Hilib Sambuus

Description :

Sambuus are a Somali relative of Indian samosas; the two fried dumplings are separated by sea and likely related by trade. While hilib generally means meat in Somali, hilib sambuus are often filled with spiced ground beef. But chicken, tuna and more seafood variations exist; salmon sambuus are beloved by the Somali diaspora of the Pacific Northwest.

Ingredient :

  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1medium white onion, diced
  • 4 to 5garlic cloves, minced
  • 1pound ground beef
  • 1handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1½teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½cup/64 grams all-purpose flour
  • 5burrito-size (9-inch-wide) tortillas
  • Canola oil, as needed for frying
  • Basbaas Cagaar (Green Hot Sauce), for serving (optional)

Direction :

  1. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Next, add the beef and brown it, breaking down the bigger clumps of meat as it cooks, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in cilantro, cumin, coriander and salt.

  2. In a small bowl, make a paste using the flour and ½ cup water. Next, cut each tortilla into 4 quarters, creating 20 triangular wedges. To make the tortilla pieces pliable, warm 6 or 7 pieces at a time in the microwave for about 10 seconds (or in the oven at 350 degrees).

  3. On a clean surface, grab one cut tortilla piece and position the round end closest to you. Form a cone shape by taking the tip at the bottom left and folding it up and over to meet the right edge slightly higher than its middle. Using your finger, brush a little flour paste over the top surface of the folded piece. Lift the bottom right tip of the tortilla and bring it up to cover the folded flap, creating a cone shape. Holding the cone in one hand, fill it with 2 tablespoons of beef filling. Tuck the inner flap to cover and seal in the filling, brush flour paste on the top surface covering the filling and then seal the sambuus by folding the top flap down and pressing to seal, creating a triangular shape. Use the flour paste to fill in gaps. Set on a baking sheet and repeat this process until all of the filling has been used.

  4. Pour ½ inch canola oil into a large, deep skillet and heat over medium-high. Once the oil is shimmering hot (you can flick in a small amount of the flour paste and see if it sputters), fry 4 to 6 sambuus at a time until golden brown and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer sambuus to a paper towel-lined plate to catch excess grease. Serve hot crispy sambuus right away, with hot sauce, if using.

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