Samosa or sambuus as we call it in Somali is a deep fried triangular shaped pastry filled with meat and spices. It is commonly made for afternoon tea – asariya.

Our house in Malindi was like a little bakery. We would start cooking at 6am, making samosas and other pastries for my mother’s shop and my brother’s restaurant. It was my job to help stuff the samosas with meat or vegetables and fold them up. I was also the delivery person, dropping off the hot pastries at the restaurant on my way to school.

Thanks to the demands of the shop and restaurant we got to enjoy samosas everyday!

This recipe is based on how my mother made her samosas. Everything is made from scratch. You can use store bought pastry, but the extra effort of making your own pastry is worth it.

Serve with a wedge of lemon and shidni sauce.

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Recipe by:


I cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup warm water
½ kilo minced meat (half lamb and half beef)
One large onion
1 bunch of coriander
1 teaspoon of curry powder
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


Samosa filling
1. Marinate the mince meat with the curry powder. Place in the fridge for one hour. I use two meats because beef on its own can be dry while lamb on its own is too oily. So the combination gives you a lovely tasting meat.
2. Dice the onion and chop the coriander.
3. Saute the mince in a sauce pan until cooked through.
4. Add the onion and coriander and cook for a minute or two.
5. Season with salt.
6. Let the mixture cool.

Samosa pastry
1. Place plain flour, oil and the warm water in the bowl and mix until you have a smooth dough
2. Divide the dough into small tennis ball sized pieces
3. Roll three dough balls out flat, each to size of a saucer.
4. 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.
5. Roll the stacks to roughly the size of a dinner place. Cut into quarters.
6. Dry fry the quarters on both sides one at a time for a minute on each side. Don’t overcook!
7. When each quarter is dry-fried separate them and wrap with plastic.

How to wrap the samosas
1. Mix two tablespoons of plain flour with a quarter cup of warm water to form a paste to seal the samosa edge.
2. Form each quarter into a cone shape by folding the sides from the rounded end over each other and seal with the paste. You should have a cone shape with a triangular shaped top that looks like an ice cream cone.
3. Fill the cone with the mince mixture.
4. Tuck the pointed top end down over the sealed edges and seal with the paste.

You should now have a neat triangular samosa. Repeat with remaining pieces of pastry.

Cooking the samosas
1. Heat the oil in heavy shallow frying pan over medium heat. Test the oil with a small strip of excess dough and if the pastry floats up then you are ready to start frying your samosas.
2. Place several samosas in your frying pan. Turn to brown to a light gold.
3. Drain the cooked samosas on paper.


Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 - 8 people

11 Responses to “Samosa”

  1. Marlén

    I love sambuus! I am Norwegian, but my brother-in-law from Somalia used to make them all the time when I was younger. I will try to make a vegan version of them soon.

  2. A Facebook User

    Hi Marlen
    Great to hear that you like sambuus and you write it just the way we do in Somali! For a vegetarian option try using curried potatoes with peas or lentils. Cook the veggies as dry as possible. Alternatively, add spices and other seasoning to boiled vegetables that you have chopped up into small pieces.

  3. Marlén

    I made this vegan version with TVP (texturized vegetable protein), which is a good alternative to mince meat.

  4. A Facebook User

    Very nice version using the texturised vegetable protein. Tusen takk, Marlen!

  5. Munaza

    What curry powder do you use?

  6. sucdi

    hi I love that food I am Somali and it is my fav I am a kid who is 9 years old

  7. Jennah

    Does the 1st listed teaspoon of salt go into the pastry? Jazak allahu khair for posting this recipe sis. I want to try it soon iA.


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