Coconut Samosa Potato Salad

by Terry Hope Romero author Viva Vegan

2 huge servings, 4 little servings


A hearty potato and pea salad dressed with warm curry dressing, garnished with cashews, and crushed toasted papadum (crunchy Indian lentil wafers) that’s reminiscent of samosas, the essential Indian deep fried stuffed pastry. Great any time of year but especially comforting in cooler fall weather.½ cup cooked navy beans, drained and rinsed


1. Either thoroughly scrub potatoes to remove any exterior dirt and carve out the eyes, or completely peel the potatoes. Dice into 1 inch cubes, transfer to a large pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Over high heat bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork.

About 2 minutes just before the potatoes seem done, stir in the peas and cook until bright green but firm. Drain and set aside the potatoes and peas to cool.

2. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and fry for about 1 minute until crisp, then turn off the heat. Stir in the curry powder to gently cook the spices in the oil, then set aside to cool for 1 minute. Whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients.

3. Transfer potatoes and peas to a large serving bowl and add the chickpeas, onion, cilantro, mint, and cashews. Pour dressing over salad and mix well; the potatoes should be golden from the curry dressing. Heap on the crushed pappadum and coconut, and dust the top of the salad with garam masala. Serve away!



Variation: Sweet Potato Masala Salad

For a sweeter salad loaded with fiber and vitamin A, replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Scrub the sweet potatoes, dice into bite sized pieces, and boil until tender. Prepare the salad as directed.


Papadam are savory, paper-thin Indian wafers made from ground lentils and spices. You’ll find a exciting selection of flavors in Indian markets, sometimes spiked whole peppercorns or chiles. Papadam must be cooked before eating; fried or roasted over a flame.

Roasting papadam is my method of choice. It’s fast, healthy, and easily done on a gas range. Hold a raw pappadum with long handled metal tongs an inch or closer over a low flame until the surface bubbles and crisps, flipping and moving the papadam along the burner top until the papadum bubbles and warps to crisp perfection. You may need to practice this a few times and burn a few in the process, but a few small charred spots is just fine. Properly cooked papadam is incredibly light, crisp, with a delightful toasted flavor.


2 pounds Russet potatoes

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 cup cooked chickpeas (half of a 14 ounce can)

1 red onion, peeled and finely diced

1 ½ cups lightly packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup lightly packed mint, roughly chopped

2/3 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped



3 tablespoons mild flavored vegetable oil

4 teaspoons mild or hot curry powder

1/3 cup lime juice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt



2 cups gently crushed toasted papadam chips [Using plain pita chips]

½ cup toasted, unsweetened coconut shreds (see East West Corn Salad for tips on toasting coconut)

1 tablespoon garam masala