Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024


Spiced Pumpkin and Feta Samosas


Makes 12-14 approx

For the filling

500g pumpkin flesh, skin removed and cut into 1cm dice
2 tbsp olive oil/rapeseed oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp garam masala
200g feta, crumbled
Salt and pepper


80g melted butter, ghee or clarified butter
1 packet of filo pastry
1 tbsp Nigella seeds
1 tbsp white sesame seeds (or you can use pumpkin or any other preferred seed)

Yoghurt dip

150ml full fat greek yoghurt
Zest 1 lemon
2 tbsp mint, chopped
Salt and pepper



To make the filling

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.
  2. Place the diced pumpkin flesh on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in the oven for about 15 mins or, until tender but still holding its shape. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. In a medium pan heat the remaining tablespoon of oil, add the red onion, and allow to sizzle then turn the heat down. Cover with a lid and cook the onion gently until completely softened. This should take about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute until you can smell the aroma of them roasting.
  6. Add the spiced onions into the bowl with the roasted pumpkin. Allow to cool completely then stir in the crumbled feta. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble the samosas

  1. Gently melt the butter in a small pan.
  2. Remove the filo pastry from the packaging. Place on the work surface in a neat stack. Using a sharp knife cut the filo sheets into 1/3s length ways (8/9cm wide approx.) Cover the filo strips with a clean tea towel (filo pastry will dry out quickly so it is important to remain covered when you’re not using it).
  3. Place one strip on the work surface, brush the whole length with butter.
  4. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of the strip, in the centre, leaving a 2cm space at the bottom edge.
  5. Gently compress the filling, pick up the bottom right corner of the filo pastry and bring it to meet the left hand side of the pastry just above the filling. This creates a rough triangle.
  6. Push the filling back in if it has fallen out.
  7. Brush the top surface lightly with butter. Holding the triangle together fold it upwards. The aim is keep the triangle shape and enclose it as you zig/zag it up the strip, try to keep the triangle tight and air out. Brush with butter at each stage to prevent the filo from drying out and aid crisping up in the oven (especially if it is particularly floury filo pastry).
  8. Keep folding the triangle upwards until all the pastry has been wrapped up – the melted butter will seal the final edge.
  9. Place the assembled samosas on a parchment paper lined tray, seam side down. Repeat until the pastry/filling is used up.
  10. To finish the samosas, brush the top with butter and sprinkle with your chosen seeds while the butter is wet to allow them to stick.
  11. The Samosas can be baked immediately, held covered in the fridge to be baked the next day or frozen in an airtight container (they will take longer to cook from frozen).

To bake

  1. Pre heat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.
  2. Place the samosas on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes approx. or until the pastry is golden, crisp and the filling is hot. Serve immediately.

For the yoghurt dip

  1. Place the yoghurt, chopped mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl. Taste and adjust he seasoning to taste. This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 3 days.

Note Spare pastry can be scrunched up as a pie top and spare filling and dip can be used for a warm grain salad.