I don’t know about you, but after a few evenings of holiday dinner leftovers, I want anything but. Unfortunately, holiday leftovers rarely run out before my interest does. And that’s why I’m always thinking up new and interesting ways to completely transform the remains of the day. I want whatever I make with my leftovers to bear almost no resemblance to its former self. Case in point – these Leftover Turkey Samosas with Cranberry Chutney.
So it was Thanksgiving yesterday in the States. I’m sure this year was different, as it was for many of us in Canada. The guest lists were probably smaller and, in all likelihood, so were feasts. But I know some people were still felt compelled to cook the traditional bird with all the trimmings. I applaud that. We’re all scrambling for some normalcy, and why not find it in the festive food of the season. It might just make us feel a little more human.
But the reality of bronzing up a hulk of a turkey for five people is you’re going to have leftovers. A lot of leftovers. Likely more leftovers than you’ve ever had to deal with in previous years. And while I love a hot turkey sandwich as much as the next girl, you’re not going to want that seven days in a row. And it’s not so much the turkey itself – is the flavor palette. Sage, butter, and pumpkin everything can get wearing. So let’s change up the spicing and get a little more mileage out of that beast of a bird.
What I love about these Leftover Turkey Samosas is they make quick work of two kinds of common leftovers – turkey and mashed potatoes. Most people keep their holiday mashed potatoes blissfully blank. I mean, the potatoes are really just a vehicle for gravy anyway. Why complicate things? And because Thanksgiving taters are dolled up with little more than butter and perhaps garlic, they can take on just about any flavor you impose upon them. In this case, they’re taking on Kashmiri chili powder, toasted cumin and coriander seed, and garam masala.
Leftover turkey doesn’t you hard with the flavor either. So, as with the mashed potatoes, the turkey is receptive to a makeover. And although these are called Leftover Turkey Samosas, they can be made with just about any kind of poultry – chicken, hens, perhaps even duck. Duck might be tricky as they tend to have a more assertive flavor, but if you’re a fan of duck, I don’t think you’d hate it wrapped in a samosa.
And speaking of wrapping, wrapping samosa is fun. No, I’m serious, it is fun. It’s like a craft you get to eat. In the days after a holiday, everyone is just lazing around anyway, give them something to do. You can fold your samosas while getting a head start on your epically long watch-list of holiday movies. This is prime slow cook time, lean in. I found this guide on folding samosa extremely helpful, so take a peek.
Now, let’s talk chutney. This chutney came about because I got overzealous with my cranberry buying and bought too much. So the recipe below is made with fresh cranberries, which you might not have anymore. I’m not sure the method will work with leftover cranberry sauce, but feel free to experiment in that direction – it would make me ever so proud.
But if you’re so inclined to grab an extra bag of cranberries to make this chutney, I can tell you, you won’t regret it. It is so delicious and it works with every curry I’ve eaten since I made it and we eat curry at least once a week. And the chutney keeps in the fridge like an absolute angel. Mine is at least a month old and it still looks, smells, and tastes great.
So that’s everything you need to know about these Leftover Turkey Samosas with Cranberry Chutney. A simple and fun to make way to plow through the remainder of your leftovers without losing heart. Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and are well-primed for the holidays ahead.
Leftover Turkey Samosas with Cranberry Chutney
- 1 tbsp neutral oil I used canola
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 (1-inch) knob ginger minced
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup gooseberries
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup demerara sugar
- ¾ cup white vinegar
Leftover Turkey Samosas
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ajwain seeds optional
- ½ tsp salt
- 7 tbsp ghee heaping, divided
- 6 tbsp cold water
- 1 onion diced
- 4-5 green chilis** thinly sliced
- 1 (1-inch) knob ginger minced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp coriander seeds coarsely crushed with the back of a spoon
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- 1½ cups leftover mashed potatoes*
- 1 ½ cups cooked, shredded turkey I used a mixture of white and dark meat
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder*** or paprika with a pinch of cayenne
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 3 cups neutral oil for frying
- fresh cilantro for serving, optional
- pomegranate arils for serving, optional
- mint chutney for serving, optional
For the Chutney
- Pour the oil into a heavy bottom pot and place over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and salt, and turn the heat to low. Sweat the shallots until just translucent, stir in the ginger and saute until fragrant. Stir in the spices and saute until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the cumin becomes fragrant.
- Add the cranberries, gooseberries, and raisins and toss to coat. Pour in the sugar and vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook uncovered until the fruit reaches a thick, jammy consistency. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Take the chutney off of the heat and transfer to a heat-proof jar. Leave to cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Then place a lid on the jar and store it in the fridge.
For the Samosas
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, salt, and ajwain seeds. Add 5 tablespoons of the ghee and, using your fingers, rub the ghee into the flour mixture. Take your time with this, you want to really work the ghee in. The finished mixture should look crumbly, not shaggy.
- Start adding the water a tablespoon at a time, kneading lightly between additions. After the final tablespoon, you should have a dense, cohesive dough that you can form into a ball. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and let sit for 45 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, make the filling. Heat the remaining ghee in a skillet until melted. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute until translucent. Add the ginger, green chili, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
- Take the onion mixture off of the heat and place in a large bowl. Add the mashed potatoes, turkey meat, chili powder, garam masala, and ground coriander. Stir to combine, taste and season with salt accordingly. Set aside.
- By now the dough should be done resting. Divide the dough into 8 evenly-sized pieces. Take one piece and cover the remaining pieces with a damp cloth so they don't dry out.
- Place the piece of dough on a floured surface and roll it out to a rough 3×7 " rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half crosswise. Take one half and run a wet finger along the straight edge. Fold both ends of the straight edge in to meet each other to form a cone. Press to form a seal. Fill the cone with a heaping tablespoon of the filling. Run a wet finger around the circumference of the top of the cone and press to seal. Repeat with the remaining half. Transfer the finished samosas to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat these steps with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Once all the samosas are folded, pour the oil into a large wok. Heat to 325°F and try to keep it within 325-350°F throughout the cooking process. Add the 4-5 samosas at a time and fry until deep golden in color, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer the finished samosas to a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and keep warm in a 150°F oven until ready to serve.
- Once the samosas are fried, place them on a large platter and garnish with fresh cilantro and pomegranate arils. Serve with cranberry and mint chutney on the side.