Sambusak are popular Middle Eastern pastry parcel treats made from buttery dough rounds filled with dates, chickpeas, cheese, walnuts, meat and vegetables, that are folded over, sealed, sprinkled in sesame seeds and then fried or baked. The pastry is soft, spicy and fragrant and there are lots of choices with the fillings which can be savory, sweet or spicy. The special spice mix added to the pastry makes this dish unique. Various combinations of ground fennel seeds, fenugreek, mastic, cumin, ground ginger, black pepper and ground nutmeg can be used. The dish can be server as an entree, snack food, party food or as a side dish.
Make the dough by mixing the oil and melted butter, with the salt in a small mixing bowl. Add the hot water while stirring. Then, gradually fold in the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time. Mix the dough well until a soft and springy dough is formed. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix in the last part of the flour. Gently knead the dough a little. Cover the bowl containing the dough with plastic wrap and set aside for 15-30 minutes. Next, prepare the filling by adding the cheese, 2 free-range eggs, parsley and black pepper in a food processor or blender. Pulse the mixture until it forms a light and creamy paste. If baking the sambusak, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Otherwise prepare your deep-fryer, or deep frying pan by heating the oil. Assemble your sambusak by rolling out portions of the dough into circles about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle of dough. Fold the the dough over the filling to form half-moon shaped pockets. Seal the edges by pinching with your fingers. For baking place the sambusak on a lightly greased cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Beat one egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush the tops of the sambusak with this mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until until golden brown. You can also deep fry the sambusak in batches until golden brown, turning once. Serve immediately.
Dissolve the yeast, with the salt, baking powder and sugar in the water in a large bowl. Mix well. Set aside for 5 minutes until the yeast starts to froth. Add the flour, one cup at a time. Mix well to form a dough ball. Then, remove the dough and knead until the dough ball is firm and silky. Cover the outside of the dough ball with a little oil rubbed over your hands and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or cling film and set the bowl aside in a warm place to allow the dough to rise (about 1-2 hours). Then remove the dough, add the butter, mix well and knead once again. Set the dough aside. Prepare the chickpea filling by washing and draining the chickpeas. Fry the onions in the oil until translucent. Add the dry spices and cook with the onions for about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas and onion and spice mix to a blender or food processor and pulse to form a chunky paste. Assemble the sambusak by taking portions of the dough and rolling out into circles about 3 inches (7 cm) in diameter. Place a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each circle and fold the pastry over, sealing with a fork, glazing with beaten egg and tossing in sesame seeds. Deep or shallow fry the sambusak, or bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) until light brown. Serve immediately.
Make the pastry, by mixing the salt into the flour. Cream the butter in a medium size bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the flour while mixing and then mix in the water. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a dough ball. Set the dough aside for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Saute the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the meat and fry to brown it, breaking it apart using a wooden spoon. Let the meat cool and then add the pine nuts and spices. Assemble the pastry pockets by taking small portions of the dough (about the size of a walnut), tossing them in sesame seeds and rolling out into 3 inch (7 cm) circles. Place one teaspoon of the filling in the center of each round. Fold the dough over and seal with a fork. Place the pastries on greased baking sheets lined with baking paper and bake them for 15-20 minutes, flipping once, or until golden brown all over. Serve immediately.
Start by making the dough by combining the flour, sugar, yeast and water in a large bowl. Add the oil and salt and mix until a dough ball forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for the dough to rise in a warm place for 1-3 hours. Next, prepare the filling by heating the oil in a frying pan over high heat. Sauté the onion until translucent. Then, add the lemon juice, salt, spinach, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir and cook for several minutes and then set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F (180 degrees C). Roll out portions of the dough into 3 inch (7 cm) thin rounds. Place one tablespoon of filling into the center of each round. Fold one edge of the dough and seal by pressing the edge with a fork. Place the sambusak on a greased baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each parcel with egg white and sprinkle with seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes until the parcels are light brown in color. Cool the sambusak on the baking sheet. Serve immediately.
Prepare the spice mix by dry-roasting the seeds in a hot frying pan until fragrant, and then grinding in a mortar and pestle. Place the ground seeds, tomato puree, olive oil, peppers, chilli, garlic and parsley in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth, adding extra oil if required to make a smooth thick paste. Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Next, make the pastry by sieving the flour and salt into a large bowl, then add the olive oil and the seeds. Pour the warm water into a cavity in the flour and mix to make a sticky dough. Knead the dough until it is smooth, cover with cling wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Take small portions of the dough and roll out into 3 inch (7 cm) rounds. Add a teaspoon of fig chutney, small cube of feta, parsley and a small pinch of sumac to the centre of each round. Fold over the edges of the pastry and seal using a fork. Brush the sambusak with olive oil and place on greased baking sheets lined with baking paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool and serve immediately with a serving of the harissa paste and Greek yoghurt.