YeMisir Sambusa (Ethiopian Lentil Samosa) Recipe 

Sambusa, a pastry filled with lentils or beef, bears resemblance to the Indian samosa and holds a special place in many Ethiopians’ hearts as a cherished snack. In fact, it remains a favorite to this day, commonly enjoyed as an appetizer or snack in many Ethiopian restaurants around the world.

Ingredients Required to Make YeMisir Sambusa

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 jalapeños, deseeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ (4.7-ounce) package egg roll/spring roll wraps (or 8 sheets of phyllo pastry, halved)
  • Vegetable oil for frying (about 4 cups)

How to Make YeMisir Sambusa (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

  1. Place the lentils in a pot, add enough water to cover them by 2 inches, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are al dente, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, combine diced onions and oil. Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in jalapeños, garlic, and ginger. Cook to soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cooked lentils and ground coriander, ensuring that the coriander does not clump. Turn down the heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Cover the pot and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are fully cooked, 8–10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Working with one egg roll wrapper at a time, fold each sheet into a cone and add 2 tablespoons of lentils. Fold in the top edges of the wrapper to close it, brush a little water along each edge, and seal. Repeat the process with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  5. Heat 4 cups of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, bringing it to 365°F.
  6. Deep-fry a few lentil sambusas at a time, ensuring they are submerged in the oil and gently turning them to cook evenly on each side. Allow the oil to return to temperature between batches.
  7. Once golden brown (about 5 minutes), use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pot and place on paper towels or parchment paper to drain excess oil.
  8. Serve the lentil sambusas while warm, optionally with a side of sauce such as awaze or kochkocha, or enjoy them on their own.

Note

For a meat version (ye siga sambusa), substitute lentils with 1 pound of ground beef. Cook the ground beef in water until rare/medium-rare, then follow the method above from paragraph 2 to the end.

Equipment Recommendations to Make YeMisir Sambusa

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YeMisir Sambusa Recipe

YeMisir Sambusa (Ethiopian Lentil Samosa) Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sara Seife Course: SnacksCuisine: EthiopianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

5

servings

Sambusa, a pastry filled with lentils or beef, bears resemblance to the Indian samosa and holds a special place in many Ethiopians’ hearts as a cherished snack. In fact, it remains a favorite to this day, commonly enjoyed as an appetizer or snack in many Ethiopian restaurants around the world.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown lentils

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • cup oil

  • 2 jalapeños, deseeded and diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • ½ (4.7-ounce) package egg roll/spring roll wraps (or 8 sheets of phyllo pastry, halved)

  • Vegetable oil for frying (about 4 cups)

Directions

  • Place the lentils in a pot, add enough water to cover them by 2 inches, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are al dente, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
  • In a skillet, combine diced onions and oil. Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in jalapeños, garlic, and ginger. Cook to soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cooked lentils and ground coriander, ensuring that the coriander does not clump. Turn down the heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Cover the pot and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are fully cooked, 8–10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Working with one egg roll wrapper at a time, fold each sheet into a cone and add 2 tablespoons of lentils. Fold in the top edges of the wrapper to close it, brush a little water along each edge, and seal. Repeat the process with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  • Heat 4 cups of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, bringing it to 365°F.
  • Deep-fry a few lentil sambusas at a time, ensuring they are submerged in the oil and gently turning them to cook evenly on each side. Allow the oil to return to temperature between batches.
  • Once golden brown (about 5 minutes), use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pot and place on paper towels or parchment paper to drain excess oil.
  • Serve the lentil sambusas while warm, optionally with a side of sauce such as awaze or kochkocha, or enjoy them on their own.

Notes

  • For a meat version (ye siga sambusa), substitute lentils with 1 pound of ground beef. Cook the ground beef in water until rare/medium-rare, then follow the method above from paragraph 2 to the end.

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Sara Seife
Sara Seife

Sara is a blogger, nutritionist, and recipe engineer who loves to create and share Ethiopian food recipes and guides. She is the Chief Editor of The Ethiopian Food, an online platform that aims to help people all over the world learn about and enjoy Ethiopian cuisine. Sara is passionate about sharing her love of Ethiopian food and culture with others, and she hopes that her recipes and guides will help people to create delicious and authentic Ethiopian meals at home.

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