Ethiopian Lentil Sambusas

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"Given in this recipe is a lentil sambusa that is either fried or baked. It is to be enjoyed as a light lunch with a side salad or make a bunch for a starter or appetizer."

Original is 3 servings
  • If using Homemade Sambusa Dough, cut the Sambusa dough recipe down to suit the amount of filling given in this recipe to equal 4 Sambusas.


  • Serving Size: 1 (382.1 g)
  • Calories 633.2
  • Total Fat - 31.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 4.7 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 987.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 70.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 17.7 g
  • Sugars - 5.1 g
  • Protein - 18.2 g
  • Calcium - 65.7 mg
  • Iron - 6.6 mg
  • Vitamin C - 8.3 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.8 mg

Step by Step Method

NOTE: Defrost the phyllo dough by keeping it in the fridge for at least 7 hours.

Step 1

In a medium saucepan add the rinsed lentils, veggie broth, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, then place a tilted lid on the pan and cook until all the liquid has completely absorbed.

Step 2

In a small skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and saute the onions until tender.

Step 3

Add the garlic, ginger, and chilies and cook until fragrant.

Step 4

Add the cooked lentils to the pan, and combine. Season with cumin, cardamom, salt, and vinegar.

Step 5

Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Fill and Roll the Dough:

Step 6

While you work, keep the sambusa dough covered with a kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out. Do the same if using phyllo dough by keeping them in the plastic it came wrapped in and covering them with a dry kitchen towel.

Step 7

For each samosa, brush one of the edges with the cornstarch/water mixture for gluing purposes. Bring the corners together and pinch the straight sides to form a seam to the shape of a cone. Spoon about 3 tsp. of the filling into the cone. Brush the top edges with the cornstarch mixture, then pinch together to enclose the filling.

Step 8

Preheat an oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Step 9

In a deep fryer, heat oil to 350°F according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fry the sambusas a few at a time, turning often, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the samosas to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

If using phyllo dough (Refer to Note below), the following is a oven-bake method instead of frying

Step 10

Take one sheet of phyllo and lay it down horizontally on a clean surface. Brush one side of the sheet with a light coating of oil or melted butter, then fold the other side on top.

Step 11

Brush the top with more oil or butter, and then, like making a book, place half of another sheet of phyllo on that, brush it with more oil or butter, and then fold the sheet closed, and brush it with another coating of oil or butter.

Step 12

Do this one final time so there are six layers.

Step 13

Cut the layered sheet down the middle vertically to create long, thin rectangles.

Step 14

Take 1/4 of the cooked lentils and mound at the bottom triangle of the rectangle.

Step 15

Keep folding the triangle to the alternating sides until the sambusas are completely wrapped into a tight, little triangle (like folding a flag).

Step 16

Place sambusas on a lined baking sheet and place in the freezer to harden for at least 30 minutes or more or until ready to eat.

Step 17

Preheat the oven to 350. Brush the tops of the sambusas with more oil or butter, and place in the oven to bake for 15-25 minutes, or until they outsides are crunchy and browned. Serve!

Step 18

Makes 4 Sambusas

NOTE: If you prefer you may substitute the homemade Sambusa dough with 4 to 6 ounces phyllo dough.


No special items needed.

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