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Bichak (Stuffed Baked Tricorners) (D/P/M)
Source: "Sephardic Cooking" by Copeland Marks - 600 Recipes Created in Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India, Copyright 1992 Published by Donald I. Fine, Inc., New York, N.Y.
Yield: 48 to 50 bichak

1-1/2 cups water, warm
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package dry yeast
3-1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons corn oil
1 egg, separated
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1/2 teaspoon corn oil


Squash or Pumpkin
1/4 cup corn oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup water, hot with 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pound butternut squash, calabasa, or pumpkin

2 tablespoons corn oil
3 medium (2 cups) onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pound farmer cheese
1 egg yolk, beaten
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup strawberry or grape or prune jam (lekach/lekvar)
2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Bichak are popular Afghani appetizers for tea or coffee hour. The pumpkin and jam stuffing are on the sweet side while meat and cheese are savory and could be eaten for lunches w/salad and dish of yoghurt. An added attraction is that they may be prepared in large quantities, cooled and frozen for the future.

Make Squash/Pumpkin Filling:
Heat oil in a pan, add onions, and sauté over moderate heat until onions turn golden. Add water, salt, sugar, and squash or pumpkin and bring to a boil. Cover pan and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes as squash/pumpkin becomes soft and disintegrates. Stir now and then, which in effect mashes contents. Continue last minutes of cooking, uncovered, to evaporate all liquid and create and thick jam. The mash is still moist.

Make Meat Filling:
Heat oil in a skillet and brown onions lightly over moderate heat. Add meat, salt, and pepper and stir-fry for 5 minutes, making certain liquid has evaporated and mixture is dry. Cool.

Make Cheese Filling:
Mix everything together. Set aside.

Make Jam Filling:
Mix jam and crumbs together. Set aside.

Make Tricorners and Assembly:
Mix 1/2 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast together and proof in a warm place until mixture foams, about 10 minutes.

Make a well in flour, add yeast mixture, oil, and 1 egg white, and stir them into flour. Add balance of water, or enough water to prepare a soft dough. Knead for several minutes and roll into a ball. Oil top lightly and leave dough in mixing bowl. Cover bowl w/foil or a towel and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Punch down dough ball. Pull off about 1/2 cup of dough and roll into a slightly flattened ball. Prepare 6 balls.

On well-floured board roll out each ball, 1 at a time, to 12" pancake. Using empty can or a cookie cutter, 3" in diameter, cut out circles in pancake. Put 1 tablespoon of whichever stuffing you are using, or variety of stuffings, in center of each circle. Fold over right and left side of circle to meet in the center and bring up bottom to cover stuffing. Pinch ends together to form tricorner pastry. Seal in contents. Paint tops of bichak with egg yolk.

Line baking pan or cookie sheet with lightly oiled aluminum foil. Place tricorners on foil and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 40 minutes, or until brown. Serve warm.

Posted by Nancy Berry

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A