There is probably no other culinary delight that is as ubiquitous on Iftar tables across the GCC during Ramadan, as Cheese Samboosa. Although Samboosa (AKA Samosa) is not an authentic Arabic snack, it is one that has been widely adopted (due in large part to the influence of Indian and other South Asian cultures on the local fare) and is a particular mainstay during the Holy Month.
Admittedly, I was quite the fan of cheese samboosa growing up in Bahrain. But I mean, what’s not to love? Crispy, fried pastry oozing with melted cheese, packaged in a brown paper bag (verging on transparency from all the oil transfer, mind you) – little savoury bites of heaven, right? Well, needless to say it definitely isn’t the healthiest of snack – and regardless of whether or not your eating plant-based, I definitely don’t recommend breaking your fast with anything greasy or deep fried.
Enter the remedy. Air-fried (or baked) samboosa stuffed with the ooziest, gooiest melty vegan cheese that’s totally plant-based and homemade.
- ½ cup of raw cashews (pre-boiled for 10 mins)
- 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast
- 3 tbsp + 2 tsp of Tapioca starch
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1¼ cup of water
- 1 package of samosa pastry sheets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup water
- Add all the cheese ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
- Pour the blended mixture into a small saucepan on medium heat, then using a wooden spoon or spatula, continuously stir while cooking. You will see small clumps start to form as you do and at about the five minute mark your mixture should turn into one big gooey mass of cheese. Cook for an additional 30 seconds to one minute to ensure everything is firmed up.
- Store in a glass container and allow to cool in the fridge for at least 30 mins before handling.
- To assemble place a samosa pastry sheet vertically on a cutting board or plate and start by adding a light wash of water using a pastry brush - this helps the edges stick together better (depending on how dry/moist your sheets are you may be able to skip this step).
- Add about 1-2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture to the far right corner, then using the bottom right "point" fold the pastry over the filling in a triangle shape. Then take the top right point of that triangle and fold horizontally, alternating the previous two steps until you have a triangle shaped parcel, sealing down the final flap.
- Continue until all samosa sheets are used up.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 C / 400 F
- Place the samboosas on a lined baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil on each side
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crisp
- Brush each samboosa lightly with olive oil on each side, then place 4-6 parcels at a time in your air fryer basket and cook on 200 C for 6-10 minutes until slightly browned and crisp
If you're not using a high-speed blender, you can drain the cheese mixture through a fine sieve or nut milk bag to eliminate unblended cashew pieces and get a smoother texture
Don't substitute Tapioca with any other thickener as they won't yield the same results
Be sure to read the ingredients on the samosa pastry sheets, most supermarket brands are naturally vegan
If you don't want to make all the samboosa at one go, you can freeze them for later use
If you’re gluten-free, have no fear! You can try making these using rice paper, a la my gluten-free and vegan samosa recipe. And while we’re on that, if you’re not a fan of cheese (no judgement, I promise), try using the curried potato stuffing from that recipe instead – it bakes wonderfully.
And there you have it folks – vegan cheese samboosa that can be enjoyed all throughout Ramadan and beyond.
I mean, just look at how melty that cheese is! It’s truly a revelation.
Until next time, friends.