What is samsa? It's very simple - it's dough with meat. So if we talk about samsa as a snack. But let's dig a little deeper into this dish as part of the culture and history of a number of Central Asian nations.
A little history
The history of Central Asia is very rich in various events. This is due to constant wars, changes in dynasties, cultures and languages. We know that for a long time much of Central Asia was conquered by the Achaemenid dynasty. The dynasty of ancient Persian kings and a number of derivative dynasties of Hellenistic times ruled until 330 BC. and ends as a result of the conquest of Alexander the Great. Of course, much evidence has been found since then: writings and cuneiform of Cyrus the Great, inscriptions - warnings of Darius and numerous historical writings about the campaigns of Alexander the Great in Bactria and Sogdiana. The birthplace of the ancient agricultural civilization of the Sogdians, Bactrians and Parthians was a frontier land with warlike Scythian Sakas until the VIII century. and became the goal of extermination by the Arabs in the VII century.
Meanwhile, the Turkic Khaganate (which ruled over Turkestan and the Silk Road) brought some traces of Chinese and Mongolian cultures to the region. The Iranian Samanid dynasty represented the interests of the Arab Caliphate until the VIII-XII centuries and was replaced by the Afghan Karakhanids. Almost the entire region of Central Asia was conquered by the hordes of Genghis Khan. In the XIV century the region was ruled by the Tamerlane dynasty with its capital - Samarkand. In the XVI century. there are such local dynasties as the Shaybanids in the Emirate of Bukhara, Khorezm and Kokand Khanate.
Each dynasty, as well as each historical event, made its own contribution (or destruction of certain achievements) to the local culture and gastronomy.
We must also not forget that in addition to wars and conquests, one of the most powerful factors in the movement of ideas and religions, knowledge and recipes were caravans. Poor and blasphemous dervishes, street circus performers and merchants, ambassadors and spies, artisans and scientists traveled through the caravans of the Great Silk Road. They walked or fled from wars, the poor or just in search of adventure. Traces of trade and cultural activities of the Sogdians can be traced back to the times of the Indo-Scythian state (II century AD) and the entire existence of the Silk Road. In his book, Marco Polo mentions the Sogdians even in Venice. As a result of such massive cultural movements, traditional dishes have changed in name, in the subtleties of cooking or in the types of serving.
Names of dishes
The greater influence of one or another linguistic and gastronomic culture on the time of its existence on this earth remained for a long time even after two or more substitutions. Thus, the sweet dish Sumalak, which is prepared for Nowruz (from the Persian "New Day") can be translated from Arabic as "Forty Princes". The Persian word "ob" remains in many names of modern Uzbek cuisine: Obi-non, Shakar-Ob, GurOb.
The modern name of the dish "Mantú" has an interesting chain in different countries. In Chinese, it will be "mantou" ( Chinese trad. У, upr .馒头, pinyin mántou; "stuffed head", or, as a homonym, "barbarian head"). In Korea, they are called "Mandu" (Cor. 만두? , 饅頭?), In Mongolia - " booze ". Japanese "manju" (饅頭) - fried buns with stuffing - also etymologically derived from Chinese "mantou".
And the word "Non" can be found today in Central Asian countries, as well as in China or India, and it will mean the same thing: bread. L agman (Chinese trad. 拉麵, upr. 拉面, pinyin: lāmiàn, pal .: lamyan, literally "stretched noodles").
The name Samosa comes from the Persian سنبوساگ sanbosag or Arabic سمبوسه Samosa. Variants of names in different languages include: Iranian سمبوسه or Persian. سنبوسه sanbusé, samoosa, st.-Panja. ਸਮੋਸਾ, smosa, Hindi समोसा, Urdu سموسه, Arabic. سمبوسك sambūsak or sambusaj , bang. সিঙাড়া, Assamese sing-ra, Oriya ષ્હિઙદ, shingada, Hebrew. סקבוסק sambusak, Gudge. સુમૉસ sumosa, cann. ಸಮೋಸಾ samosa, Mala. സമോസ, Marathi. सामोसा, there. சமோசா, Telugu సమోసా, Urdu سموسه, ka. samsa sɑmsɑ, kirg. samsa sɑmsɑ;, uzb. somsa sɒmsa, sib.-tat. samsa sɑmsɑ, uig. سامسا sɑmsɑ, samsa, tour. samsa böreği, turkm. somsa, taj. sambӯsa.
Samsa as a dish
The modern world is currently very demanding. Today we are talking not only about meat-free food, but also about vegetarian food, vegan, keto diet and raw food. But that was not always the case. Let's take any country 100-150 years ago and we will see that food mainly depended on social and financial status. If it is an ordinary peasant family, then we mention a German potato soup, a Polish zhurek or an Arabic lentil soup.
Any gastronomic culture, to a lesser extent, owns dishes outside of social or financial status. In the Asian region, such dishes include dishes with meat and dough (be it cheburek, burek or manti). Samsa is probably best suited for a semi-nomadic lifestyle. You can knead the dough and make cakes even in the middle of the steppe or desert. But for samsa to be properly baked, you need a good tandoor ...
Once upon a time, people did not know what a tandoor was and used only open fire for cooking. The time has come and humanity, at least in countries with hot and dry climates, understands that food will be prepared differently if the temperature is hot for some time.
Perhaps the idea of a tandoor came about after people began to identify the center of fire in Zoroastrian temples with a place where there is warmth and food for the gods. Many such temples have been found in Central Asia. and they were in many houses and palaces. One of the ancient forms of tandoor is one that is built in the middle of the ground, almost below ground level. Such tandoors are used for bread, meat and samsa.
In Uzbekistan, there are tandoors with a side hole - such tandoors are used in Fergana, Tashkent and Samarkand for baking bread. Built on the ground tandoors with a hole in the middle is used for samsa.
The walls of the tandoor should be thick (15 to 70 cm) to retain heat well. It is on the heated surface of the inner walls is glued stuffed and closed with an envelope, triangle or round dough ...
In Uzbekistan, there are tandoors with a side hole - such tandoors are used in Fergana, Tashkent and Samarkand for baking bread. Built on the ground tandoors with a hole in the middle is used as a tandoor samsa.
The walls of the tandoor should be thick (15 to 70 cm) to retain heat well. It is on the heated surface of the inner walls is glued filled with minced meat and closed with an envelope, triangle or round dough ...
Samsa dough is the easiest to use, because it is still an ancient and folk dish. But millennial technology also has its secrets. From the simplest composition (flour, water and salt) you need to be able to make the dough so that it "holds" when rolling, was not too thick. It should be thin enough to crumble and crunch. But it should be elastic enough not to burst when baked.
The dough should be fresh, or even a little salty. No impurities, no sugar, no baking powder. The dough should be puff.
To prepare the dough you need to knead it properly and roll it out properly. Every housewife knows what a rolling pin for samsa dough is. It is such a long (100 to 150 cm long), smooth stick. It is with the help of which a flat sheet of dough will be rolled out, which will then be greased with butter (oil, animal fat or margarine) and rolled into a large, thick snail. Almost every day we make this dough in the evenings so that you can cook samsa in the morning. We cut from that a snail on a circle, we flatten and we unroll in one layer. In the middle we put ready forcemeat ...
Stuffing on samsa
Traditionally and classically, minced meat should definitely be made of minced meat, some will say. And they will be right. Samsa should be made exclusively of meat, others will say, and they will also be right. Because it all concerns the concept of traditional food, which originated among the nomadic peoples. Where there has always been a lot of meat.
But the world does not stand still. Since some time, samsa with pumpkin has become very popular ( we also make pumpkin samsa for the season ), and it is no longer baked in a tandoor, but cooked in a pan. And the cake for such samsa does not necessarily have to be puff, but ordinary.
For classic samsa, minced or sliced meat is used. It can be lamb or veal, but it should still be young meat. An equal part of the meat is mixed with the same amount of onion, finely chopped by hand. In Uzbekistan, a little turkey fat is added to this stuffing. It is even added to pumpkin samsa. But that's it, if you cook pumpkin samsa, and you want it to be a vegetarian samsa, then add a little vegetable oil.
Ordinary meat samsa with minced meat can be baked in a home oven for 40 minutes at a temperature of 170-180 degrees and it will be ready to eat ...
How to eat samsa?
Traditionally, samsa is held with the hands and bitten with the teeth. This has been the case for at least the last couple of thousand years. Food vinegar can go well with samsa. Or fresh tomato and garlic sauce. Bon appetit! Yokimli ishtaha!
What is Samsa cooking?
We prepare: samsa with veal (with lamb by prior arrangement), samsa with cheese, samsa with pumpkin (according to the season), samsa with zucchini and potatoes, samsa with apple. Most types of samsa we cook with a knife (to order). Samsa with veal - we cook it every day in small batches at the beginning of the working day.
Someone comes in from the street and doesn't want to wait long. Then hot or still warm samsa is just an option for a light snack on the way. As soon as we sell the batch that was prepared from the beginning for lunch, we start preparing the next batch. During the lockdown there were few sales, so we cooked a total of about 20-30 pieces during the day. samsi. Now we are cooking more. We tell our customers to order in advance if possible, then for them hot, crunchy samsa from the oven is guaranteed.
That samsa with meat, which we offer daily on the menu, weighs 120 grams. To eat this samsa you would need to eat 2-4 samsa, if you do not eat other dishes. But we have a hidden offer, which you can just find out on this page. This is KHAN SAMSA ! What it is!
It's just a very big samsa. Well, how big samsa? Imagine such a pie made of crispy puff pastry and meat, only it weighs about 350-360 grams. There is little dough, and the filling is meat and with its own juice. Then it will go to dinner just like that! We do not put such samsa in the main menu. But who wants to try this, tell us about " Khan Samsa " in addition to the order (in the comments or during a phone conversation).
Bon appetit! Yokimli ishtaha!