Recipe courtesy of Sherryl Betesh

Sherryl Betesh's Meat Sambousak (Meat-Filled Sesame Pastries)

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 36 sambousak
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1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon canola oil 

1 pound ground beef 

1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup semolina 

2 teaspoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

2 sticks (1 cup) margarine, softened 

3 ounces sesame seeds 


  1. For the filling: Combine the onion and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking up large clumps with a fork, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Add the allspice, cinnamon and salt, stirring to combine. Set aside to cool.
  2. For the dough: Mix the flour, semolina, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the margarine and mix together with your fingers until small pea-size clumps form. Mix in warm water, a little at a time (up to 1/2 cup), until a soft dough forms. Shape the dough into 36 balls.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the sesame seeds on a plate. Place a dough ball on a cutting board and flatten into a 1/4-inch-thick round with your palm. Top with about a teaspoon of the filling. Fold the dough over the filling. Press the edges together, gently twisting with your thumb to form a fluted edge. Dip into the sesame seeds and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Reserve the extra filling for another use.
  4. Bake the sambousak until lightly golden brown, about 15 minutes.