Inspirations for Hanukkah

Hanukkah is just a couple of days away, and this year, I’ve created a special recipe for the Jewish holiday! Inspired by the request of my good old Jewish college friend from Pune, Benny, and influenced by one of my newest friends, Yesh, whom I met through my cooking classes, I’ve crafted these delightful Samosa Knishes for the Jewish Festival of Lights. It’s an Indian twist on the humble mashed potato-stuffed Jewish pastries, featuring the Indian spiced potato filling you’d find inside a samosa, baked Vegetable Pattice or the Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread

Basic Samosa Filling

Indian-Jewish Fusion Food Ideas 

Yesh, an avid baker himself, an incredible teacher, a spiritual mentor, and author of ‘Unthinkable Dreams,’ was very kind to invite me over to learn how to bake traditional challah bread earlier this year. He also shared a bunch of wonderful Indian-Jewish fusion ideas with me, such as Pakora Latkes, Matzah Ball Chicken Soup, Samosa Knishes, and many more. Having lived close to New York City and visited several times, I had heard of knishes but had never really tried them. So, I decided to give them a try during the upcoming holidays, as the eight-day Hanukkah festival begins a few days before Christmas.

Samosa Knishes

Easy Knish Recipe

I researched several recipes and understood that knishes are beautiful, golden, delicate, flaky pastries filled with seasoned mashed potato filling. Since this was my first time making knishes, I opted for a shortcut – using frozen puff pastry, readily available in the frozen sections of most grocery stores. This easy recipe can be prepared in advance and baked just before serving. It’s equally enjoyable at room temperature, making it convenient to transport and perfect for bringing to potlucks as well. For potato stuffing, I made the spiced potato filling using my own recipe that is available on my website here. Meat kheema or mushroom kheema will also work very well. You can get creative and make a filling that you like – spinach and cheese, corn and cheese, etc. – the possibilities are endless! I’ve linked a short video below that I put together for you that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

Samosa Knishes
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Samosa Knishes


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: Makes 8 2-inch sized round pastries 1x

Description

An Indian twist on the Jewish pastry, Knish, replacing the traditional potato filling with a spiced potato filling used in the Indian samosas.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm brand), thawed
  • all purpose flour, for dusting
  • water, for sealing the pastry roll

The Filling (see Variations)

  • 1 large baking potato (Idaho or Russet potato recommended), boiled, peeled
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 12 tbsp neutral oil (canola, sunflower, corn, vegetable)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp regular Indian red chili powder (optional – use 1/2 tsp or less if you prefer milder flavor)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 810 sprigs fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped, divided

Instructions

Making the Filling

  • Mash the boiled potatoes slightly, leaving them a little chunky.
  • Heat oil in a deep sauté pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds along with the turmeric powder and pinch of asafoetida. When the seeds splutter, add the onion along with ginger and garlic and sauté for a few minutes till the onion is translucent.
  • Season with salt, red chili powder and garam masala. Give it a quick stir and let the spices bloom for 30 seconds. 
  • Then add the mashed potatoes, mix well and adjust seasonings. Add a little water, if it’s too thick and cook covered on low heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat and mix in the chopped cilantro, reserving some to garnish the baked pastries. Let it cool completely before using as a filling.

 

Making the Pastries

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C
  • Unroll the thawed puff pastry sheet along with its wrapping parchment paper onto a flat, working surface. Sprinkle some all purpose flour on the top and spread it with your palm to ensure the pastry is well dusted with it.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry sheet to even out any cracks and thin out a bit.
  • Spoon the filling in the shape of a 2-inch thick log, placing it in the bottom 1/3 section of the sheet, about 2-3 inches from the bottom edge.
  • Using a pastry brush or with your fingers, wet the sections of the pastry sheet around the filling with a thin and even layer of water.
  • Lift the bottom edge of the puff pastry sheet, separating it from its wrapping parchment paper and fold it over the filling. Then continue to roll the pastry sheet over till you reach the other edge. Press gently to ensure the pastry is sealed properly.
  • Wrap the stuffed puff pastry roll back into its wrapping parchment paper and pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. (See Notes)
  • Pull the roll out of the freezer and place it on the working surface. Using a knife, cut the stuffed pastry roll into half and then, cut the halves further into halves and then further into other halves, resulting into 8 1-inch thick pieces.
  • Separate each piece and using your fingers, push the filling down and reshape the pastry roll into a round shape.
  • Transfer to an aluminum foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes till they are golden brown.
  • Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Keywords: Baking Recipes, Puff Pastry Recipes

Step-by-Step Details

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Make ahead of Time

You can refrigerate for up to 2 days, if you want to make it ahead of time.

Freezing Tips

You can freeze the stuffed puff pastry roll for up to 3 months. To bake, thaw on the counter for 30-45 minutes and then cut the roll into 8 1-inch thick pieces and bake per the recipe.

Recipe Variations

Stir in peas and carrots in the filling for a boost of color and flavor.

Get creative with the filling. Use meat kheema or mushroom kheema or make a filling that you like – spinach and feta cheese, corn and cheese, etc.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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