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  • Rashid

When times are busy, samsa is still easy

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

Grading season is upon us. This, in combination with the dissertation finalisation, online presentations and full-time fathering sure leaves me with little spare time to do something 'for the soul'.

Nevertheless, sometimes you cannot go on without some Central Asian cuisine (like always). So, here is a way to enjoy one of the classics without having to cry afterwards over your procrastination.

Fifteen minutes for prep is all you need, samsa will bake itself, and you can grade another paper, or do whatever else you have to do.


Store-bought puff pastry - 10 sheets

1 medium onion

1 medium potato

300 grams of good beef

1 tablespoon of olive oil


Cumin (optional)

Black pepper (optional)

1 Egg for the wash (or use plain yoghurt instead)

Sesame seed


Baking sheet

Parchment paper




Dice the onion, potato and meat (5 minutes)

Add salt and olive oil (10 seconds)

There are some ideal taste combinations and cumin + black pepper are among them. If you have some, and if you like it, add cumin and black pepper.

Trust me, samsa will be just as fine without.

Mix everything with a spoon (20 seconds)

Lay the dough out. Mine came already cut into these convenient squares (1 minute)

Add your filling (1 minute)

Fold in any way you prefer. I like making different shapes. (5 minutes)

Whisk that egg with a bit of water (1 teaspoon) and brush your samsa (1 minute)

Sprinkle with sesame seed (20 seconds)

Into the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes at 180 Celcius (350 F). What I like to do, to get the ultimate puff from that pastry is to go from high to lower temperatures. I start at 200 C (400 F) for 10-15 minutes and finish samsa at 180 C. Of course, you must know your oven. They act differently, so please use common sense.

Ok, you are done!

These are incredible. Just like at Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent. So easy and now you have the power to check all those points on your to-do list.

Psst. You can make these without any meat! Just potato + onion work well! You can also fill samsa with pumpkin or a mix of pre-cooked greens. Enjoy!

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