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Where do you get your Samosa fix?

jhulla Jul 7, 2008 04:37 PM

Where do you get your favorite samosas?

Some requirements:

- Fried crust must be hot and flaky -- but not dripping with grease. In the best case, the samosa was fried fresh and served promptly. (Many places reheat or refry.)

- Filling must be chunks of potato, peas, spices and coriander -- not a slurry or gooey paste. The filling cannot contain carrots, turmeric, or all the other deviations from an authentic North Indian samosa.

- A rich and flavourful imli (tamarind) sauce must be present.

My personal favorite is Vik's Chaat house in Berkeley.

Any good samosa places in the South Bay?

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  1. r
    rahir RE: jhulla Jul 7, 2008 04:41 PM

    This is hard- I can't remember if my favorite has carrots! But I love New Ganges handmade samosas in SF. They're large, piping hot, and oh so yummy. The filling always leaves me wanting more.

    New Ganges Restaurant
    775 Frederick St, San Francisco, CA 94117

    1 Reply
    1. re: rahir
      rccola RE: rahir Jul 8, 2008 09:33 PM

      When brought in fresh from the home of the lady who makes them (like around 11 am on Saturday and maybe everyday) the samosas at the Bombay Market just West of Philly Cheesesteak on University are delicious.

    2. drmimi RE: jhulla Jul 7, 2008 04:45 PM

      bless you jhulla-- my 11 yo is a samosa snob-- used to having home made ones by a friend in Modesto. We have tried many up in Sonoma County with great disappointment.
      Samosas seem to have a regional variation.... please tell me more

      1 Reply
      1. re: drmimi
        Kathleen M RE: drmimi Jul 8, 2008 09:40 AM

        The samosas at the Occidental farmers' market are wonderful. There's a stand where an Indian woman sells samosas, and often one other Indian dish. The sauce is a mint chutney, though. I love that sauce and ask for extra.

      2. osho RE: jhulla Jul 7, 2008 04:49 PM

        When I lived in the South Bay, India Cash and Carry had Punjabi style samosas, like the ones you've described. They were 50 cents a piece with two types of chutney.

        Always call before you make the trip though. And carrots in samosas are surely a travesty.

        India Cash & Carry
        1032 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: osho
          drmimi RE: osho Jul 7, 2008 07:16 PM

          My Modesto friend with Gujarat origins sneaks raisins into hers....but carrots yowsa...
          In the Northbay I have only encountered the potato heavy, everything else light versions....
          Not my cup o tea

        2. c
          ceekskat RE: jhulla Jul 7, 2008 09:47 PM

          It's been a few years but I used to love Lovely Sweets' samosas. Don't know how it is these days but I do know their rasamalai is still excellent. I recently had some good ones at a friend's place & she said they were from Passage to India bakery in Mtn. View . I especially liked the fact that they were smaller in size than the normal variety so you don't feel like your appetizer is your meal. Last but not least, my favorite is Deep brand frozen cocktail samosas available in your local Indian grocer's freezer. They are snack/bite size & of course deep fried at home. Although they are made with won ton wrappers (I think), this is probably one of the best items in any Indian grocery store. Oh, sorry can't help with the imli sauce; may be try Deep brand ready made sauce in the refrigerated section.

          Lovely Sweets
          932 E El Camino Real
          Sunnyvale, CA 94087
          (408) 245-6512


          BTW, India Cash & Carry used to get their samosas from Rajjot down the street but but I felt the pastry/crust was too thick & not flaky enough nor the filling, tangy enough.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ceekskat
            osho RE: ceekskat Jul 8, 2008 07:45 AM

            I think I last bought samosas from India Cash in 2006.

            As I remember it, the samosas at Rajjot were truly unremarkable. Quite surprised to hear they supplied India Cash and Carry. Are you sure that is still the case ?

            Rajjot Sweet & Snacks
            1234 S Wolfe Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

            1. re: osho
              ceekskat RE: osho Jul 8, 2008 09:35 AM

              I asked once a few years ago but samosa never changed so I assumed it was still from Rajjot. However, like you, I haven't had one in about a year or so. I used to get them as an afterschool snack for the kids whenever I made it down there for groceries. I now go to Namaste Plaza in Mtn. View with unfortunately worse samosas (forgot where they get it from).

              My weakness of course is a fresh, crisp, hot out of the oil vada with coconut chutney:-)

              1. re: osho
                osho RE: osho Jul 23, 2008 11:01 AM

                I'd like to add Sukhi's to the list. I bought 3 for $5 from their stand in Alemany market on Saturday, and they were pretty good. Whilst pricey, they're the best I've had in a while.

            2. The Ranger RE: jhulla Jul 8, 2008 11:03 AM

              Lakshmi Bazaar
              5178 Moorpark Ave
              San Jose, CA 95129
              (408) 861-0617

              Bonus: Cilantro chutney offered (in moderation)

              1. JiyoHappy RE: jhulla Jul 23, 2008 11:46 AM

                I was @ Rangoli (Santa Clara) last wk and they had samosas, stuffed with cauliflower (gobhi samosa), peas (matar samosa), in addition to the regular samosas. But it is takeout only. Their masala levels are better and the crust is really crispy but not crumbly.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JiyoHappy
                  rworange RE: JiyoHappy Jul 23, 2008 12:23 PM


                  Rangoli Sweets
                  1584 Halford Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95051

                2. s
                  shivani RE: jhulla Jul 24, 2008 03:29 PM

                  Vik's Chaat in Berkeley or Pakwan on 16th at Guerrero in SF.

                  1. k
                    katya RE: jhulla Jul 25, 2008 05:43 PM

                    The veggie samosa at Turmeric was easily the best I've ever had.

                    Honorable Mentions (ranked with best at the top):
                    Amber Cafe
                    Chaat Cafe

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: katya
                      katya RE: katya Aug 25, 2009 11:36 AM

                      The samosa at Turmeric looks, and more importantly tastes, like a work of art.

                      Turmeric Restaurant
                      141 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

                    2. j
                      jhulla RE: jhulla Aug 6, 2008 01:33 PM

                      Ordered a bunch of samosas from Passage to India in Mountain View. They are on the small side -- but tasty. The filling is authentic. The crust was pretty nice. Not bad at all.

                      1. tara RE: jhulla Aug 6, 2008 11:06 PM

                        I like the samosas from Bombay Ice Creamery on Valencia at 16th in SF. Big, but not too big, crispy.

                        Bombay Ice Cream
                        245 South Van Ness, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tara
                          rworange RE: tara Aug 7, 2008 08:32 AM

                          Bombay must be inconsistant then. I went after reading an enthusiastic old reccomendation like yours. The worst samosa I had in my life was from Bombay. Or you have to hit them when they are just made. This thing was sitting in the steam table and tasted it.

                        2. Melanie Wong RE: jhulla Aug 25, 2009 08:42 AM

                          The Financial Times gives a shout out to Vik's in Berkeley and Rajjot in Sunnyvale.

                          My personal favorite are the tiny meat-filled ones at Sultan in SF.

                          Vik's Chaat House
                          2390 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

                          Turmeric Restaurant
                          141 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

                          340 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            adrienne156 RE: Melanie Wong Aug 25, 2009 11:50 AM

                            I'm not a huge fan of the filling of the veggie samosas at Vik's, but the juicy meat-filled ones that they serve only on the weekends are to die for. The pastry on them is also very good.

                          2. jillyju RE: jhulla Aug 25, 2009 09:48 AM

                            This past Sunday I tried the samosas at the Temescal Farmer's Market in Oakland. I think the vendor is Sukhi's (although I'm not 100% sure) and I was pleasantly surprised. Even though they weren't hot, they still had a nice crisp and flakey exterior, and the filling was as you've described. There were NO carrots!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jillyju
                              mochimunchie RE: jillyju Aug 26, 2009 08:38 AM

                              I've gotten these too and I really like them. They also sell them at Berkeley Bowl E.

                            2. lexdevil RE: jhulla Aug 25, 2009 12:36 PM

                              The veg samosa at Ajanta are light, crisp, and practically ethereal. Totally messed me up for enjoying the leaden gut-busters often going by the same name.

                              1. i
                                indigirl RE: jhulla Aug 25, 2009 01:29 PM

                                Agree on Vik's. For me, hot vs. cold is a major deciding factor.

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