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Updated on May 10, 2012

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

Beef filling

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!

Easy 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!

Say Hello! - Thanks for visiting my Sambusa Lens

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    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I've never had these but they look amazing. I'm pinning your recipe to my Favorite Recipes board on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I've never had these but they look amazing. I'm pinning your recipe to my Favorite Recipes board on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      6 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I will have to try these out they sound so good. Especially the ones with Jimmy Dean's in it.


    • viscri8 profile image


      6 years ago

      I never had sambusa -- will have to make it myself as we do not have Somalis here close by. Thanks for the recipe. Blessed!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      A fellow where I used to work had so many people begging for a bite of his lunch Sambusa that his wife started taking orders that he sold at the workplace. His job turned out to also be a job for his wife.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @anonymous: WOW! I know what your taking about, I try that place at Farmers market. It is amazing so crispy and full of flavor. I totaly agree with you. I check their web site and a lots of information.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I had sambusa different places but the best one is Bellevue/Issaquah area sambusa wraps or I realy mean it one of the best by far. Crispi, Cranchy, Fresh and the feeling the best. I'm craving write now. yes I did try the somali sambusa but the test is bold. sambusa wraps they put a lots of herbs and spices.

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 

      7 years ago

      My mom gave me some ground venison and I was wondering what to make with it, and Sambusa sounds perfect. The recipe looks to be easy enough, also.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Sounds heavenly, will have to try it tonite as I got out ground beef and had no idea what to make. Great job!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for your great recipes! I love to try new & exciting foods and the place I've just found must be Somali - I have taken my dad & his friend there also. We have tried to meat & veggie versions. Now that you have kindly provided us with a recipe, I will make some at home for my gluten free partner! All the best to ya.

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Wonderful! I need a meaty finger food like this, to keep around for convenient quick snacks. This will work out great. Must try the "naughty" version, too. Thanks!

    • K Linda profile image

      K Linda 

      7 years ago

      Great lens! I'm going to try the vegetarian samosas in the YouTube demo.

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 

      7 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      Sounds like a tasty twist on samosas, I wonder if any local restaurants serve these.

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 

      7 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I love this lens! I grew up eating samosas. Sambusas sound really good too. I definitely will be back to check out this lens again.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      7 years ago from Royalton

      Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      7 years ago from Royalton

      I love samosas and can hardly wait to try this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 

      7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Fascinating! Blessed by your regional food angel today!

    • CCGAL profile image


      7 years ago

      Hubby and I enjoyed Sambusa at a local restaurant in Pflugerville (TX) called "A Taste of Ethiopia" where it's listed as an appetizer and comes with your choice of beef, spinach, or lentils inside. We had beef (of course ... hubby is a meat eater big time) and it was spectacular. I was delighted to find this lens complete with recipes ... now I can surprise hubby! Thanks so much!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I was looking for some new and interesting recipes, I had never heard of these before, but they sound good, I'm going to try them.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks mysticmama! I love sambusa too!!!!! :) It's abundant here in Kuwait!

    • howtocurecancer profile image


      7 years ago

      I never had sambusa!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i like sambusa but my fav one is samosa with veggie fillings. any how thanks for introducing these new stuff. great informative lens.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      7 years ago

      Ya know I think this is going to be something I make up for Super Bowl this year. All the spices in this Sambusa sound delish. My Angel Blessing today is SWAH :)

    • Glenn619 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens also the sambusa can be filled in with potatoes mixed with some spices for all those veggie lovers. There is a special type of yogurt dip also which you can enjoy your sambusa with :)

    • pumpnut lm profile image

      pumpnut lm 

      7 years ago

      I had forgotten about these great treats. Years ago ( way to many ) a friends female companion would make them for our informal get togethers. Awesome! Going to have a go at them. Thanks.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love Indian samosas, with potatoes and peas -- didn't realize there was a meat version also. Your lens actually makes a non-cook like me think I might be able to manage these! And it makes me want to try. Thanks. Great lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      mm looks yummy, I should try it

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      MMmmmm - thanks for the great recipe!

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 

      7 years ago

      These look really fun! I'm gonna have to try them! Thanks for sharing :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      In India, these are called Samosa and they've spiced potato filling in them, but yep the ones with beef and chicken fillings are the tastiest of all... great lens, loved reading it. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Did not know that this is samosa as well. I enjoy this food so much. When we worked in Pakistan, we encouraged them to have an annual contest for the best samosa. No one picked it up.

    • Laura Schofield profile image

      Laura Schofield 

      8 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      Samosas are a popular fast food over in England, yet not yet in the US. Once you mentioned sambusa are also known as 'samosa' this clicked in my head! Yes - very yummy! My favorites are vegetarian though.. Thank you for this excellent how-to on making them - that is an art I've not yet mastered. I've lensrolled this to my India Town lens as well as one I've put together on Mehndi tattoos. Thanks!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 

      9 years ago

      Love Sambusa. Your directions for the spoiler and easy Sambusa are great.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Sounds good, never heard of it, thanks for sharing! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      hi, i have given sambusa to Dutch friends and college's and they were really amazed and could not belief that they had not tasted this before ( and Dutch think that they are more adventureous than other people). Here in Holland they also have indian Samosa but it does not taste the same, the somali version is much beter.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      nice recipe..i'll be eating it in about 1hr from now

    • Kate Phizackerl1 profile image

      Kate Phizackerl1 

      9 years ago

      Well I've learned something today!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Sounds great!


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You know, I don't believe I've ever tried this -- it does sound tasty.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      9 years ago

      These look pretty tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i love sabusa

    • profile image


      9 years ago



    • mysticmama lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Bambi Watson 

      9 years ago

      [in reply to Wendy]

      homemade sambusa always taste better than resteraunt ones :-)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Bambi!! Thanks for the recipe and the picture! My husband works w/Omar, a Somalian, whose uncle owns a resturant on Lake and Cedar. He brought them to work and my husband brought one home to me and now I"m addicted!!! They are so delicious! I'm just hoping w/your recipe that I can duplicate them. I doubt they'll taste as good as at the resturant but one can hope!

      I used to live in Highland Park, right on Ford Pkwy so I had to say HI! Thanks again!

    • divacratus 2 profile image

      divacratus 2 

      9 years ago

      You made me reminisce about my days in the UAE. Arabs just love sambusa. We Indians call them as 'Samosa' and we have different varieties of them as well - Punjabi Samosas (which are bigger than your average samosa) is the most popular one apart from the regular ones. I love them too. Used to have a lot (cheese, chicken and vegetable samosas) when I was in the UAE. They are absolutely yummy with green chutney.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Oh me! Oh My! I not only had never eaten Sambusa but had never heard of it either. I don't get out much so found this most informative. Thank you for keeping me in the know.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I had never heard of Sambusa before, sounds great. I may have to try it for a holiday meal when I know my kids will be here to eat. - Thank you, I will bookmark this lens.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I usually go to that cafe to pick up some Sambusas in the mornings. I recognize those above pictures, I think the name is not complete, the place is called 1st Cup Cafe.

      Go Sambusa Go !

      Mike - the drummer

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 

      9 years ago

      I know these as Samosa, I have never made them before but they do both an excellent meat and a vegetarian version at our local Indian take away. Maybe I should try to make some myself. Welcome to The Cooks Cafe group.

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 

      9 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      5 stars from a new fan. Never heard of this dish before, but I like the way ot looks and sounds. Going to pass it to my wife to see!



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