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Iraqi Sambusak Recipe

qurlym Apr 29, 2010 05:20 PM

After a little prodding my husband's grandmother passed on her mother's famous cheese sambusak recipe to me. Unfortunately, there are two ingredients that I cannot decipher. Anyone here ever heard of these two?

2. Masteki

His grandmother said Masteki is something they used to make gum out of ... I'm plan to take this to Flatbush with me and ask around. But if anyone out there can save me the trip I'd appreciate it. Chances are I can find the ingredients here in Great Neck if I can find ot what they are in english?

  1. s
    shoelace Apr 29, 2010 07:10 PM

    if theyre iraqi, you can probaby go to a to z in great neck and someone with know what they are

    1. g
      GilaB Apr 29, 2010 08:21 PM

      Could masteki be mastic? I've never used it, but I'm dimly aware of it as something classically used to make gum. It's made from the resin of a mastic tree.
      Fun etymology fact - 'masticate,' the fancy word for 'chew,' derives from mastic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GilaB
        rockycat May 6, 2010 07:44 AM

        Also the Hebrew word for chewing gum - mastik. Same etymology.

      2. BamiaWruz Apr 30, 2010 09:51 PM

        I'm from iraq, and I haven't heard of them in this specific recipe. I'm trying to do a search for you in arabic. Do you have any other details on those two ingredients?

        Any ideas how filgreen is pronounced so I can spell it in arabic?


        1 Reply
        1. re: BamiaWruz
          qurlym May 4, 2010 07:47 PM

          Wow ... Thank you! His grandmother really didn't know what filgreen was. Most of the Iraqis I've asked have no idea what I'm talking about either

        2. j
          janie50 May 2, 2010 07:43 PM

          You are referring to Mistaki or mastic -Typically, mastic granules are sold whole, and you have grind them down if recipe requires mastic powder. Ground mastic is used in a variety of baked goods for its rich, resinous aroma and licorice-like flavor.

          Also some cheeses are made with fenugreek. So you may be thinking of that.

          4 Replies
          1. re: janie50
            qurlym May 4, 2010 07:40 PM

            That sounds about right for the Mistaki! Is this something that needs a Kashrut? As for the fenugreek ... nope the recipe calls for ground filgreen. Its for the Hawaij that goes in the dough. I specifically asked the grandmother if she meant fenugreek and she said no.

            1. re: qurlym
              BamiaWruz May 4, 2010 08:35 PM

              How does this filgreen look, any ideas?

              It's not spinach or chard is it? Because Siliq is very common in iraq, it's a type of swiss chard. Sabanikh is spinach but I haven't seen it used because when I lived there I could never find it in the stores and frozen food just wasn't available with the trading sanctions and all.

              Even in Yemen (where the lifestyle is very traditional) I had an easier time finding things from the gulf and saudi arabia like frozen broccoli and spinach..etc. at western supermarkets.

              Fenugreek is Hilba in arabic and I did not see it commonly used in our cuisine as it is in egypt or even yemeni and indian/pakistani cuisine.

              1. re: BamiaWruz
                qurlym Jun 7, 2010 07:29 PM

                I finally found out that it is indeed Fenugreek. I'm surprised because it isn't a common ingredient. Lets see how it goes! Thanks for your help.

                1. re: qurlym
                  BamiaWruz Jun 10, 2010 12:29 PM

                  Ohhh ok, interesting flavour there. Let us know! :)

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