Indian-spiced Apricot and Mango stuffed Sambusak Purim Cookies are a new kind of Purim treat. They are a cross between Purim’s traditional hamantaschen, the savory filled empanada-like pastry known as Sambusak, and the malpua, a sweet stuffed pancake enjoyed by the Bene Israel, India’s Jewish community. The traditional malpua is a sweet stuffed pancake made with pineapple, almonds and other fruits and nuts. This version also incorporates Silk Road flavors into its yummy filling. It’s a delicious way to introduce some new flavors--and to learn about a Jewish community with a storied past that is unfamiliar to most Jews. Be sure to allow 1 hour (or up to 1 day) for the dough to chill before you fill and bake. These will keep in a covered container at room temperature about for 2 days, but they are best the day they are made.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 32 pastriesServings
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces ) butter (or margarine for parve), at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (300 grams) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 fresh vanilla bean
- 3 1/2 cups (320 grams) all-purpose flour, plus 3 tablespoons for rolling
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 cups (15 ounces) chopped dried apricot
- 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped dried mango
- 1 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons apricot brandy
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped dried sweetened pineapple (chopped in 1/4-inch dice)
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup grated unsweetened coconut
To finish the sambusak
- 2 eggs
- 6 saffron strands
- 3 tablespoons demarara sugar or Sugar in the Raw
1. To prepare the dough, combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or, if you are using a handheld mixer, in a large mixing bowl) and mix at high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
2. With a sharp knife, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Transfer all of the seeds to a small container and set aside. (It you wish, you can use the emptied pod to make vanilla sugar; simply let it dry completely and place it into your sugar bin.)
3. Sift together the 3½ cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of parchment paper. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix at low to medium speed until well incorporated. Add the orange juice and vanilla seeds to the mixture. Add the remaining flour mixture and the coconut, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl very well, and mix to completely incorporate and form a soft cookie- like dough.
4. Prepare a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Transfer the dough onto it. Wrap the dough in the plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. You can also freeze the dough for up to 1 month and defrost in the refrigerator before using.
5. When you are a ready to make these, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Set aside.
6.Then make the filling: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the dried apricots, dried mangoes, orange juice, brandy, cardamom, and cinnamon and stir well. Cook until the mixture comes to a gentle boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the apricots and mangoes are completely soft and mushy. With an immersion blender, puree the warm mixture until smooth and remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped dried pineapple and ginger. Set aside while you roll the dough.
7. In a small bowl, beat the 2 eggs with the saffron lightly. Set aside.
8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide evenly into 36 pieces and roll the pieces into balls. Sprinkle the extra flour over a work surface. Place 1 piece of dough onto the floured surface. Coat a rolling pin with some of the flour and roll the dough into a circle, turning it and manipulating it gently as you roll to shape it. It need not be perfect. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of the circle. Brush a little of the lightly beaten egg around the edges. Lift the part of the circle farthest away from you and fold it over the filling, so it forms a semi-circle. Gently press the edges together to seal the semi-circle and crimp the edge between your thumb and forefinger to create a decorative border, or or press the edge gently with the tines of a fork to create a ridged border. Gently lift the sambusak onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough dough. Sprinkle the sugar over the tops of the pastries.
9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is a chestnut brown in color. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Kitchen tips: Although these can be made small and served like a small cookie,perfect for gift giving and pretty in baskets, they are also wonderful made about 5 to 6 inches wide and served as a plated dessert, warm, with a spiced ice cream, like cardamom or cinnamon.