Uzbek Samosa (Samsa)
Samosa (also spelled samsa, somsa, samoosa, sambosak, sambusa, singada, samuza, somasi, somas) is an Uzbek food consisting of flaky pasties with various fillings, both served at ceremonies and eaten in an everyday life. Samosa may have different shapes and forms and be cooked in a multiplicity of ways.
Today’s samosa is usually filled with meat (mutton, chicken or beef), vegetables (pumpkin, potato or onion), mushrooms, eggs, peas, herbs or even sweet substances. However, as in most of the Uzbek dishes, it is the spices, such as zira (zra, kumin), black and red hot pepper, and sesame (covering samosa on the top), that make the taste of the pasties really unique.
In the former times samosa was cooked only in a tandir oven (a Central Asian clay oven, also spelled tandyr, tandoor), on coals. Samosa baked in a tandir has specific taste and flavour and is filled with small pieces of meat, onion and some amount of fat from a sheep’s tail. Nowadays, some sorts of samosa are cooked in gas or electric ovens, which is faster and more convenient and, at the same time, makes samosa retain its original qualities.
The Uzbek cuisine also includes sweet sorts of samosa filled with fruit jams. On the top the sweet samosa is covered with sugar or sesame seeds. The sweet samosa is usually served with tea.
Samosa is normally made of classic or yeast flaky dough.
The same ingredients are used for almost all sorts of samosa: flour, water and salt. There are recipes with melted fat added. You can either use ready-made flaky dough or prepare it yourself.
The filling for samosa should contain a large portion of onion, which will make the pasties juicy.
How to cook samsa depends on which form you have chosen for it: round, triangular or square. Roll out the flaky dough to a thickness of 2 mm and cut into rounds or squares 10 cm by 10 cm in size. Put the prepared filling and a piece of fat from a sheep’s tail in the middle, join the edges and put on an oiled baking tray with the seams down. When samosa is baked in a tandir oven, the bottom side of the pasty is wetted with salt water.
Before putting the pasties in the oven, smear them with egg yolk and cover with sesame seeds. The cooking time depends on the filling: if it is vegetables (pumpkin or potatoes), bake the pasties for10-15 minutes, while samosa with meat requires more time - 30-40 minutes.
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