and almond creation — you should all pester her for the recipe. It’s misfortune came later: a bad placement in the judging line, and competition from an overwhelming number of other sweet pies. But that was lucky for us because we got to take some leftovers home! I may or may not have eaten it for every meal the next day 😉

When we got to the pie contest, it was way too crowded. We didn’t even stay for a drink after delivering our pies to the judges because it felt those crabs must have felt squashed into their bushel basket. So we went to get beers elsewhere and await the verdict. Antsy, we returned after a few drinks to check on our pies. The samosa pie got lucky (maybe I did win a raffle after all, basically) and was tasted close to the beginning by the judges, and then put out for public consumption. So lots of people tried it, and when we got back we kept hearing whispers of “oh I didn’t get a piece of the samosa pie,” “here, try mine,” “did you know this samosa pie is vegan?” etc. It was exciting to hear people talking about my pie! We stood outside because the bar was still packed and tasted a few pies. Some were delicious, and some were … not. And then they announced the winners and I won, and I won some paraphernalia from The Meat Hook, a butcher shop in Williamsburg, and a gift certificate to a nearby cooking store, but the prizes didn’t matter that much because people really liked the pie I made! It was so cool.

So now that you know this pie is prizewinning, you are probably even more excited for the rest of the recipe. It is a good recipe, and simple. Yes, even the crust. But I’m really excited more about all the possibilities for savory pies. Please share your ideas!

“Prize Winning” Samosa Pie Filling Part 2

2 medium onions

1 large potato

3 cloves garlic

1 carrot, or 1/2 butternut squash, or 1 small/medium sweet potato.

1 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, if you’ve got them.

2 stalks celery, if you want.

1 cup chopped green beans, if its that time of year.

2 cup vegetable broth

frozen vegetables: peas, green beans (if its not that time of year), spinach (you can also use fresh for any of these things … but sometimes the freezer needs an overhaul and this is a great recipe.

2 Tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

lentil dal spice, if you haev it.

paprika? sometimes i put some in.

sometimes some fresh thyme from the plant on my desk too. but right now it is dead. so not that this time.


You already have the onions translucent and the potato cooking away in your largest skillet/sautee pan. Add a little broth if you need to. Add salt! When the potato is about 1/2way cooked, add carrots and other vegetables like celery, mushrooms, squash, sweet potato. Cook for 20 min on low, adding broth and cooking it away. Cover for a short time and let vegetables steam if they seem to be browning too fast. When vegetables are mostly cooked through, add frozen vegetables, spinach, green beans, etc. Cook 5 more min to let those defrost/shrink down. Add spices and allow to simmer for a bit more. Add more broth so the filling is pretty wet when you add it to the pie.

Fill bottom crust with filling. If you use a normal sized pie dish, it should over-fill the dish, creating a beautiful, full looking pie. If you use a casserole pan like I did, it will be more level. Not so beautiful, but it feeds more people!

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 min. (check on it after 30)

Let rest and cool off, I know that part is hard.

Phew. I always get pretty tired by the end of writing the recipe part of this. If there is anything I left out — let me know!

Share with friends because it smells really good and they might be jealous. When we made this on Thursday there was suddenly somehow an apartment full of friends to eat it. I’m not sure if that was the pies fault or just good luck again … but the two seem to go together.


Look! Annie’s version — made for dinner with her sister, Lizi. Annie made it in her new deep cast iron pot. And they had a good night. (Thanks for the picture Annie!)


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3 Responses to “samosa pie”

  1. sara Says:

    you girls are too cute for words. i’m in LOVE with this blog. oh, and i literally just made the above (i added some beef and garnished it with lemon, chive greek yogurt sauce) and it was fantastic! keep ’em coming.

  2. Jessie Elvey Says:

    Its really nice, i dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. I should just give up and take lessons from you

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