If you’re a fan of samosas – the savoury, crunchy snack – then you’re in luck. September 5 is annually celebrated as World Samosa Day, and there’s no better time to dig into the treat that goes so well with a piping hot cup of tea.
For those unaccustomed to the humble street food item, it’s a triangular-shaped pastry that comes with a range of fillings. Different parts of the world have their iteration of the snack – from samboosa to sambusek – while samosa is the version enjoyed in most parts of South Asia.
Whether you’re taking the opportunity to discover the samosa or celebrate it, here are some places to head to:
For an authentic version of a hearty Punjabi samosa, head to this modern Indian restaurant. The snack comes perfectly golden brown and crispy on the outside and warm and spicy on the inside, and four pieces will only set you back Dh15.
Open daily; noon to midnight; Dh 15 for four pieces; Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai WTC; 0526529353
The home-grown brand has an eclectic take on the snack. Their smashmosa is a mashed-up samosa, generously topped with bhujia, a fried Indian snack, along with onions, pomegranate seeds and tomatoes.
Open daily; prices start at Dh20; available at Cinema Akil and Two Leaves by Project Chaiwala; www.projectchaiwala.com
The restaurant offers samosas in a variety of fillings. Apart from the standard vegetarian option, which features steamed and spiced mashed potatoes, there’s a cheese option and a minced chicken version to tuck into. The dainty samosas come in a pyramid-shaped pastry.
Open daily; timings vary; prices start at Dh17.5; www.gazebo.ae
For a more elevated approach, Farzi Cafe, which has branches in Mall of the Emirates and City Walk, might be your best bet. The restaurant has just launched a dedicated chaat menu, complete with a “chaatwala” who rolls a cart around and rings a bell to catch guests' attention and whip up some dishes for them. Customers can try their sumac Punjabi samosa chaat, complete with chickpea mash and sweet-and-spicy sauce.
Open daily; noon to 10.15pm; Dh25; Mall of the Emirates and City Walk; www.farzicafe.ae
If you’re craving a more local touch, then modern Emirati restaurant Logma has a range of samboosas. Try the cheese samboosa which features cream cheese with a blend of Chips Oman. They also have a minced beef and chicken version, apart from the usual vegetable samboosa with a potato stuffing.
Open daily; Dh34 onwards; 10am to midnight; branches in Al Wasl, Dubai Mall, City Center Mirdif; www.logma.ae
Carnival by Tresind
The fine dining Indian establishment offers a wonderfully gourmet version of the dish. The samosa chaat features a crispy samosa shell topped with helpings of mint and tamarind chutney, for a creative mix of flavours and textures.
Open daily; Dh79; noon to 11.30pm; Dh80; DIFC Dubai; 044218665
For a sweet twist to the street food item, head to this restaurant, which has two branches in Dubai. Dhaba Lane is creating a limited-edition chocolate samosa, available from Sunday to Saturday, September 11. Expect to find a decadent chocolate brownie filling, covered with melted chocolate.
Sunday, September 5 to Saturday, September 11; Dhaba Lane Karama and Dhaba Lane Garhoud; www.dhaba-lane.com
In Abu Dhabi
It is known for its delectable range of Indian sweets and street food, and the samosas are also much talked about. For an ideal sharing snack, order up a plate and you’ll get two pieces with a tender potato filling. The restaurant also serves samosa pav (a samosa between bun) and samosa chaat, and has branches across the UAE.
Open daily; Dh7 for two pieces; locations across UAE; www.bikanervala.com
This vegetarian restaurant started as a small Indian sweets and savories shop in Abu Dhabi in 1996. Apart from a variety of chaats, dosas and thalis, it also serves a hearty and authentic samosa, perfectly spiced, with a flavourful green chutney.
Open daily; 8.30am to 11.30pm; Dh3.25 per piece; Salam Street, Behind ADCB Bank; chhappanbhogabudhabi.business.site
Indian by Nature
Another vegetarian-only restaurant, Indian by Nature is known for its range of sizzler and thali items. If you're heading there, be sure to try the myriad chaats and end the meal by splitting a much-loved samosa, with a mildly-spiced potato filling and green chutney.
Open daily; 8am-11.30pm; Dh4 per piece; Branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; indianbynature.ae
This hole-in-the-wall venue is widely considered a hidden gem by those in the know. It serves a range of South Indian snacks and you can get your hands on a South Indian-style samosa for a budget price. It's also one of the few places that serves a cup of chai for Dh1.
Open daily; 5am-midnight; Dh1 onwards; Mussafah Sanaiya, Abu Dhabi; 0506961157