Sunday, October 12, 2008
VeganMoFo: Bukharan Samsa & Chik'n Pot Pies
If you don't already have the book 'Olive Trees and Honey' then you should go pick it up right away. In it you'll find an exciting array of recipes from Jewish communites around the world in Greece, India, Romania, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Egypt and on and on. It's a vegetarian book but most recipes are vegan or can at least be modified to be vegan.
One section of the book features pies and pastries with various kinds of fillings and doughs depending on the region. I was interested in the Bukharan samsa recipe because the dough seemed simple enough (oil, flour, salt, water) and didn't contain any dairy or egg ingredients I had to work around. This particular samsa recipe originates from the Bukharan Jews from the Uzbekistan region. Samsa are a common street food, customarily baked in a tandoor and are commonly filled with meat but also vegetables. The book features a vegan version that is filled with sweet butternut squash, onions and spices. I adore butternut squash in any form so this recipe was something I wanted to try.
I have to say it was quite a bit of work making the dough, letting it rest, cooking the fillings and so on. It took most of my morning but I was determined to make them. I only had enough squash filling for a half recipe of samsa so I got the idea to also make chik'n pot pie filling which I knew would appeal more to my husband. The chik'n pot pie filling contained cubed Boca Chik'n patties, carrots, potato and miso gravy. I have a pretty small workspace in the kitchen so I couldn't really concentrate on making my little pies perfect. I did the best I could and ended up making 15 small turnovers. I can't say they look pretty but they are really tasty and so worth all the effort! The dough was tender and flaky-crisp around the edges. The samsa were delicious with a soft mash of sweet squash and a earthy hint of cumin and turmeric. The chik'n pot pies were winners and tasted just like the real thing, sure to beat frozen Swanson's pies anyday.
Healthy and delicious vegetarian samsa.
Chik'n pot pies!
Inside shots. Wow!