Air Fry East African Sambusa

By Eden Hagos @edenthefoodie

Sambusa is a tasty crispy East African flavour packed pocket of spiced lentils or beef (think of it like the East African version of the popular samosa!) This vegan friendly lentil sambusa is the perfect snack or appetizer for the party! Try it with the spicy East African Awaze dip below!

A serving of sambusa with sauce A serving of sambusa with sauce

Total Servings:
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 80 minutes


  • 5-10 tortilla wraps or samosa wrappers (amount depends on the size of your wraps) 
  • 1 ½ cup brown lentils 
  • 2 medium onions 
  • 10 sprigs of green onions 
  • 3-4 jalapenos (de-seeded) 
  • ½ cup cilantro packed 
  • 1 tbsp coriander 
  • 1 tbsp cumin 
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • Salt to taste Sambusa glue 
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of water (adjust as needed to glue like consistency)


  1. Thoroughly rinse dry brown lentils and add to pot with 3 ½ cups of water. 
  2. Bring to a boil then adjust to medium heat and allow to simmer until the lentils have cooked through and are soft. Set aside. 
  3. Finely chop onions, green onions, jalapeno peppers (de-seed as well), garlic, and cilantro and set aside 
  4. In a separate pan, begin sauteeing onions in a small amount of oil. 
  5. Once the onions have softened, add spices (coriander and cumin) and mix until evenly incorporated. 
  6. Then add the chopped green onions, jalapenos and garlic and stir until evenly incorporated. 
  7. Cook down this mixture for a few minutes until it begins to thicken on medium heat and moisture begins to leave. 
  8. Add the cooked lentils and stir till evenly incorporated. 
  9. Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. 
  10. Set aside and allow to cool. 
  11. In a small bowl mix flour and water until you reach a glue-like consistency. Set aside 
  12. Cut tortillas in half and assemble a triangle like pocket. 
  13. Use the flour “glue” to seal the sambusa pocket. 
  14. Lightly brush your sambusas with a neutral oil. 
  15. Place on the Whirlpool® Air Fry Basket and air fry at 400℉ until golden brown and crispy. 
  16. Serve with awaze dipping sauce and enjoy! 

Awaze Dipping Sauce Ingredients 

  • 1 cup berbere spice 
  • 1 tsp ginger powder or fresh minced ginger 
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • ½ cup very hot water 
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  • A splash of red wine 
  • ½ tsp of Korarima (Ethiopian Cardamom) 


  1. Combine 1 cup of berbere spice with the crushed garlic, powdered ginger, and hot water. 
  2. Mix thoroughly and then add the olive oil.
  3. After mixing, add the juice of 1 lemon and salt to taste. For an extra kick of flavour, add a dash of Korarima spice. 

Every blend of berbere spice is different, so be sure to taste your mixture along the way and adjust the recipe accordingly.

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