Asian Siblings

Sambusek/Sanbusa: These are deep fried pastry crescents. Generally the fillings are much the same – traditional minced lamb or beef fillings called tatbila with cinnamon and pine nuts or white cheese with mint and dill, spinach with cheese or nuts and a jewish aubergine and tomato filling called Khanoarjo. Traditional Sambusek are shaped like half moons and sprinkled with sesame seeds. An authentic recipe of the Iraqi sambusac can be found on Moti's website.

Fatayer: These are triangular pastry pockets filled with spinach and baked.

The Israeli kitchen has both the savory and sweet variants of the filled pastry turnovers.

Borekas: Like the Turkish börek, Sephardic borekas can be made with a variety of fillings both savory and sweet. Most often, though, they are filled with a mixture of sharp and mild cheeses and a vegetable, either potato, eggplant or spinach; among the cheeses commonly used are feta, Parmesan, Gouda, kashkaval (popular in the Balkans) and farmer cheese. A rather different boreka made by Turkish Jews is the boreka de handrajo, featuring a ratatouille-like filling made from grated eggplant, tomatoes and squash that is wrapped in dough enriched with cheese and yogurt.

Hamantashen: Triangular pastries stuffed with jam, poppy seeds, or honey which are. eaten on Purim.

Kreplach: Small squares of rolled pasta dough filled with ground beef or chicken and folded into triangles. They can be boiled and served in soup or fried and served as a side dish. They are traditionally served on Purim, at the pre Yom Kippur meal and on Hoshanah Rabbah, the seventh day of Sukkot.

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Sanbusaks were still made in Iran as late as the 16th Century, but they have disappeared from most of the country today, surviving only in certain provinces: e.g. the triangular walnut-filled sambǔsas made in Larestan.

Börek: Although the variations in börek are almost limitless, the term generally refers to thin sheets of pastry (called yufka) that are layered and then filled with either a savory or sweet filling before being baked or fried. The name börek seems to have been derived from a dumpling-like dish known as bugra, named for the Bugra Khan, ruler of East Turkmenestan, while the practice of börek-making descends from the region's various ancient forms of folded bread.
Böreks can be fried, baked, cooked on a griddle or boiled. Preferred fillings are cheese, minced meat, spinach and potatoes. In the form of rolls filled with cheese or minced meat mixtures and fried, böreks are known as "Sigara (cigarette) boregi".

Manti: One of the most ancient dishes in Turkic cuisine manti originated in Central Asia, and remains a staple food there. Small dumplings with a spicy meat filling are cooked in broth and served as a main dish. It may also be served as a dumpling soup (with its own broth). Dumplings of different shape and size are are made in various regions of the Turkic world. For example, manti and the Uzbeki "chuchvara" are similar to the dumplings prepared by Volga Tatars and called "pilmen." In Crimean Tatar dialect, the dumpling soup is referred to as "kashik börek" and the dish of dumplings (also Turkish "manti") as "tabak börek."

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