Everyone knows that sambusa is the star of the show when it comes to African cuisine. But what about all the other amazing dishes that can bring out the best in this classic favorite? Whenever I go to a restaurant serving these delicious pastries, my biggest challenge is not just picking the perfect sambusa but also deciding which side dishes to go with it.
With these unique recipes and combos, you’ll impress your friends and family at your next dinner party or gathering. So grab a pen and paper (or just your phone!) because we’re about to take your sambusa game to the next level. So, what to serve with sambusa?
Crispy, Sweet Potato Fries
If you’re looking for a delicious and unique side dish to pair with your classic sambusa, look no further than crispy sweet potato fries. I’m a massive fan of these fries as they are not only healthy, but they also add a sweetness that perfectly complements the savory flavors of sambusa. Plus, they are effortless to make.
To prepare them, you only need to preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then cut sweet potatoes into thin strips and drizzle with oil and some salt for flavor.
Place the fries on the sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. In just a few minutes, you have a delicious side dish ready to enjoy!
Spiced Lentils – Tangy and Spicy, Perfect for Dipping Sambusas
If you want to level up your sambusa experience, one of my favorite accompaniments is spiced lentils. Bursting with flavor, this vegan-friendly side dish is an excellent addition to any gathering. It’s also highly addictive and goes perfectly with sambusa.
To make spiced lentils, you’ll need the following:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Pinch of red chile flakes
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the cumin, paprika, turmeric, and chile flakes, then add the lentils.
Cook for another 5 minutes or until the lentils are heated through. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot alongside your sambusa!
Grilled Halloumi Cheese
If you want to add a little sophistication or something a little different to your sambusa side-show lineup, grilled halloumi cheese is an excellent choice. Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese that’s usually made with sheep’s milk and goat’s milk, and it has a salty, chewy texture that tastes fantastic when it’s pan-fried or grilled.
I love to serve my sambusa with a side of grilled halloumi and some steamed vegetables. It’s an easy recipe – all you need is some halloumi cheese slices, your favorite oil to coat the pan, and some fresh vegetables you choose.
Heat your pan over medium-high heat, add the oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan lightly), and then fry your halloumi for about 5 minutes per side. Serve up your pieces of crispy grilled halloumi with sambusa for a delicious combination that everyone can enjoy!
Turmeric Rice as an Aromatic Addition
Nothing beats turmeric rice if you want to bring a comfortable aromatic side dish. You can make the classic East African staple using a ratio of two parts water to one part basmati rice and cooking on low heat for about twenty minutes.
To add a subtle hint of flavor, I like to add a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a pinch of salt, and just enough olive oil to give the rice some body.
The result is fluffy grains that soak up all the flavors and are perfect for people who enjoy an earthy meal balance. Not only does turmeric rice look great, but it also tastes fantastic — an ideal accompaniment to any sambusa platter!
Yogurt Dip — Cool and Creamy Accompaniment
When serving sambusa, a yogurt dip is the number one accompaniment. Not only is it cool and creamy, but it also has a subtle tang that offsets the greasiness of the fried outer shell.
To make this recipe, you only need plain yogurt, fresh garlic, pepper, and salt. If you want to take it up a notch, add some freshly chopped dill or mint leaves as well. The recipe is incredibly simple and takes only a few minutes to make – all you have to do is mix together the ingredients in a bowl, and you’re done!
Serve the dip on the side of your sambusa platter for easy dipping. Its mild taste pairs well with all flavors of sambusa — from cheese and onion to beef or vegetable-based fillings — while its creamy texture adds an extra dimension that you can’t find in other side dishes.