The word “cheburek” was adopted from Crimean-Tatar language and literally means “raw pie”. This dish is popular not only in Tatar and Russian cuisine, but also in many Asians and Caucasian menus. Cheburek is a small pie made of tasteless pastry filled with meat and onion. But unlike traditional Russian pirozhki, it is fried in plenty of oil, so there is the thin crispy crust that everyone loves, and the filling remains juicy and flavorful. Chebureki are also recognized by the shape; they are usually flat and semi-circular filled with meat, cheese and potatoes.
Hot and hearty chebureki were very popular street food in the USSR. There were a lot of “pelmennie, pirozhkovie and cheburechnie” cafes for a quick and cheap bite.
They are still in existence and their Soviet character is used for marketing. For many people whose childhood memories are associated with the Soviet time chebureki still remain a festive dish because they were not cooked very often, mainly for the big holidays. Perhaps that was due to the fact that chebureki are fried in a big quantity of oil which was spattered all over the kitchen.
Modern housewives can use deep fryers for this purpose which significantly eases the cooking process. Importantly, there are several rules which need to be considered. There should be a lot of oil in the deep fryer and it should be hot, otherwise chebureki won’t be crispy, but the temperature should be no higher than 375 0F (190 0C)
For 10 servings you will need:
1.8 lb (800 g) flour
1 cup water
8.8 oz beef
8.8 oz pork
garlic, coriander, greens to taste
salt and pepper
17 fl oz (500 ml) vegetable oil
Make a deepening in the mound of flour and stir in the egg, salt and water. Knead well and leave for 30 minutes.
Combine beef and pork in a blender, then add onions, greens, a little water or broth, salt and pepper.
Thinly roll out the dough and cut out the circles for the chebureli, you can use the plate. Then put the filling on one side. If it seems too runny, it’s fine, it makes pasties juicier. Fold the other half of the circle over and pinch the edges firmly together using your fingers.
In a large skillet, heat the oil for deep frying, reduce heat to medium and place chebureki into oil. Fry chebureki on both sides until nicely and evenly brown. If you are using a fryer, follow the instructions.
Chebureki are served hot right after frying. Usually they are accompanied by hot strong sweet tea.