These Persian sambooseh (beef hand pies) are a delicious blend of perfectly seasoned beef and vegetables wrapped in a whole wheat lavash and pan fried until golden brown!
I started cooking at a young age, mostly because the cooks on TV made it look so darn fun, and second because I was sick and tired of Persian food!
My dad’s Persian Spaghetti, a homogeneous mixture of overcooked noodles and heavily spiced meat sauce served over fried potato slices, made me crave the “real” spaghetti I saw American families eating on TV. You know the type: barely al dente, pale yellow noodles with a scoop of bright red sauce placed strategically on top. Ahh that seemed like the life.
But the older I get, and the more I learn about food, the more I fall in love with the cuisine of my homeland. Deeply flavored lamb stews, fragrant Basmati rice, and an overdose of fresh herbs, which my inner nutritionist goes ga-ga over!
As my love affair with Persian food gets more intimate, I find myself stepping out of my comfort zone and actually trying to cook some of the dishes. I understand that Persian food, like many other ethnic cuisines, can be somewhat intimidating for the home cook to tackle. But once you have the techniques down and the spices on hand, you can easily replicate delicious Persian fare that will impress your friends as much as “American spaghetti” impressed me as a kid!Print
Perfectly seasoned meat and vegetables folded in a crisp whole wheat wrap.
- 1/2 large yellow onion (diced)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- salt & pepper
- 3 zucchinis (diced)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (omit or use less if you want a milder heat)
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 C water
- 1/2 bunch curly parsley (fine chopped)
- 1/2 C milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 sheets whole wheat lavosh (or whole wheat tortilla if you can’t find lavosh)
- light olive oil for frying
Heat a cast iron skillet or large frying pan over medium high heat and sautee the onions and garlic.
2. Add the ground beef to the pan with the onions and cook until beef is browned.
3. While beef is cooking, sautee diced zucchini in a separate pot until lightly golden.
4. Season the beef with salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, and turmeric. Add tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes until the tomato paste is a reddish brown. Add the sauteed zuchinni and chopped parsley to the meat mixture and turn off the stove.
6. Slice the lavosh pieces in half (hot dog style). Run one piece of lavosh at a time through the milk mixture and fill with the meat. Fold the Sambooseh into triangles (see the video) and place them on a cookie sheet, fold side down.
7. Heat a half inch of light olive oil in a cast iron skillet and fry 2-3 Samboosehs at a time. Flip the Sambooseh when it is a light golden brown. Keep prepared Samboosehs on a wire rack over a cookie sheet to prevent the bottoms from getting soggy.
8. Invite some friends over, crack open some wine, and enjoy!