Introduction: Dumplings - International Exploration

Dumplings are such cuties which everyone loves in one way or another. Some like it steamed, some boiled, some pan fired and some deep fried. I always go for steamed Dumplings but still gave a try on boiled and pan-fried ones this time and they turned out to be sooo good and yummy more than what I have expected them to be. However I didn’t try the deep fried ones since the extra fat content involved in that.

Being in the quarantine time, when I think of some snack that is both tasty and healthy, one of the best option that comes to my mind all the time is Steamed food and especially dumplings. Being an Indian, dumplings had always been Modak and Momos over here. So I thought of making dumplings from international cuisine, but very soon found that most dumplings in other cuisines are made with meat and involves egg, then thought to make a vegetarian version of these and give them a try.

My attempt to vegetarianise them was not a failure and I thought to share the same with you here.

I made Modak-Indian, Pelmeni-Russian, Peirogi-Eastern Europe, Manti-Turkey.

Preparation time: 5 min(Kneading Dough) and 2min each(Modak/Pelmeni/Peirogi) and 5 min(Manti)

Folding time: 20 min for a single person (Depends on how many persons are involved)

Cooking time: 5-7 min

Yield: Around 40 Medium sized dumplings (Depends on the size of your dumplings)


For dough:

Whole wheat flour: 1 ½cup (Generally All Purpose Flour except Modak for which rice flour will be used)

Oil – 1tsp (You can also use ½ egg)

Salt: a pinch

Water: as required

For Stuffing:

Modak (For 10 modaks):

Grated fresh coconut: 1 ½ Tbsp

Deseeded Dates: 1 ½ Tbsp (Cut into small piece)

Tutti Fruiti: 1 Tbsp

Elachi powder: a pinch

Sugar: Optional (as per your preference)

Pelmeni (10 Pelmeni)

Boiled, Mashed Potato: 1 Big potato

Salt: a pinch

Crushed Pepper: 1 Tsp

Peirogi (10 peirogi)

Ricotta cheese/Crumbled Paneer/Crumbled Soft Tofu: 4 Tbsp

Milk/Curd/Yogurt: 1 tsp (Generally Cheese is used for creaminess, instead I used curd for creaminess)

Salt: a pinch

Crushed Pepper: 1 Tsp

Turkish Manti (10-12 Manti):

Usually, manti are made as small sizes from small squares of dough, but the above quantity is based on medium sized manti

Boiled and Chickpeas: 5 Tbsp

Chopped Onion: 1 Tbsp

Garlic: 2 Pods

Ginger: a small piece

Turmeric Powder: a pinch

Chilli Powder: ½ tsp

Salt: as required

Water: a little (while grinding to make a thick creamy paste)

Step 1: Dough

In a large bowl add whole wheat flour, salt and oil and mix together until they are mixed together and add water and knead to form a soft dough.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest till you prepare the stuffing.

If you have already got the stuffing ready, then let the dough rest for 5 min.

Step 2: Stuffing - Modak

Mix together all the ingredients

Step 3: Stuffing - Pelmeni

Mix together all the ingredients

Step 4: Stuffing - Peirogi

Mix together all the ingredients

Step 5: Stuffing - Manti

In a pan, heat oil, add garlic, ginger, onion and sauté them for around a minute, then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and little salt and sauté them till the raw smell of the chilli powder is gone and turn off the stove.

You can add a little amount of water to prevent the chilli powder from getting burnt.

Now grind together the prepared masala, boiled chickpeas and salt and little water(if required) to make smooth paste(not too thick not too thin)

Step 6: Stuffings Together

Step 7: Rolling the Dough

Split the dough for each variety of dumplings depending on your choice and the stuffing you have got. I split them in to four for four varieties of dumplings.

Now dust your surface with some dry flour and start rolling the dough thin sheet (2to3mm)

For Modak, Pelmeni, Peirogi cut the rolled out dough into circles with the help of a cookie cutter or lid of a jar and stored.

For Manti the rolled out dough has to be cut into squares, I cut them into rough squares, you can also use rulers to cut perfect sized squares and stored

Both the round and squares wrappers has to be kept covered under a damp to prevent them from drying, if the wrappers are dried the corners of the dumplings cannot be sealed properly and the stuffing may come out while boiling.

Step 8: Folding Technique - Modak

Take a round wrapper separately, fill it with the stuffing in the centre, now lift a corner of the wrapper very gently without disturbing the stuffing in the centre and start to pleat the corners of the modak, so that the corners are fully pleated and covered.

Step 9: Folding Technique - Pelmeni

Take a round wrapper separately, fill it with the stuffing centre of one half of the wrapper and cover the stuffed half with another half round and start to pinch the edges of the wrapper together, finally bring together both the ends of the sealed edges and pinch together, thus a completely folded pelmeni is ready.

Step 10: Folding Technique - Peirogi

Take a round wrapper separately, fill it with the stuffing centre of one half of the wrapper and cover the stuffed half with another half round and start to pinch the edges of the wrapper together.

Step 11: Folding Technique - Manti

Take a square wrapper, fill the stuffing in the centre and now take the two opposite sides of the square and bring together all the corners diagonally and seal them so that the stuffing won’t escape the manti while boiling.

Step 12: Folding Together

Step 13: Steaming

I steamed the Modak and Peirongi. For steaming boil the water in a vessel and place the steamer on top of the boiling water lined with oil, then place the dumplings on top of the steamer and close it with a lid and steam them for around 5 minutes. If they are done, when you touch the dumplings they will be little firm and the dough will not stick to your fingers. Don’t remove the dumplings immediately once you switch off the stove since they will be so delicate and have chances of breaking, so let it sit there in the steamer for a minute and get cooled and then remove the steamer.

Step 14: Boiling

I boiled the Pelmeni and Manti. Boil around 4 cups of water in a large vessel, add salt to the water and once the water starts to boil, drop the dumpling into the boiling water. Don’t overcrowd the water with lots of dumplings, give them some space to move. Once you drop the dumplings into the water, they will sit at the bottom and once they are cooked, they will start to float on top of the water. This means they are done.

Step 15: Pan Frying

I pan fried the steamed Peirongi. Add little oil to medium hot pan, Place some peirongis on to pan, I also added some onions alon with it since I like caramalised onions. Place a lid and cover pan for around a minute or two, then flip to the other and saute the onions and let it fry till they turn golden brown on both the sides.

Step 16: Serving

Now all these little cute healthy dumplings are ready to serve.

Modak being a sweet can be had as it is. But for others, it is recommended to have it with some sour cream and a little butter, it had them with yogurt and they tasted great.

If you are also a dumpling lover like me, trust me these are must try recipes and I’m sure they will never disappoint you.

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