Sambusak Turnovers

Egyptian Food and Recipes

24-48 servings or 36-48 turnovers
1 hour 30 minutes (45 min prep, 45 min cooking)

A Ramadan dish popular in Egypt. This is a single recipe for dough, and various different fillings




3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup oil
5 cups white flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 3/4 cup cold water

---Meat filling---


1 1/2 lbs ground meat
3/4 cup of finely chopped onions
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

---Cheese Filling---
1 1/2 lbs feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (dill, mint, chives, parsley, cilantro)
3 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon pepper

---Vegetable Filling---


1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup of finely chopped onions
1 1/2 lbs leafy greens, coarsely chopped (spinach, chard, dandelion or nettles)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
1/4 cup currants
3/4 teaspoon pepper


---Sweet Filling---


3 cups almonds, finely ground
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cardamom
1/4 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons rose water






1. ----To Make the Dough----.

2. Melt the butter with the oil.

3. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the center, and add the oil and butter.

4. Stir vigorously until combined, and then add water until the dough holds together and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

5. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator while preparing the stuffing.

6. ----To Make the Meat Filling----.

7. Work all ingredients with the hands until fully combined.

8. ----To Make the Cheese Filling----.

9. Place ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor; blend well.

10. ----To Make the Vegetable Filling----.

11. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, and then saut the onions for 2 minutes.

12. Add the greens and salt and stir well.

13. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook until the greens are wilted and give off their juices.

14. Turn off the heat, add the toasted walnuts, currants and pepper, and stir well.

15. ----To Make the Sweet Filling----.

16. Combine all ingredients and stir well.

17. ----To Assemble the Sanbusa----.

18. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

19. For each pastry, take a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll it out into a 3 inch circle.

20. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the center of the dough, fold the circle into a half-moon shape and pinch the edges firmly.

21. (Another traditional shape is the triangular pocket, formed by pinching together the edges of the circle in three seams that meet in the center over the filling).

22. Place the pastries on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until golden yellow, or deep fry in vegetable oil.

23. Serve warm.


Last Updated: June 6th, 2011