I Love Sambusa
If you have never had sambusa you really are missing one of the great culinary delights on the planet.
I had never heard of it either, until I worked a job where I had lots of Somali co-workers and the Islamic holiday of Ramadan rolled into my world. During Ramadan Muslims fast from sun up until sun down, then they pray and share a feast every day for like a whole month.
I don't claim to be an expert on Ramadan or Islamic tradition or anything like that. All I know is that my Somali friends shared that feast with me every night during Ramadan and it was wonderful! Oh the taste treats for a foodie like me, I was in heaven.
I got to try lots of new things like goat meat, which is actually delicious especially in the spicy tomato sauce the Somali stew it in. I was surprised because I won't even eat venison or lamb because they just taste too gamey to me, but goat is very similar to very lean beef. It really is very tasty.
Still the stand out in the crowd of culinary delights was the Sambusa. Delectable triangle shaped meat pies, that accompanied every meal. It really was love at first bite, and I just had to learn how to make them myself. Now they are a favorite in my family all year round.
Sambusa also known as Samosa in many parts of the world is just the perfect fast food. They really should have like a Sambusa Hut on every corner instead of all these burger places, because Sambusa rocks!
Sambusa Party Time - Sambusa is a great appetizer at parties
Plus you get to set out all your cool party platters and fill condiment bowls with colorful chutneys and sauces for dipping!
Traditional Sambusa Recipe
Sambusa comes in as many flavor combinations as your imagination can create, that really is half the fun of this fried treat. Popular flavors in the Somali community here in Minnesota are beef, tuna and ground chicken.
I've also seen, but not actually tried yet, cheese varieties that look really tasty, I'm currently working on a spinach and feta combo recipe, maybe with marinara or alfredo dipping sauce.
But here is the basic meat filling recipe for beef sambusa.
2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion diced
1-2 tsp minced garlic
1-2 tsp spicy curry powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cardamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp cilantro or parsley (fresh chopped or flakes)
1 Tbsp finely diced carrots
1 bunch green onions & tops (chopped)
1-2 Tbsp diced green peppers*
By green peppers I mean, bell peppers, jalpeno or serano peppers, most of the Somali sambusa I've tried use a combination of bell and serano or jalapeno, but if you don't like spicy or are making sambusa for small children, using just bell peppers is okay too. I use a combo of all three peppers.
This is really easy, just cook the ground beef like taco meat, adding the carrots and onion along with the spices early on then letting it simmer for awhile to absorb the flavors, then add the green onions and peppers near the end so the don't get over-done and mushy.
I personally don't drain the grease, but health conscious folks can. I add about 2 cups of water and just cook it all on high until the water is completely evaporated, that way I know all the flavors have time to combine.
Now that you have the meat filling scroll down and learn how to make it into Sambusa!
Here's the thing, making real sambusa requires making the flaky wrap from scratch, which really is very easy, it's just flour, water and salt, rolled out real thin into big circles that are cut into four and then filled with meat and deep fried.
But being the typical lazy American, I found a much simpler, faster and way less messy way to enjoy Sambusa quickly. I just buy pre-made egg roll wraps.
Egg roll wraps are the same dough, easy to use and of course delicious.
Also if you want to make little appetizer sambusa, just use won-ton wraps, super fast and easy way to make an impressive treat.
These photo's show how easy it is to fill and wrap your Sambusa, with egg-roll wraps.
All you need is a small brush and water to seal them, or you can make a paste of flour and water.
Roll up a bunch of these and fry in really hot oil and you are in Sambusa heaven!
Try different fillings with the same spices, ground turkey and chicken work great. Tuna is used often in the Somali community, I don't personally like tuna sambusa, but my hubby does.
I like my Sambusa just plain fresh out of the oil, but my hubby likes to dip his in hot sauce. My sons like to dip theirs in Ranch dressing.
You can try lots of different dipping sauces or chutneys.
You can also customize the fillings to whatever your family likes best. At our house we eat a lot of what we call "Naughty Sambusa" because it's a combination of ground beef and sausage.
Sambusa is a great treat for teens.
When my boys were still at home, we just kept a tuppaware bowl of meat filling in the fridge next to the egg roll wraps, when they got hungry, they would just fill a couple of wraps and fry it up.
You can also pre-fry a bunch of Sambusa and store in the fridge or freezer & then microwave or fry to re-heat. They can even be baked for those who don't do fried.
Sambusa is great for parties, you can just fry up a bunch before the party and then warm them in the oven for a big hit at any social occassion!
Treats on Amazon
Naughty Sambusa Recipe
*Spoiler* this recipe contains pork
This is my family's favorite Sambusa recipe, we call it naughty because it does contain pork, which is an islamic no-no.
1 pound ground beef
1 pound tube of Jimmy Dean hot breakfast sausage
1 small onion (diced)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp spicy curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 Tbsp diced bell pepper (green or red)
1 Tbsp diced jalapeno pepper
1-2 tsp diced serano pepper
1.) Place meat in large fry pan with 2 cups of water on high heat, smush meat with big spoon until soupy (add more water if needed)
2.) Add all spices and diced onion & cook on med-high until all water evaporates and leaves meat looking like taco meat.
3.) Add green onions and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes until veggies are tender.
4.) Stuff meat filling into egg roll wraps, fry in veggie oil on high heat until golden brown & enjoy!