Sambusa Za Nyama (Beef Samosa)

2 large potatoes, peeled
1 cup frozen peas, thawed 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 
1 bay leaf, crushed 
2 large onions, finely chopped 
1 pound ground beef 
4 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root 
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon ground coriander 
1 teaspoon ground turmeric 
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 
2 tablespoons chopped green chill peppers 
1 quart oil for deep frying 
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough (or you can make from scratch)
    1. Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in potatoes and peas. Cook until potatoes are tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash together and set aside.
    2. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, heat the oil. Brown cumin seeds and bay leaf. Mix in onions and ground beef. Cook until beef is evenly brown and onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic, fresh ginger root. Season with black pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir in the mashed potato mixture. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until cool.
    3. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat.
    4. Mix cilantro and green chill peppers into the potato and beef mixture. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each phyllo sheet. Fold sheets into triangles, pressing edges together with moistened fingers.
    5. In small batches, fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.


    Ama Oduma said...


    I stumbled across your website by doing a simple web search. I have never made samosas before, and I was assigned to make them for my Swahili class. I am dying to try your recipe because it seems so flavorful and delicious. When I finish making the samosas, I will leave another comment to let you know how they turned out.

    Thanks for posting

    Pauline said...

    Okay I will be waiting for your feedback but it will take more than once to make the pastry dough from scratch right.

    Kitchen cheat sheet: If in hurry I sometimes use Filo pastry, spring roll wrappers or rice wrappers.....
    Good luck :)

    njoki said...

    Hi Pauline, thanks for your lovely yummy recipe. Will definitely try lots of them. I can do samosa but am not really great. Tell me, how does one make samosas without having bubbles on the skin of the cooked samosa?

    Pauline said...

    The tricky is to make sure the wrapper is very thin. How thin just very thin as it can possible be. Also another way to prevent that is to put your wrapper on a dry and very hot frying pan just for few seconds before you put your fillings but this is very hard because it can get harder very fast. Some people prepare the wrappers and keep them outside under the sunshine for 30 minutes before they put the fillings.

    Anyway if all that are impossible for you the best thing to do is to make sure the oil is not too hot when you dip them.

    Good luck but I don't stress out that much if I'm in hurry but I really want to make them I get the egg roll wrappers from the supermarket.