This traditional Central Asian pastry is a celebration of bold flavors, where flaky pastry pockets filled with seasoned beef or lamb and aromatic spices come together to create a delightful and satisfying treat. Originating from the bustling bazaars of Uzbekistan, Samsa encapsulates the essence of Uzbek culinary tradition and the use of locally sourced ingredients. Join us as we guide you through crafting this delightful masterpiece, inviting you to savor the authentic taste of Uzbekistan’s cherished culinary heritage.
For the Samsa Dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the Samsa Filling:
- 1/2 pound ground beef or lamb
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Start by preparing the Samsa dough. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Gradually add warm water while mixing until the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. Shape it into a ball, coat it with vegetable oil, and cover it with a clean cloth. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, prepare the Samsa filling. In a skillet, heat a bit of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until they become soft and translucent.
- Add the ground beef or lamb to the skillet and cook until it’s browned and cooked through. Break it up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
- Stir in the ground cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to season the meat.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Divide the rested dough into small balls, about the size of a golf ball. Roll each ball into a thin, oval-shaped sheet.
- Place a spoonful of the meat mixture onto one half of each dough oval. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling to create a triangle or rectangular shape. Press the edges to seal.
- Place the formed Samsas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the Samsas are golden brown and crisp.
- Garnish the Samsas with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley.
- Serve the savory Uzbek Samsas hot, and enjoy the bold flavors!