Sambosas (Afghan Meat Turnover)

"This is a traditional Afghan appetizer, great for parties, a very simple dish that if you ask 100 Afghan chefs you'll get 100 slightly different recipes. This is the one my family always made, and paired it with my yogurt sauce(check my other recipes) for dipping."
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Ready In:
25-30 Sambosas depending on size of wonton




  • Brown ground beef in a non-stick pan, seasoning with salt and pepper. When its just cooked through, drain on paper towels to dispose of excess grease. Return beef to pan, along with enough drained oil so it's moist, add the cardamom, cayenne, crushed/chopped garlic and the finely chopped onion. Cook until the onion & garlic is softened and spice is fragrant. Remove from heat and cool.
  • To form the sambosas, take about a tablespoon (if using the small wontons, more if using the egg roll size), not too much, ensuing that you can fold the wonton over into a triangle without the filling falling out. Brush one side of the wonton with water at the edge to make a tight seal, using either your fingers or tines of a fork to do this. Make all the sambosas and keep on a sheet covered with paper towels to prevent sticking. You can do all this ahead of time and store covered with Plastic Wrap in the fridge till ready to cook.
  • When ready to finish the sambosas, put a nonstick pan or pot onto med/high heat and add enough oil for shallow frying, about half to 3/4 an inch of oil should do it. Shallow fry in batches till golden brown, and drain on a wire rack or paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve, best when hot but are good at room temp too. I serve them with my family's chilled yogurt sauce(see other recipe). Not healthy but delicious, even my southern wife and family loves them!
  • Enjoy!

Questions & Replies

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  1. chocaholiccuteyeh seems confused. These are clearly not bolani. I added a bit of tumeric and cumin for flavor. I also substituted Filo dough for the wonton wrappers and baked instead of fried, my family prefers this as well though it's a bit more of a hassle b/c you have to roll out the dough and cut pieces.
  2. I thought the bolani that's fried is made with gandana (leeks) and the bolani that's baked in the oven is made with meat or pototoes. My grandma makes both kinds, but I have never seen anyone make fried bolani with meat.


Hi, I'm a 2nd year medical student who has worked my way through school in all types of restaurant jobs from bartender to chef. I love to cook, its my only hobby that I can really get into while I'm so busy with school. I learned to cook from my father, mother and grandfather, and have picked up lots of techniques and ideas from working in the restaurant industry, books, and the internet. My background is middle eastern and western european and my cooking style reflects that.
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