Cuisine from the Indian subcontinent makes liberal use of some of the most flavorful and exotic spices in the world, resulting in dishes that are fragrant and delicious. Samosas, or flaky pockets of pastry that hold curried vegetables, are one example of an Indian appetizer that strikes a balance between fat and calorie contents and health value.
One vegetable samosa with a weight of about 40 g has approximately 80 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber and 1 g sugar. However, it's important to be aware that the ingredients in a samosa are really what determine its final nutrition facts, and not all veggie samosas are made in the same way. A samosa made with butter-based pastry, stuffed with potatoes and fried in oil, will be higher in fat, carbohydrates and calories than a samosa made with thin phyllo dough or wonton wrappers filled with low-calorie peas and carrots and baked in the oven.
Opting for vegetable samosas over meat-filled pastries will cut down on your saturated fat and calorie intake and provide more vitamins and minerals. According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, increasing the amount of vegetables that you eat can help to reduce risks of chronic health conditions including cancer, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, bone loss, diabetes, kidney stones and high cholesterol. Additionally, you'll get a healthy dose of dietary fiber by eating veggie-stuffed samosas, which can improve digestive health and help you lose or maintain weight.
Not all samosas are healthy choices. Despite the nutritional benefits that vegetables offer, a veggie samosa made with a lot of butter or oil can be high in cholesterol and saturated fat. In a "Cooking Light" recipe for vegetable samosas that calls for frying the pastries, each 2 inch samosa has 160 calories and more than 5 g fat. Bigger samosas sold at restaurants and cafes may are likely to have even higher values as well as more sodium and cholesterol.
A vegetable-filled samosa can be a relatively nutritious snack or appetizer, but only if it's low in fat, sodium and cholesterol. If you have the option, look at nutritional information for a samosa before purchasing it. Otherwise, make your own samosas, which will allow you to control the calorie count and nutrition facts. Most importantly, learn to rely on a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods to meet your nutritional needs instead of trying to get all of your essential nutrients through prepared foods such as samosas.