South African Recipes

South African Fish Samosa Recipe: History, Tips & More

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Welcome, fellow food enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the delightful world of South African cooking with a popular snack – Fish Samosas. Crispy on the outside, filled with spiced fish and fragrant aromatics, they’re little pockets of pure joy!

Fish samosa South African indian style recipe

Fish Samosa Recipe

Gianpiero Rusconi
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • Large Frying Pan
  • Medium Frying Pan
  • Kitchen Paper
  • Plate
  • Small Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Deep Fryer (alternatively, a deep saucepan with a thermometer can be used)


  • 300 g White Fish Fillets
  • 1 Large Onion finely chopped
  • 2 Green Chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 12 Samosa Wrappers
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying


  • First off, let's cook the fish. In your large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil over medium heat. Add the fish fillets, season with salt and cook each side for about 3-4 minutes. Once cooked, transfer to a plate and let it cool.
  • While the fish is cooling, let's move on to the onions and chillies. In the same pan, add another tbsp of cooking oil and cook the onions and chillies until the onions are golden brown. It's the start of a beautiful friendship!
  • With your hands or a fork, flake the cooked fish. Add these flakes to your onion and chilli mixture. Now we're talking!
  • Sprinkle in the turmeric and garam masala, and give it a good stir. Squeeze in that fresh lemon juice and season with salt. Cook for a couple more minutes and then take it off the heat. This is our tasty filling!
  • Now it's samosa wrapping time! Place a spoonful of the fish mixture onto the wrapper, fold it into a triangle shape, and seal the edges with the beaten egg. This might take a bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of it!
  • Once all your samosas are wrapped and ready, it's frying time. Heat the vegetable oil in your deep fryer or saucepan to about 180°C. Carefully place a few samosas into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown. Repeat this with the remaining samosas.
  • Using a slotted spoon, take out the golden samosas and let them drain on kitchen paper.

Fish Samosa History

Samosas have a rich history, originating from the Middle East and Central Asia, but they’ve found a special place in South African cuisine. South Africa’s unique cultural mix has given rise to variations like our Fish Samosa. The word “samosa” has Persian roots, from “sanbosag”, while “fish”, of Germanic origin, needs no translation. It’s tricky to pinpoint the exact moment when fish samosas entered South African food culture, but it’s safe to say they’re a firm favourite across diverse communities today, offering a delicious nod to the country’s coastal charm and love for spices.

Tips & Tricks

When preparing Fish Samosas, a couple of pointers can elevate your cooking game. One: don’t skip the lemon juice; it enhances the fish’s freshness. Two: wrapping samosas might seem tricky, but don’t fret. With patience and practice, you’ll master the perfect triangle. Three: remember to fry them in batches. Crowding the fryer can lower the oil temperature and lead to soggy samosas. With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to samosa success!

Best Occasions to Serve Fish Samosa

Fish Samosas are versatile treats ideal for many occasions. They shine at parties or gatherings as bite-sized appetisers that guests can’t resist. During the festive season, they add a South African twist to the holiday spread. Even quiet evenings at home become special when you have these crispy delights to snack on!

Recipes & Sides That Go Well With Fish Samosa

Mango Chutney: This tangy-sweet condiment complements the spicy samosas perfectly.
Peppadew Dip: The zing of Peppadew peppers makes a spicy, delightful pairing.
Garden Salad: A simple fresh salad balances out the richness of the samosas.

Ingredient Alternatives for Fish Samosa

Swap white fish fillets with canned tuna for a pantry-friendly version.
Use curry powder if you don’t have turmeric and garam masala on hand.
If samosa wrappers are unavailable, spring roll wrappers can work too.

Nutritional Facts

Serving size: 3 Samosas

Calories: 200
Carbs: 21g
Sugar: 1g
Fats: 11g
Protein: 6g
Fibre: 1g
These delicious fish samosas are relatively light in terms of calories and offer a good amount of protein. While they have a bit of fat due to frying, they’re undeniably a treat!

Troubleshooting (Common Problems)

Samosas opening during frying: Make sure edges are well sealed with beaten egg.
Samosas are too oily: Ensure oil is hot enough (180°C) before frying.

Fish Samosa Alternatives and Similar Recipes

Chicken Samosas: Substitute fish with minced chicken for a different protein option.
Vegetable Samosas: Swap fish for a mix of peas, potatoes, and carrots for a vegetarian version.
Whether you stick to fish or try other fillings, you’re in for a delicious time with samosas. Happy cooking!

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