Sambusa Recipe -
Sambusa Recipe


Recipe by  

"This is a Somali recipe. I learned it by watching my Somali friends around Ramadan and I was able to make my own variation. They are really good and I can't stop eating them. They are served during Ramadan, Weddings, Parties, or just because. 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. For a variation you can substitute shredded beef for ground beef."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 dozen Change Servings
  • PREP

    25 mins
  • COOK

    45 mins

    1 hr 10 mins


  1. 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.
  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 wraps or filling are used up.
  3. 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.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Editor's Note
  • We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount may vary depending on cook time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 18, 2005

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.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Sep 08, 2011

I felt it lacked flavor. The spices didn't add much and it tasted mainly like ground beef wrapped in a spring roll wrapper.


28 Ratings

Nov 10, 2003

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.

Jan 23, 2007

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!

Apr 23, 2008

I really like this recipie... this is my favorite dish during Ramdan, and actually all around the year. I like to use regular tortillas for the wrapper. I cut them in half, and fold them into a cone, and seal them with the same paste. The tortilla doesnt tear as easily, and cooks up really great. Instead of 2 pounds of meat, I use one pound of meat, and one pound of diced boiled potatoes. I cook it the same way, and just add also a small amound of curry powder and garama masala to give it any extra kick. If you want to, you can freeze them right after making them, and when you want to make just a couple, pop them in the microwave for about a minnute or two (to make sure the inside is not frozen) and then fry them to finish the cooking. I like to make big batches, and enjoy them for lunch during the week! They also make a good fast-breaker! Enjoy!

Oct 01, 2007

really tasty filling! I've been making sambusa for years, and searching for the somali version of it after being intro'd to it about a year ago. I always pan fry and drain on paper towels. I actually made my own wrappers (too much work) b/c my grocery stopped carrying the egg roll wraps....suggestion--DO NOT get the spongy type wraps if you want a crispy shell.

Oct 19, 2008

amazing!! i had trouble with the wrappers because i am a klutz, and it was a little oilier on the inside then i like, but i think that was my fault too. Even with my mess up, i am making these every week! and 1 wrapper fille me up! they are soo good... By-the-way, i used deer meat (yes it is halal) and left out the leek and used just a little extra onion and it was still good

Jan 26, 2009

This was excellent! I made some African Hot Sauce to use with this, and it was great. Thank you!


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  • Calories
  • 163 kcal
  • 8%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 10.8 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 24 mg
  • 8%
  • Fat
  • 9.5 g
  • 15%
  • Fiber
  • 0.5 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 8.1 g
  • 16%
  • Sodium
  • 213 mg
  • 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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