Recipe: Sambusa (Ethiopian Appetizer)

Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 50 mins


48 Sambusas/wonton wrappers


• 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
• 1 lb. lean ground lamb or 1 lb. beef
• 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
• salt
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 4 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped
• 3 sprigs mint, chopped
• 2 cups water


1. Combine all filling ingredients in heavy sauce pan.
2. Bring to a boil and stir to keep smooth.
3. Reduce heat to medium and let mixture simmer uncovered.
4. Correct flavour for spices and salt balance.
5. As water simmers away, stir often to prevent mixture from sticking, especially during final stages.
6. Cook until all liquid evaporates.
7. If ground meat has a lot of fat, drain off at this point.
8. Let mixture cool slightly before stuffing.
9. Fill Sambusa/wonton wrappers with 1 to 2 tsp. of filling. Moisten and press the edges together in a triangle shape.
10. Fry the Sambusas, several at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Place the golden brown Sambusas on paper towel to rid of excess oil. Serve hot or cold with or without chutney.

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