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The Cornish Pasty

Cornish flag

Middle East, North & East African Pasty

Including Egypt, Iraq, Iran etc

The Sambusac, Simbusak or Samboussa


Egyptian sambusacs

From Wikipedia - Sambusac

Sambusac, also known as simbusak or samboussa, is a small fried pasty, which may be either half-moon shaped or triangular. They are popular throughout much of the Middle East, Northern Africa and Eastern Africa. The origin of the name is uncertain. The "-ak" ending is characteristically Middle Persian, but there may be a link with the Greek word συμποσιον (symposion), a party.

It is often prepared by folding a thin circular piece of dough over the filling, either in half to form a semicircle or at three edges to form a triangular shape. The resulting pastry is shallow fried on both sides.

Traditional fillings are:

  1. chickpeas (garbanzo beans), onions and peppers;
  2. minced meat and onions;
  3. cheese (usually feta or halloumi).

Occasionally one comes across fish fillings, and there are of course many vegetarian options, including one with potatoes found in the specialty aisles of large grocery stores such as Safeway and Loblaws in North America.


Similar dishes in other cuisines

In Spain, Portugal, and everywhere their empires touched, the sambusak is known as an empanada (Portuguese empada). These Iberian fried pastries originate from the Moors who occupied Spain for 800 years, themselves having received this cuisine from traditional Middle Eastern fare, and North African cuisine. Unlike the sambusak, the empanada is usually deep fried.

Another derivative is the Indian and Pakistani samosa.

Sambusak also bear a remoter resemblance to Italian panzerotti and to the Cornish pasty.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Sambusac