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Somalian sambusa recipe

Somalian sambusa recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef mince

These are practically beef samosas. Serve as a starter, snack or side dish.

38 people made this

IngredientsServes: 24

  • 400g spring roll wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 900g minced beef
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon water or as needed
  • 1 litre oil for frying

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr10min

  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions, leek and garlic and cook, stirring until the onions are transparent. Add minced beef and cook until about halfway done. Season with cumin, cardamom, salt and pepper. Mix well and continue cooking until beef has browned.
  2. In a small dish or cup, mix together the flour and water to make a thin paste. Using one wrapper at a time, fold into the shape of a cone. Fill the cone with the meat mixture, close the top and seal with the paste. Repeat until wrappers or filling are used up.
  3. Heat the oil to 170 degrees C in a deep fat fryer or deep heavy pot. There should be enough oil to submerge the sambusa. Fry the sambusa a few at a time until golden brown. Remove carefully to drain on kitchen towels.


If your local supermarket doesn't stock spring roll wrappers, you can find them in Chinese/Oriental speciality shops.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(37)

Reviews in English (28)

by marie

I loved the recipe. I am from africa and that is exactly how they taste. Instead of deep frying though, i fry each side of the sambusa at the time in about a half cup of olive oil then place them on towel after they are golden. it helps to keep them less oily.-18 Aug 2005


This was *excellent* I ended up making it with potsticker wrappers, and was duly impressed! The spice mix is wonderful and it makes just the right amount of food. You won't be disappointed.-16 Oct 2002

by ANJau

This recipe is awesome. My husband is from Kenya and I suprised him with these and he was very impressed. I've always deep fried them as the recipe suggests, but I'm going to try the pan frying method some of you have suggested. Thanks a million!-23 Jan 2007

Sambusa/Sambuse Wrapper

This is a recipe for the Sambusa wrappers. Its an easy recipe with a few simple ingredients. I have also added a few clips to the end on a two different ways to fold the wrappers.

Cook Time about 20-30 minutes

Makes about 16 large Sambusa Wrappers

4 Cups of All Purpose Flour

1 1/4 Cups of Water

1 Teaspoon of Salt

2 Tablespoons of Oil

Ingredients for Paste to seal wrappers:

2 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour

2 1/2 Tablespoons of Water

Add flour, oil, salt to a pan. Slowly add the water and mix to form a dough. The dough should be soft and smooth. More flour or water may be needed to make the dough. Once the dough is formed, break into 8 balls. Roll each ball into a neat circle and roll into flour. Roll it out fairly thin. Cut it in half and stuff with sambusa filling, fry until golden brown. Each ball makes 2 Sambusa wrappers.

Although these wrappers are easier to use when fresh, they can be frozen. Just place a piece of wax paper in between each layer so they will not get stuck together. For an added kick, add a pinch of chili powder to the dough mixture.

What is Sambuus?

Somali sambuus is a salty triangular deep-fried pastry with a multitude of fillings. A variation of samosa from the Horn of Africa. I learned that sambusa is a popular appetizer and enjoyed especially at evening meals during Ramadan. Sambusa recipes are also found in Ethiopia and Kenya.

I had a hunch that sambusa was delicious because a) I have a passionate love for coriander and b) who does not love deep-fried food. Chef Jamal Hashi tells how Somalia was once known as the Cape of Spices and indeed, looking at this sambusa recipe you’ll find a mix of bold spices.

I decided to try my hand at making sambusa for the #globalfoodcollab in which the theme was to explore African food. First, I’ll share my story of how I searched for authentic Somali recipes. Finally, the recipes for the yogurt-based lime-cilantro sauce and grounded beef sambusa are given in the order of how I prepared them. Enjoy!

Baked Beef Sambusa

Baked Sambusa

Filling for Sambusa: Ground Beef

Steps for filling the Sambusa

  1. 2 cups flour, plus extra
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 egg, beaten
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil or butter melted
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. 1 pound / 500g minced beef
  2. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  3. salt to taste
  4. 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  5. 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  1. To make the pastry dough, in a bowl add the flour baking powder and salt egg and enough water to make a firm dough.
  2. knead until smooth and soft not sticky.
  3. Cover the dough in a bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  4. knead and divide the dough in to 16 pieces.
  5. Flour paste as a glue
  6. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water to make a smooth paste.
  7. Assembly
  8. Roll one of the dough into 5 inch circle
  9. Pick one the Sambusa wrappers with your hands and fold it into a cone shape seal it with flour paste.
  10. Place a spoonful of the filling in the middle brush the edges with a flour paste or water and shape it into a cone,
  11. close the top with the paste if needed and shape like a triangle.
  12. Pinch the edges so that it is completely sealed.
  13. Continue filling the rest of the Sambusas.
  14. Brush with the egg-wash on the top.
  15. Bake 350f/180c for 25 minutes or until golden .
  16. It is best served while warm.

4 Responses

Thanks for posting all you recipes, I will have a closer look in the days to come. I am looking into foods from around the world and a recipe for Basbaad or Basbas (not sure which is right) came up on tv, I have seen a few recipes for the sauce online but none for what you use it for. Any suggestions?

Hi Simon thanks for stopping by, I have linked the green hot sauce or basbaas below.

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Recipe: Ilhan Omar's Somali sambusa

Note: Sambusa are fried pockets filled with beef and onion from Ilhan Omar of Columbia Heights, who found that prepared egg roll wrappers worked well as a shortcut to making her own dough from scratch. From "One Big Table," by Molly O'Neill.

• 1 medium onion, finely chopped

• 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (85 percent lean)

• 1 tsp. curry powder, plus more to taste

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Stir in beef, parsley, curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring to break up lumps, until meat is no longer pink. Taste and add more curry powder if you want.

Transfer meat mixture to medium bowl and cool to room temperature. Wipe out skillet.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each egg roll wrapper in half diagonally. Working with one triangle at a time, lightly brush edges of wrapper with water. Fold long side of triangle in half, pinching edge to seal and form a little cup.

Place generous tablespoon of meat mixture into cup, then pull open flap of wrapper over cup, pressing to seal. As each sambusa is finished, place it on baking sheet. When sheet is full, cover sambusas with another piece of parchment paper and continue layering with finished sambusas.

Line a platter with several layers of paper towels. In skillet, heat about 1 inch of oil until a deep-frying thermometer reads 365 to 375 degrees, or a pinch of flour bubbles and sizzles in the oil. Add half of sambusas to the oil and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Using tongs or a skimmer, transfer sambusas to paper-towel-lined platter to drain briefly. Repeat with remaining sambusas and serve.

Note: From "The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook," by Richard Hetzler.

• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

• 2 c. white or yellow quinoa, rinsed

• 1 rib celery, cut into 3-in. pieces

• 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3-in. pieces

• 2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, finely diced (1 c.)

• 2 cucumbers, seeded and finely diced (2 c.)

• 1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro

• 4 to 5 green onions, including some green parts, chopped

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and honey. Gradually whisk in the oil until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

For the salad: In a large saucepan, combine quinoa, water, onion, celery, carrot and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until quinoa grains are translucent and tender.

Remove from heat and drain in a fine-meshed sieve. Remove and discard vegetables and bay leaf and let quinoa cool.

In large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro and green onions. Toss to mix. Add vinaigrette to salad and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note: Pickled ginger comes in jars or plastic containers in the refrigerator section of most Asian markets. From "Stir-frying to the Sky's Edge," by Grace Young.

• 1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed (about 6 c.)

• 1 tbsp. Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry

• 1 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil

• 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger root

• 2 tbsp. ground pork (about 1 oz.)

• 1 tbsp. minced pickled ginger (see Note)

• 1/4 c. chopped green onions

In a 3-quart saucepan, bring 11/2 quarts water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil over high heat. Add the beans and cook 1 minute or until they are bright green and the water almost returns to a boil. Drain the beans in a colander, shaking well to remove all excess water. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and rice wine.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the garlic, fresh ginger and red pepper flakes, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant.

Add the pork and, using a metal spatula, break up the pork and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the pork is no longer pink. Add the beans, pickled ginger, and green onions and sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Swirl the soy sauce mixture into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until the pork is cooked through and the beans are crisp-tender.

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  • 1 (14 ounce) package spring roll wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed
  • 1 quart oil for frying


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, leek and garlic, and cook, stirring until the onions are transparent. Add ground beef, and cook until about halfway done. Season with cumin, cardamom, salt and pepper. Mix well, and continue cooking until beef has browned.

In a small dish or cup, mix together the flour and water to make a thin paste. Using one wrapper at a time, fold into the shape of a cone. Fill the cone with the meat mixture, close the top, and seal with the paste. Repeat until wraps or filling are used up.

Heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 170 degrees C) in a deep-fryer or deep heavy pot. There should be enough oil to submerge the wraps. Fry the Sambusa a few at a time until golden brown. Remove carefully to drain on paper towels.

Bariis iskukaris is a traditional dish with rice from Somalia. The dish consists of basmati rice which is prepared with a variety of spices, including cumin, turmeric, coriander, cardamom and black pepper.

The rice is topped with raisins, potatoes, onions and peppers and is usually served with lamb or goat meat, but can also be served with chicken, beef and camel meat.

1 75 minutes I found this on all recipes. Ground beef Salt Green chilly garlic Curry powder Black pepper Turmeric powder Stem onion Coriander Dough ingredients.

Photographic Print Meat Samosa By Highviews 24x16in Samosa Recipe Chicken Samosa Recipes Recipes

Sambusa filling is made with beef onion cumin salt chili and pepper.

Sambusa recipe. This is a Somali recipe. Follow this recipe to make Mofongo a savory dish of mashed plantains. They are really good and I cant stop eating them.

Add onions leek and garlic and cook stirring until the onions are transparent. Then the further step is preparing the lambmutton minced meat by browning the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil then add the seasonings. It is a Somali recipe that is a lovely appetizer.

We start by preparing the homemade Sambousak dough to make Sambousak sheets. In a skillet add oil then sauté garlic for 30 seconds add chicken and cook until almost done. Traditionally sambusa are deep fried.

Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a further minute 3 Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear then add them to the pan and top up with 300ml of stock. Add ground beef and cook until about halfway done. Ingredients samusa filling.

For the chicken mixture. The wrappers are prepared with flour and water. Add spices green bell pepper and cook for a couple of minute.

Making filling and wrappers. To make the lentil filling heat 2 tbsp of niter kibbeh in a pan and fry the diced onion and berbere on a low heat until soft. How to Make Kenyan Meat Samosas Jinsi ya Kutengeneza Samosa Ya nyama.

Cover and set it aside for about 15 minutes. 1 hr and 15 mins. Form the dough into a ball and coat the outside with oil.

Heat a skillet on a medium-low heat. 49 out of 5 star rating. The dough in this sambusa recipe is very traditional.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. And the final step will be the filling of stuffing into the Sambousak sheets and then bake or deep fry the sambousak. To make the Sambusa wrappers.

They are served during Ramadan Weddings Parties or just because. Healthy little pastry pockets of potato and peas flavoured with Indian spices samosas are ideal for afternoon tea canapés or a buffet. Lentil Sambusas An Ethiopian Treat.

Remove and drain on a paper towel. It is often served during Ramadan. Boil lentils the next morning until tender.

Mix the flour oil and the salt while using a fork mix in the water slowly knead the though for 5-10 minutes until smooth and pliable dough. Soak the lentils overnight. Since I am married to a Somalian man I learned to cook a few things and there are some of my American dishes he loves as well.

Ingredients for 15 servings FILLING 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil 1 lb ground beef 455 g. Cook in hot oil several at a time until golden and bubbly. Shredded beef may be substituted for ground beef.

Add and combine by hand with ground meat using hands makes the best consistency. Daryeel Kitchen Ingredients for Sambus Samosa Pastry 350g plain flour About 200 ml warm water Pinch of salt 100 ml oilFor the Filling 300g minced. Cook the filling and fill it in the wrappers.

Heat Olive oil and sauté the onion garlic jalapeno until translucent about 5 minutes. One part flour half-part water and salt. Directions for Tanzanian Sambusa Mix together flour and water in small bowl to make a paste.

Remove and drain on a paper towel. Cook in hot oil several at a time until golden and bubbly. In a large bowl mix together garlic ginger onion garam massala curry powder and turmeric.

I learned it by watching my Somali friends around Ramadan and I was able to make my own variation. The dough will be stiff and hard to knead and thats exactly how you want it to be. Sambusa recipe involves 2 steps.

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Somali group shares vegetarian recipe

From left, Sadiya Omar, Sharon Silvio, Saynab Mohamed and Safi Osman make sambusas in the kitchen of the Somali Community in Western New York at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit, 835 South Ave. (Photo: JOHN G. BENNETT/Provided photo)

The cooking class at the Somali Community in Western New York will prepare vegetarian sambusas and spiced hot tea during the Flavors of the Market demonstration on Saturday.

Every week the student chefs from the English as a Second Language Program at the SCWNY exchange recipes from their home countries. Students from Cuba, Bhutan, Burma, Somalia, Ethiopia, Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Sudan and Iraq learn kitchen safety, nutrition, measuring and shopping while practicing their English, cooking and eating together.

Sharon Silvio, director of the class and the ESOL Program there, shares this popular recipe from Somali women leaders Sadiya Omar, Safi Osman and Sahra Ibrahim. Silvio, now retired, taught refugee children for 18 years at School 5.

The SCWNY is an all-volunteer, refugee-led organization, providing English classes and instruction in computers, sewing, cooking and health care for refugees in their Work Experience Program with Rochester Works. They also run an academic summer camp, a monthly women's group, citizenship prep classes and job-finding services. They are at 835 South Ave. at the Holy Spirit Greek Orthodox Church.

The Flavors at the Market demonstration of sambusas and Somali chai is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St. Sponsors are the Democrat and Chronicle, the Rochester Public Market and Friends of the Public Market.

Go to or search on Facebook for Somali Community in Western New York.

6 mixed red, orange and green bell peppers (about 1 cup)

2 8-ounce cans sweet peas or 16 ounces of frozen peas

2 tsp. ground cumin powder (orange)

Cook 5 small white potatoes on stove in boiling water until soft, then peel, cut in 1/2-inch pies and mash.

Chop garlic cloves and sweet peppers into 1/4-inch pieces.

Slice green chili peppers into 1/4-inch slices.

Mix uncooked vegetables (garlic, sweet peppers, chili peppers and peas) in bowl with mashed potatoes.

Caramelize red onions, adding cilantro at end, and sauté with vegetable-potato mixture. Add spices while sautéing.

Pastry shells may be done ahead of time and frozen, or store-bought pastry wrappers may be used.

3 cups room-temperature water

Place flour, 2 tsp. oil and water in bowl and mix until you have a smooth dough (soft but not sticky).

Divide the dough into small tennis ball-sized pieces (about 2 1/2-inch pieces) and knead or pinch for about 5 minutes with lightly floured fingertips.

Roll three dough balls out flat (about 1/4-inch thick), each to the size of a saucer.

Spread a little oil on top of each round and stack them one on top of the other. (The oil prevents the dough rounds sticking to each other.)

Roll the stacks to roughly the size of a dinner plate (about 1/8-inch thick). Cut into quarters.

In an unoiled skillet, cook the quarters, one at a time, for a minute on each side, until dry. Don't overcook!

Wrap each quarter separately with plastic or put it in a plastic baggie.

Shape dough quarters into cones and secure ends with flour-water paste.

Fill cones with vegetable mixture (about 2 tsp.), folding over top, and secure with water-flour paste, so mixture is contained completely with no holes.

Deep-fry several triangles at a time in very hot oil (it's hot enough when a test dough piece floats up) until triangles are golden, and drain. For a healthier option, bake sambusas for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven, turning after 5 minutes.