No Ramadan is complete without samboosak. These meat-filled morsels are one of my favorite parts of iftar time. I always have to contain myself from taking more than 2…or 3…when I see them on a buffet spread. They are surprisingly easy to make, and the best part is that you can be creative with the stuffing: spicy or mild, vegetarian or beef-filled, Indian curry spiced or just plain ol’ cumin. In the past, I always bought egg roll wraps fresh from the grocery store, and I found that when brushed with olive oil or butter, they cook quite nicely. The batch in these photos was fried in my awesome Palestinian olive oil that is sold all over Abu Dhabi – never greasy, but full of flavor. You can definitely bake these at 375 degrees. I would recommend baking 2 or 3 to make sure that they turn out okay (sometimes too hot of an oven can cause them to brown too fast, and the dough will be chewy). If it fails, fry the rest 🙂
Samboosak (Meat Pies)
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1/2 lb of lean ground beef
1 package of egg roll (or samboosak) wrappers
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ripe tomato, diced
1 cubanelle pepper, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrot mix
2 tsp cumin powder
1 1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp of melted Olivio or similar butter alternative
(1) Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Once heated, add onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
(2) Once translucent, add 1 1/2 tsp of cumin and 1 tsp of curry. Mix well.
(3) Add ground beef to mixture. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Add cayenne pepper if you like an extra kick of spice.
(4) In a small mixer, blend tomato and cubanelle pepper. Once the meat has been browned, add the tomato/pepper mix to the beef. Add another pinch of salt. Stir well.
(5) Add frozen peas and carrots. Once the mixture reaches a rapid simmer, reduce heat.
(6) If you like added spice, then add another 1/2 tsp of cumin and 1/4 tsp of curry to the mixture. This will add a nice spicy flavor to the mixture.
(7) Once the mixture has simmered, and there is no more moisture (should resemble a thick paste), then remove from heat and stir in fresh chopped parsley.
(8) If using long rectangular roll: Place about a tablespoon of mixture at the bottom of the sheet. Start with the bottom right hand corner and pull it to the left to make a small triangle with the beef mixture underneath. Continue folding into triangles, until you reach the end of the sheet. Use a little bit of water to seal off the samboosak triangle. Repeat.
(9) If using square egg roll wrappers: Place about a tablespoon of mixture towards the bottom of the square, leaving space at both sides. Fold the left and right sides of the wrapper inwards, and then roll the entire wrapper towards the top. Repeat.
(10) If baking: Brush all sides of the wrapper with melted Olivio or similar butter alternative. In a greased baking pan, place the brushed egg rolls and bake for 15 minutes. Once the top of the wrappers are golden brown, flip each roll in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy on all sides.
(11) If frying: Heat approximately 1/2 cup of quality olive oil in a saucepan. Fry each piece for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are a nice golden brown color.