Sambusa Vs. Samosa

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By: Tom Valenti


In this post, I will be comparing Sambusa Vs. Samosa – two snacks that have some strong similarities but there are also a lot of differences that I will discuss.

While the two are fried dough stuffed with filling, there’s actually more to explore to understand why they are different. From their shape to the taste, how they are prepared and served, stay tuned to learn more.

Generally, their main difference is that samosa is prepared with a mixture of onions and meat filling, while samosa is more vegetarian and is prepared with potatoes and peas filling. Moreover, samosa is often traditionally served with a variety of sauces, while sambusa is served alone, with a sprinkle of salt or ketchup.

Let’s explore more of their similarities and differences.

What is Sambusa?

Sambusa is a snack of Somali and Ethiopian origin that is very popular in the Middle East and Africa. This tasty treat is made with triangle-shaped dough, often filled with meat or cheese, vegetables, and spices.

Like samosa, sambusa is served as a side dish or appetizer in homes, parties, weddings, and events.


What is Samosa?

Like sambusa, samosa is also triangle-shaped dough but of Indian origin. Its fillings comprise spiced potatoes, peas, and onions.

Samosa is made with deep-fried thin, and flaky dough and is served during tea time in many Indian houses or as a snack or appetizer in functions and events.

Sambusa Vs. Samosa

Samosa Vs. Sambusa : Similarities and Differences

Now let’s compare the two in detail;


  1. They are both prepared in triangular shapes
  2. The wrappers and binder in both are prepared with all-purpose flour for elasticity while preparing and a great crunchy texture while deep fried.
  3. You can prepare the wrapping pastry sheet at home or buy premade ones.
  4. They are both deep-fried in oil but can be baked, and samosa can also be deep-fried in ghee.
  5. Both have excellent flavors from the fillings and spices used


  1. Although the fillings for these two snacks vary from place to place, traditionally, samosas are filled with peas, potatoes, and spices, while sambusa is filled with meat or cheese mixed with onions and spices.
  2. Samosa is spiced with powdered and whole spices, while sambusa is spiced with powdered coriander and cumin seed. One can add powdered garam masala and black pepper for a spicier version.
  3. Samosa is of Indian origin, while Sambusa is of Ethiopian origin.

Sambusa Vs. Samosa Comparison Table

ShapeTriangle shapeTriangle shape
FillingA mixture of meat and onion or cheese and spicesPotatoes and peas with spices
Frying techniqueBaking or deep fryingBaking or deep frying
SpicesPowdered coriander and cumin seeds Coriander seeds and cumin seeds
Other spicesBlack pepper, garam masala,Fennel seeds, Amchoor powder
Fried inOilGhee or oil
OriginSomalia, EthiopiaIndia
Serving accompanimentKetchupMint, coriander, or Tamarind chutney


It’s interesting that both sambusa and samosa look so similar but are different snacks. Their preparation styles differ and give you a food adventure from one continent to another.

If you were confused about their differences, we hope reading this helps you distinguish between the two snacks.

Read more on our blog:

Demerara Vs. Turbinado

Demerara Sugar Vs. Brown Sugar

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Tom Valenti

Chef/Owner of both Ouest and ‘Cesca, and the Executive Chef of Le Cirque, Alison on Dominick, and Butterfield 81.

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