Monday, November 26, 2007

uzbek dumplings - how to

late this summer i got a lesson on how to make two varieties of dumplings from my uzbek bff, dilya. both dumplings use the same dough, one is sauted and the other is steamed.

first, how to make the dough. the recipe isn't a precise formula, you just have to know when you've reached the right consistency.

ingredients: 1 egg, 2 tbs salt, 1 liter hot water, about 8 c flour

beat the egg and temper with some of the hot water in a large glass bowl. add the rest of the water and salt to egg. add the flour and begin incorporating and kneading until dough forms. dough will become firm and pull away from edges of bowl when ready. cover bowl with towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
cut dough into 6 pieces, and knead again, forming into balls on a floured work surface.
using either a rolling pin or pasta maker, roll dough out until about 1/8 inch thick and cut into 4 inch squares. roll and cut dough as needed for assembly of dumplings so it doesn't dry out.

bichak - pumpkin pieroshki

1/2 medium pumpkin: seeded, peeled, shredded
2 onions, thinly sliced
salt & pepper to taste
3 tbs cumin seeds (whole)
~3 tbs oil

place all ingredients in a large saute pan and saute until pumpkin and onions are cooked down and soft.
place one spoonful on each square of dough and fold opposing corners together, sealing all four corners in the middle. don't overfill, they won't seal completely and make a mess when you saute them.
lightly coat pan in a small amount of oil and saute bichak in batches until lightly browned on each side. turn once. layer in a pan to keep warm.bichak is eaten warm and served with sour cream. these things are so good, i could probably eat two dozen of them. they're the perfect comfort food. the pumpkin tastes fresh and bright and the cumin seeds provide a crunchy pop of flavor.


for pumpkin manti:
1/2 pumpkin, seeded, peeled & shredded
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs cumin seeds, whole

for beef manti:
2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs cumin seeds, whole

in two separate bowls, incorporate ingredients for beef and pumpkin manti.

place a spoonful of filling on a 4 inch square of dough. fold all corners to the middle, like the bichak. then take both left corners and pinch them together on the side of the dumpling. take both right corners and pinch together on the right side of the dumpling. this is easy to do but hard to describe. check out the picture for the best depiction of the folding/pinching technique.
place dumplings in an oiled steamer tray and stack as many as five trays high. steam for 45 minutes.
meanwhile, saute onion and tomato together for a garnish to the bichak.
manti is served with sour cream and the tomato onion saute. they are really tasty and are meant to be eaten with your hands. the warm, soft, savory manti tastes so good with the cool creamy sour cream.
i'm so hungry for these now i'm almost willing to do the 4 hours of work it takes to prepare both of them.


Ben said...

Great recipes! I am going to try the pumpkin ones. I just love pumpkin.

heather said...

be warned, these recipes make a huge quantity of food. you may want to scale it down. let me know how it goes!

Walker Evans said...

Seriously, you and Dilya should open an Uzbek restaurant when she gets back into town.


heather said...

we'll need an investor. would columbus underground like to back us?

Anonymous said...

I would like to now where I can find a Manti steamer in the USA (pref west coast, CA). Thanks!


heather said...

my friend brought hers from uzbekistan. but here are some comparable items online: