Kenyan Samosas (Sambusas) with Lamb Stuffing

May 7, 2017 (Last Updated: March 25, 2020)

Kenyan samosas are crispy and addictive sambusas and one of the delicious Indian and Middle-Eastern influences in East African cuisine. This recipe featuring lamb stuffed samosas is quick and easy to follow!

Kenyan Samosas laid out on a sheet

Hello my people! Just the other day, I wanted to make something easy, delicious and nostalgic for brunch, but typical  brunch food seemed rather boring to me, so I pulled out my “small chops” (appetizers) hand book. I had a strong hankering for some Indian cuisine when I suddenly remembered the delicious samosas I’d tasted at a Kenyan party I attended in college and I knew what I would be having for brunch! Samosas joins the ranks of chapatis and pilau as one of the many Indian and Middle eastern influences in East African cuisine especially the countries of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya where they are also natively called sambusas. Sambusas and samosas are essentially the same thing, but in a lot of East African countries, meat (usually in the form of beef or lamb) is the primary ingredient in the filling. Other primary ingredients in Kenyan Samosas I have tried include rice, potatoes and peas but in this Kenyan samosa recipe I use peas with lamb because of how quick and easy it was to prepare.

Recipe

I cheated a little with this Kenyan samosas recipe and used Samosa Spring roll wrappers (like I said I wanted something easy!). I will make another recipe sometime in the future showing you how to make samosa/sambusa wrappers from scratch. You can make this recipe using ground beef, chicken, turkey or even tofu.

Main Ingredients

  • 1 lb/ 16oz/ 454g ground lamb
  • 1 cup of fresh/frozen peas
  • 2 large shallots/ 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (this is just to saute the shallots/ onions)
  • 1 habanero/ scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 25 count 8-inch square spring roll wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour plus 1- 2 teaspoons of waterbowl with water and flour mixture
  • Oil for frying

Prepare the Meat Filling

On low heat in a pan, saute the shallots/ onions in the coconut oil until it is translucent.

Add in the garam masala, curry powder, ginger powder, and bullion into the sauteing onions and allow to toast lightly for 2- 3 minutes, stirring continuously.

Add in the ground lamb and continue to stir, turning up the heat to medium.

Once the meat is no longer pink, add in the peas and cook for 10 minutes.

Taste the meat and adjust the salt if necessary.

Allow the filling to cool completely.

How to Fold Samosa Pockets

To assemble samosa pockets, simply cut the spring roll sheets in half to form rectangles, place about 1 tsp of the filling on the top of the dough, and follow the folding techniques below.

4-step photo showing folding procedure for samosa pockets

Seal the dough with the plain flour and water mixture as shown .

4-step photo showing sealing of samosa pockets 2-step photo showing sealed samosa pockets

Deep Frying the Samosas

In a pan or fryer heat up enough oil (to 350 degrees Fahrenheit) to fry the samosa triangles

2-step photo showing frying of samosas in oil

Sambusas frying in oil

Once the samosas are golden brown, take them out of the oil and drain. Serve them warm.

Kenyan Samosas fresh out the fryer and ready!

I hope these Kenyan samosas/sambusas help lift your mother’s day brunch. Be sure to make a lot because they vanish quickly! Feel free to add these as hors d’oeuvre in your next lunch or cocktail party. Sambusas feature quite often in Nigerian and African weddings and they don’t last too long because of how easy they are to snack on!

Close up of delicious lamb stuffing in single sambusa distant shot of sambusa with ketchup and on the side

Please be sure to rate this Kenyan Samosas/sambusas recipe and leave a comment below if you tried it! Also while you’re here why not take a quick second and subscribe to my newsletter to get email notifications on new recipes, click the links to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST or INSTAGRAM? You can catch some behind the scenes action, my shopping hauls, personalized tips and friend-only recipes with videos on my Instagram. Also pin this recipe for later and explore some of my favorite recipes on Pinterest and if you love it as much as I know you will, SHARE with some friends! 

Kenyan Samosas (Sambusas) with Lamb Stuffing Recipe

Kenyan samosas are crispy and addictive sambusas and one of the delicious Indian and Middle-Eastern influences in East African cuisine. This recipe featuring lamb stuffed samosas is quick and easy to follow!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Small Chops
Cuisine: East African, Kenyan
Servings: 25 pieces
Calories: 106.1kcal
Author: Yummy Medley

Ingredients

  • 1 lb/ 16oz/ 454g ground lamb
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen peas
  • 2 large shallots/ 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp coconut oil this is just to saute the shallots/ onions
  • 1 habanero/ scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1/2 tsp bullion
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 25 count 8inch square spring roll wrappers
  • 2 tbs plain flour plus 1- 2 tsp water
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  • To make the filling: On low heat in a pan, saute the shallots/ onions in the coconut oil until it is translucent.
  • Add in the garam masala, curry powder, ginger powder, and bullion into the sauteing onions and allow to toast lightly for 2- 3 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Add in the ground lamb and continue to stir, turning up the heat to medium.
  • Once the meat is no longer pink, add in the peas and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Taste the meat and adjust the salt if necessary.
  • Allow the filling to cool completely
  • To assemble, simply cut the spring roll sheets in half to form rectangles, place about 1 tsp of the filling on the top of the dough, and follow the folding techniques above.
  • Seal the dough with the plain flour and water mixture as shown above.
  • In a pan or fryer heat up enough oil (to 350 degrees Fahrenheit) to fry the samosa triangles
  • Once the samosas are golden brown, take them out of the oil and drain.
  • Serve them warm.

Notes

If you are using a low fat meat/ just tofu, use 2 table spoons of coconut oil instead of 1 teaspoon.
While working with the spring roll dough, always place the dough that is not being worked on, under damp paper towels/ napkins to prevent them from drying out.
Also place the prepared and unfried samosas under a damp cloth to keep them from drying out as well.
To make the samosas ahead, freeze the prepared and unfried samosas on a tray/ baking sheet. Once they are frozen, you can place them in a freezer bag and keep them frozen. Once you are ready to use them, take them out of the freezer for a few minutes then fry (Do not thaw completely).

If you enjoyed these Kenyan samosas/sambusas, and you want to try out some other African snacks, why not check out my tasty Nigerian beef hand pies especially using my secret tips to get the perfect flaky meat pie crust?

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