Cheese Sambusak from India

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“This recipe comes from Copeland Marks' book Sephardic Cooking. He attributes the recipe to the Calcutta area of India. He says that almost all the women there knew how to make them and that they are a popular snack to be served with coffee or tea. The authentic version uses a home-made type of string cheese, but you can substitute the kashkaval, mozzarella or cheddar listed below. I have made these several times, with different cheeses and they are quite good. If you use kashkaval, I suggest French feta. If you use a less strongly flavored cheese, I suggest Bulgarian feta. I freeze them and keep them on hand for unexpected guests. You just thaw them for an hour on a cookie sheet and then reheat them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Prep and cooking time does not include one hour of refrigeration needed before assembling and baking.”
20 turnovers

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix first 4 ingredients together.
  2. Cut in the butter and mix with your fingers or a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add the water a little at a time until you have a moist, workable dough. Knead for 2 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Blend the cheeses, the egg and the pepper in a food processor until blended but not to the cosistency of a smooth paste. You want more of a chunky paste. Put in bowl and refrigerate 1 hour.
  5. Divide the dough into walnut size pieces. You should get about 20. Roll each one into a round ball and then roll out into a 4 inch pancake shape.
  6. Place 1 heaping tsp of the cheese filling on the bottom half of the circle. Moisten the edge of the bottom half and fold the top half over onto it, to form a half-moon shape. Press the edges firmly with the tine of a fork.
  7. Place the turnovers on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minute or until light brown.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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