Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sambusak- Samosa Saudi Style

"A samosa is a stuffed pastry  and a popular snack in South,SouthEast,Central & SouthWest Asia,the Arab Peninsula, throughout the Mediterranean(Greece), the Horn of Africa,Norht & South Africa. It generally consists of a fried or baked triangular, semi-lunar or tetrahedral pastry shell with a savory filling, which may include spiced potatoes, onions, peas, coriander, and lentils, or ground beef or chicken. The size and shape of a samosa as well as the consistency of the pastry used can vary considerably, although it is mostly triangular" - Wikipedia.

Basically in Middle East or Persian Gulf countries like Saudi, Samosa is deep fried  snack stuffed with minced meat and is known as samboosak or sambusak or sambusaj  or even sambousak.Though the term samosa originated from Persian sanbosag, the indian samosa is different from the saudi cousin in that the saudi samboosak can be  made with yeast. or in the middle east,you can make samosa as we do in India -pastry dough without leavening agents or  using simple yeasted bread dough or adding baking powder instead of yeast and even baking instead of frying. I have found a simple recipe for saudi samboosak from Saudi embassy magazine here and have adapted to get dozen plus mini sambusaks.

Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour : 2 cups
Vegetable/Corn Oil: 4 tbsp
Instant Yeast: 3/4 tsp
Fennel Seeds,Poppy Seeds: 1/4 -1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp or as per taste
Water: 5+tbsp

Oil: for Deep Frying.

Filling:
Onion:1 medium size finely chopped
Capsicum: green : 1 small : finely choppped
Mushroom: 10-12 cleaned and finely chopped
Cumin Powder
Pepper:fresh ground as per taste
Salt
Paprika/Chilli powder: a pinch (optional)


Preparation:
Filling:
Heat oil in a pan,add finely chopped/grated onions and cook till transparent.Then add finely chopped capsicum and mushroom along with salt and the spice powders and let it cook till done.Keep aside.You can use as many vegetables as you want along with your choice of spice powders.Traditionally lamb /mutton /minced meat is used as a filling and I simply replaced the original recipe's meat portion with mushrooms which I had.Chickpeas also make a hearty replacement for meat and so does the soy chunks.

Sambusak:
In a big bowl, mix together flour,salt ,yeast and fennel +poppy seeds.If interested slightly roast and crush the seeds before adding to the flour.Make a well in the flour mix and add in oil and mix well till it resembles bread crumbs.You can add in more oil if needed. Add in water in tablespoons and knead to form a smooth dough.Place the dough in an oiled container and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in  size.

Now you lightly punch down the dough and roll it out into a thin circle on a lightly floured  surface.Make sure it is a bit thin than you would go for a normal samosa as it puffs up during frying.Using cookie cutters or your choice of weapon,cut into circles.You can choose any shape or size though circular is traditional. I went for 3" cookie cutter.

Normally for Indian samosas,we pinch small pieces of the dough and then roll out into thin circles and stuff them.But i prefer the above given method but  you can follow whichever you are used to /expert in.I also referenced this website/ video where sambusak recipe was demostrated.

Put 2-3tsps of filling in the centre of the circle.Fold the dough over the filling to form a half circle or half moon.

Press the edges together to seal and crimp the edges decoratively with the tines of a fork or whatever way you like. :).

Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown on both sides.Make sure the oil is on medium-low heat. On putting the pieces in oil,you can see them floating up to the surface.They have crispy shell and will puff up a bit as it has yeast.Drain on paper towels and serve with your choice of dip/sauce.





Notes: I am not an expert samosa maker. I just make the dough without adding oil and sometimes adding semolina flour and most of the time,I am left with soft soggy samosas.Also small bubbles can be seen on my samosas.The first time I tried the original recipe for sambusak,I did not add any oil at all and ended up with similar sambusaks.Not that they are inedible.They are tasty and excellent but that crispiness usually  associated with samosa was not there.A little bit of research and I found that you need to add suffiecient oil to the flour while making making the dough and this gives you crispy shells.Also the oil for frying need to be in medium -low heat else over heat may cause the bubbles to appear in the sambusaks and the insides may  not be properly cooked.

So the second time on,I tried with the said changes and ended up with much much much (I do not think perfect) better sambusaks or Saudi samosas.(If you did not see me anywhere near your blogs,blame it on sambusaks.) Thus this simple plate goes to AWED:Saudi at Kitchen Samraj,an event by DK.


I am sorry the  pics are not that great but the taste sure is.Do enjoy the sambusaks.

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