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Cheese Sambusa


Cheese Sambusa

Omer Eltigani
These steaming pastry parcels are somewhere between a samosa and a momo dumpling. To punch up the protein, replace half the cheese with ½ cup browned ground lamb seasoned with a pinch of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.


  • For Pastry:
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons canola oil plus more for greasing bowl
  • ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • For Filling:
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • To Assemble
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten


  • For Pastry:
  • Whisk together flour, powdered milk, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly stir in oil, then add water to form a thick but supple dough. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead until dough becomes smooth and malleable. Lightly oil a medium bowl, add dough, turn to coat, cover, and leave in a cool, dry place to rise for 30 minutes.
  • For Filling: Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste as necessary.
  • To assemble: Cover a cooling rack with paper towels and place on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside. Pour oil into a 2-quart, heavy-bottom pot(a Dutch oven works well) and bring to 350°F over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, shape dough into 8 to 10 portions the size of golf balls, then flatten into disks ⅛-to¼-inch thick. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on each dough round. Brush edges with beaten egg. Fold over and seal edges.
  • Fry in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on prepared rack. Sprinkle with salt. Serve warm.

Alexandra Pereira

Alexandra Pereira is a British writer and editor whose favorite cheese is gouda. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @alex_an_drap.

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