samsa plate - Kat Spellman
samsa plate - Kat Spellman two samsa - Kat Spellman squash samsa HIGH REZ - Kat Spellman asal smile square - Kat Spellman

Savory Hand Pies by Tabassum

Tabassum* serves samsa (savory hand pies like Cornish pasties, German Bierocks or Russian pirogue) in neighborhoods across Western Washington. Back in Uzbekistan, Tabassum founder Suriya Yunusov and her family enjoyed traditional samsa hand-pies, and now they’ll be serving them in the Seattle Christmas Market!

“These are one of Central Asia’s most popular street foods. Every Uzbek family has a favorite recipe, and we do too,” says Suriya.

(*Tabassum is the Uzbek word for “smile”.) The Seattle Times named them one of their favorite, affordable dishes of the year. Katherine Anne Long of the Seattle Times wrote:

“Samsa, fresh from the oven, are succulent. Their skin is flaky and buttery, with rippling cracks like the pattern of wind on sand; having been brushed with egg, they glimmer; they are studded with onion seeds or sesame. Inside is minced beef and onion with salt and cumin. In homes before holidays, samsa-making assumes an industrial aspect, with tables covered in paper-thin dough and legions of family members engaged to mince meat and chop onions. The experience of eating samsa in Central Asia is an egalitarian one. They are sold most everywhere, including at streetside kiosks, where they are arrayed dozens deep, their triangular points facing the sky like miniature, delicious mountain ranges. I would buy one or two samsa and eat them right there, leaning at a counter in a dusty, sunstruck street, alongside bankers, students, construction workers and farmers in town for the day…. Eating samsa at (the) food truck Tabassum most closely mimics Central Asian samsa culture: Purchased from a window, consumed in the street. But Tabassum’s samsa are better than almost anything I had in Central Asia.”

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