סמבוסק חומוס. צילום: אילן נחום | סגנון: דלית רוסו
סמבוסק חומוס. צילום: אילן נחום | סגנון: דלית רוסו
Recipe

Chickpea Sambusak

Chickpea sambusak are made by Iraqi Jews for Purim - a symbol of hidden religion, miracles, and Queen Esther's vegetarian diet, but also delicious

Sambusak is an ancient food, noted in history books as early as 11th century AD as stuffed pouches in the shape of crescents. The story goes that Sambusak began its journey in (ancient) Persia, and due to their extensive trade routes, the dish ventured forth in all directions. It is known as Samosa in Indian and Bukhari cuisine, Sambosa in South Africa, and can be found in many other countries to the East. Some claim that during the Age of Discovery in the 16th century the Sambusak migrated to Europe. Specifically noting its arrival in Spain and Portugal, it is posited that the ​​empanada was born of the sambusak, and reached as far as Argentina.

Each country has its own version of sambusak but the principle is the same – a simple dough that is stuffed with any number of variations of filling that is then baked or fried. The origin of the name “sambusak” probably comes from ancient Farsi. Some claim that it is derived from the words sa-busak which mean “I will kiss you” and may explain the popular lip-like shape.

Iraqi Jews prepare chickpea sambusak for Purim. The accepted theory is that dough pockets with hidden fillings are prepared on Purim as a symbol for of Queen Esther’s concealment of her Jewish faith. In addition, the chickpea sambusak also represents the fact that Queen Esther ate a vegetarian diet (mostly made up of legumes) in the king’s palace so that she would not have to break any kosher laws by eating non-kosher meat. And the final reason to eat sambusak on Purim (if being delicious isn’t enough) is its connection to the hidden nature of God’s miracle in saving the Jews in the book of Esther.

We recommend you soak the chickpeas the night before, frozen or canned chickpeas can also be used. This sambusak is fried, and is delicious served with a tomato, onion and amba salad.

Ingredients for Chickpea Sambusak

For the dough:

  • 3½ cups + 1 tablespoon (500 grams) flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) butter cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 tablespoon Dry yeast
  • 1 cup water

For the filling:

  • 1 lb 2 oz (500 grams) chickpeas boiled (can be frozen or canned, washed and drained)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 onions sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper fresh

For frying:

  • oil for deep frying

Instructions

Prepare the dough:

  • 1. Mix the flour and butter with your fingers in a large bowl until a crumbly mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until you obtain a uniform dough. Knead for 3 minutes (by hand or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment) until the dough becomes smooth and flexible. It is ready when you can stretch it without tearing.

  • 2. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about an hour.

Prepare the filling:

  • 3. Grind the chickpeas in a food processor and transfer to a bowl.

  • 4. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat and fry the onion until browned. Add the ground chickpeas and spices and cook while stirring until the stuffing turns slightly golden. Set aside to cool.

  • 5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out and assemble:

  • 6. Make ping-pong sized balls from the dough and cover them so they don't dry out. Roll each ball by hand or with a rolling pin into a thin circle, fill with stuffing (about a tablespoon) and fold into a semi-circle. Seal the edges well with your fingers or a fork. Place in a single layer on the prepared tray (you can freeze them at this stage. Take out a half an hour before frying).

Fry and serve:

  • 7. Heat oil for deep frying in a large pan on medium heat. Fry the sambusak in batches until golden on both sides, remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

  • 8. Serve with tomato, onion and amba salad.

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The recipe for these chickpea stuffed sambusak stuffed was published for the first time in “Al HaShulchan’s Vegetarian Kitchen”.

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