If you’ve never tried Russia’s famous dumplings, then you’ve been missing out on one of Russia’s most delicious delicacies. Pelmeni (???????? (plural)) are like Italian ravioli consisting of a filling (usually meat) wrapped in thin dough. This dish originated in Siberia, since pelmeni could be preserved in the cold for months, and they are so simple to cook. They are prepared immediately before eating by boiling in salted water until they float, and you can also fry them afterwards depending on your personal preference.
It is uncommon for Russians not to have at least one pack of pelmeni in their freezer. It is the kind of food that was made for those lazy or busy days, or when unexpected guests turn up (which is quite common in Russia!). According to statistics, the average Russian family buys at least one pack of pelmeni once a month. I don’t know whether it is true, but in my family there will always be pelmeni stacked away in case of ‘hungry emergency’.
There is nothing better than home-made pelmeni. I remember when I was little my mother, aunt, sister and my grandmother would sit together and make pelmeni. It is a long and rather tedious process that will take up almost a whole day, so I wouldn’t advise doing it on your own. But if you’ve got a free weekend and a friends and family to do it with, then it is the perfect way to spend your time and have a great end result!
So if you are eager to try your hand at pelmeni-making and you need to catch up on latest gossip with friends then put some music on and start your very own pelmeni-making party using the following recipe:
For the dough:
3 cups of flour
1 cup of cold water
1 large egg
1 scan tablespoon of salt
For the filling:
500 grams or meat – you can use beef, mutton or pork or a combination of beef and pork
Salt and pepper to taste
What to do:
1. Combine the dough ingredients in a bowl and mix until the dough is a smooth consistency
2. Cover it with a towel and let rest for about half an hour.
3. While the dough is resting, mix the minced meat with grated onion and add salt and pepper to taste
4. Next get the dough and roll it into a thin sheet. Use a small glass to cut out the circles of dough (please note: don’t cut too many at once or they’ll dry out!)
5. Take the remnants of the dough, roll into a ball, then roll into a thin sheet and cut out more rounds of dough. The size of pelmeni doesn’t really matter, some say the smaller the better, but I personally prefer the medium size
6. Now put small portions of filling in the middle of each round and pinch the edges closed
7. Cover the finished pelmeni with a towel while working on the rest of the dough. If you are making a lot of them (and it is advised to do about hundred at once), start freezing them immediately
8. Important note: do not put them all together in a bag, as they will freeze together and you will get one large lump of dough and meat (and it’s not nice, I’ve learnt from my own bad experience!)
9. Finally, cook fresh pelmeni in boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes in a pan large enough so that the pelmeni float and don’t stick together
10. Serve pelmeni in their broth with some chopped dill and sour cream, or drain and serve with sour cream, butter or ketchup. My personal favourite is sour cream and soy sauce…
11. ????????? ????????!- Bon appetite!
This recipe is great if you’ve seen how to make pelmeni before as it is so easy to mess up the dough, but for the first-timers I would advise to do it with someone who’s got some experience in pelmeni-making.
If this recipe inspires you to learn to cook delicious Russian recipes, why not try our fantastic One Day Russian Cooking Course in Moscow where you will be shown all of the secrets and tricks behind the perfect pelmeni…