Are Samosas Vegan? And How Many Should I Eat Per Day?
Last updated on September 27th, 2023
In the world of exciting and delicious foods, few dishes match the flavour and worldwide fame of samosas. These savoury, crispy triangles have gained popularity that spans continents. But there’s a question that often pops up in the minds of those following a vegan lifestyle: Are samosas vegan?
Let’s dive into this mouthwatering topic and find out the truth about whether these treats can be enjoyed on a vegan diet.
Are Samosas Vegan?
The short answer is, yes, samosas can be vegan, but sadly they aren’t always.
The first thing we need to remember is that samosa recipes can vary between different brands and different restaurant chefs. So, to say that samosas are or aren’t vegan is to assume I know every samosa recipe in the world, and while I am trying to eat my way around that world, I’m not quite there yet.
The primary ingredients of traditional samosa pastry are flour, water, and oil, which are all plant-based. However, it’s not common, but dairy such as milk, butter or ghee can be added too, which sadly would mean they are no longer vegan.
Are Samosas Cooked in Ghee?
So, on to the next potential problem. Yes, sometimes samosas are cooked in Ghee, I know, rubbish, right?
And unless you feel the restaurant really understands vegan food, it’s probably safe to ask the waiting staff to check with the kitchen if their samosas are cooked in ghee or not. There’s no other way of knowing for sure.
Don’t let this put you off though because they often aren’t cooked with ghee or the chef says he can cook them differently for me, so it’s worth asking if you fancy one.
Are Frozen Samosas Vegan?
Most frozen samosas I’ve come across are vegan, but again there’s no blanket answer to this question either.
Check the pack for a vegan logo, if you can’t find one check the ingredient list, if you’ve no luck, move on and check the next pack, I’m sure you’ll find some frozen vegan samosas.
Is there Milk in Samosas?
Normally there’s no milk in samosas. Of all the ingredient lists I’ve read, I’ve never seen milk. However, they do often say ‘may contain milk’ and if you’ve been vegan for any length of time you’ll know this just means there is a chance of cross-contamination. This can help people with severe allergies, But milk is not in the recipe.
What are the Most Common Samosa Fillings?
Samosa fillings can be anything really, but you’ll usually find an assortment of vegetables, lentils, spices, and even minced meat. So, as you know, if you’re vegan the lentil and veggie ones are fine but it’s probably best to stay away from those minced meat ones.
But that’s not usually a problem, it’s pretty easy to get your hands on a vegetable-filled samosa.
1. Vegetable Delight
Many samosas are brimming with a mixture of vegetables, making them a fantastic option for vegans. Common vegetable fillings include soft fluffy potatoes, peas, carrots, and sometimes even spinach. When these ingredients are mixed with Indian spices inside the crispy samosa pastry, you get a wholesome, vegan delight.
2. A load-a-lentils
Lentil-filled samosas are another popular vegan option. Lentils provide protein and a hearty and substantial filling.
3. Steering Clear of Meat and Dairy
Traditional meat or dairy samosas, such as those with minced meat or paneer, are, of course, not vegan.
How to Find Vegan Samosas
When buying samosas or ordering them at a restaurant, here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting the vegan version.
Finding vegan samosas in the supermarket:
If purchasing packaged samosas, scan through the ingredient list, you’re mostly only looking to avoid dairy products such as milk or butter. Or meat of course, but that will probably be pretty obvious by the front of the pack.
Finding vegan samosas in restaurants:
If you’re dining out, and the samosas on the menu don’t specifically say vegan then you’ve gotta ask, it’s the only way. Most chefs are usually pretty helpful and are happy to provide details about their menu.
If you want absolutely no doubt whether your samosa is vegan or not, you could make your own, I found this amazing recipe you can try – Holy Cow Vegan – Samosa | How to make Punjabi Samosa.
Samosas can indeed be a scrumptious addition to a vegan diet, provided you choose the right filling and check the ingredients list. And if you’re not sure ask the chef.
So, the next time you want to sit down and feast on some tasty Indian food, you can confidently include samosas in the mix.
Want some more vegan food tips? Check out my Vegan Food and Drink page.
Meet the Author
Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living.
With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.
Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.