Introduction: Dumplings From the Mountains of Georgia

I learned how to make these while I was in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia. They have to be just about the best thing to eat after a long hike up to a tiny stone church on the top of snow capped mountain. Best eaten plain with just black pepper as garnish and a light red wine. Gagimarjos!

Step 1: Ingredients for Five People, 35 Dumplings:

Dough - 6 cups flour, 2.5 tsps salt, 3 cups warm water; Filling - 1.5 lbs ground beef and pork, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 2 tsps salt, Red pepper flakes, .5 tsp ground caraway seed, 2 small onions, 1.5 c warm water.

Step 2: The Dough

Combine flour, salt and warm water in a large bowl with your hands. Knead for about five minutes.

Step 3: Rest

Let sit 35 plus minutes.

Step 4: The Filling

Take two yellow onions and chop in the food processor until they are in small pieces and oozing onion juice.

Step 5: Mix

In a bowl, mix meat, spices and onions. Add water and mix with your hands. Start boiling a large pot of water.

Step 6: The Wrappers

Take a mango sized piece of dough and roll it out to about 1/3 of an inch thick.

Step 7:

Cut out circles about 2.5 inches in diameter with a drinking glass.

Step 8:

Using ample flour, put two rounds of dough together and push together with your thumbs and pointer fingers into four inch diameter flats.

Step 9:

Roll the flats into thin eight inch rounds. Lay them out, with lots of flour between them, on a plate or tray.

Step 10: Pleating the Dumpling

Cup the rounds of dough in the palm of your hand and put a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center. For convenience, you can put the open dumpling into a small rounded dish before you start to pleat the rim to form a small package. Use your thumb and index finger to make an accordion type fold all around the outside. In Georgia, if you can make 19 folds, you?re prime marriage material.

Step 11:

Roll the nubbin of the dumpling between your finger and thumb and pinch off extra dough. Place the waiting dumplings on a cookie sheet lined with saran wrap and flour.

Step 12: Boil the Dumplings

Gently put the dumplings into the bioling water, about fifteen at a time, and boil for ten minutes.

Step 13: Eat

Take out of the water, slide onto a plate and enjoy! (This photo is at a dumpling house in Tbilisi. Don't expect your dumplings to look like these on the first go - takes a while to get the hang of it.)