Chickpea Sambusa with Spinach and Mint

Chickpea Sambusa with Spinach and Mint

Flaky and buttery samsa, Central Asia’s beloved turnovers are known in Tajikistan as sambusa. Try this version from Dushanbe with with chickpea, spinach and mint, best enjoyed with a cup of green tea


  • Onion 1 small, roughly chopped
  • Chickpeas 400g tin, drained and rinsed
  • Mint leaves roughly chopped to make 3 tbsp
  • Spinach a handful
  • Fine sea salt 1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns ground to make 1 tsp
  • Ground cumin 1 tsp
  • Dill seeds 1 tsp (optional)
  • Puff Pastry 320g pack
  • Egg 1 small, beaten
  • Black sesame seeds 1 tsp, to garnish (optional)



Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and line a large baking tray (or two smaller trays) with baking paper.


Put the onion in a food processor and pulse a few times, then add 100g of the chickpeas, the mint and spinach, and pulse so it comes together. Put the mixture into a large bowl and stir in 1 tsp of salt, the pepper, cumin, dill seeds, if using, and the remaining chickpeas.


Lightly flour a work surface and the pastry, and roll it out to 37cm x 28cm. Using an 8cm cutter, stamp out 15 rounds, then put 1 tsp of the filling in the middle of each one and bring up the edges to create a triangle shape. Press to seal, creating a samosa-style triangle. Repeat with the remaining pastry.


Put on the baking tray, seam-side down. Brush each one with the egg wash and scatter over the black sesame seeds or a sprinkle of sea salt flakes and a few grindings of black pepper, if you like. Bake for 15 minutes then, when the pastry has fully risen, lower the oven temperature to its lowest setting and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the layers are dry and crispy.