Although samosas are typically associated with Indian cuisine, they can be found all over South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. Samosas are savoury, stuffed pastries and often contain spiced potatoes, lentils, onions and coriander. Non-vegetarian samosas usually contain minced meat or chicken. Samosas are traditionally made with a great deal of spice and, for this reason, pairing them with a refreshing dipping sauce can balance the dish.
If you eat a samosa at an Indian restaurant in North America, you will most likely be served a side of tamarind chutney as a dipping sauce. Sweet and sour chutneys can be made from a variety of fruits; tamarind are used often in India due to the abundance of that fruit. The cool, sweet-sour flavour of the sauce balances the richness of the pastry and counteracts the spice.
Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Another traditional dipping sauce that accompanies samosas throughout much of India is cilantro dip. The sauce can be made by combining fresh chopped cilantro with chilli peppers (serrano or jalapeño), lemon juice, chopped nuts, garlic and salt. The freshness of the cilantro cuts the richness of the samosa pastry.
Tamarind Cilantro Sauce
Tamarind cilantro sauce combines the two most common samosa dipping sauces. This sauce usually contains ginger, garlic, tamarind syrup, freshly chopped cilantro, soy sauce and lime.
Though not traditionally Indian, chilli sauce can be a great accompaniment to samosas. Chilli sauce can be made several ways, but the principle ingredients are tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, green chillies, cloves, garlic, vinegar, allspice and ginger. Like chutney, chilli sauce will have a sweet-sour flavour in addition to the heat. This will cut the richness of the pastry and allow individuals to control the level of spice with their samosa.