Tue, 04 Oct 2022

A tasty Tatar soup with tiny dumplings (RECIPE)

RBTH
11 Aug 2022, 05:55 GMT+10

The Tatars say that a woman's cooking skill can be fully assessed by her ability to deftly make a couple of hundred mini dumplings with meat. Let's try our best to pass this Tatar test and cook a nourishing soup!

Dumplings (or pelmeni in Russian) have always been a popular hot dish in Russia's regions. Sometimes the dumpling dish becomes a soup, which is certainly true for the Tatars, the second largest ethnic nation in the Russian Federation.

Crimean Tatars call a meat broth soup with tiny homemade pelmeni by the name of Kashyk-ash, or the "Spoon soup". In fact, a housewife's skill is evaluated with a spoon: the more dumplings that fit into the spoon the more skillful the young woman is considered to be.

I wrote 'young' for a reason. This soup is prepared by girls of marriageable age in order to impress a potential mother-in-law and the rest of the groom's female relatives. In the Volga region, among the Tatars, small dumplings with broth are considered a dish for the groom, and it also demonstrates the girl's culinary skills.

In fact, this dish consists of very small dumplings (the size is determined with a thimble or a ring) made from a thin dough in broth that's pre-boiled with meat on a bone and vegetables, but which are removed before serving. At the end, a lot of greens and sour cream are added to the dumplings.

The perfect version of this soup should have anywhere from 6 to 12 dumplings in one spoon. As you can guess, the process of making dumplings is quite exhausting and can be considered a very hard test to pass. Let's try to cook this authentic dish together!

Ingredients for 8 servings:

Olga Brovkina

Dough:

  • Water - 300 ml
  • Flour - 700 g
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Vegetable oil - 3 tbsps

Filling:

  • Minced meat - 800 g
  • Onion - 2 pcs
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Egg - 1 pc

Broth (soup):

  • Carrot - 1 pc
  • Onion - 1 pc
  • Chopped greens - 3 tbsps
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil - ½ tbsp
  • Butter - 20 g
  • Bay leaf - 2 pcs

Serving:

  • Herbs to taste
  • Sour cream 15% to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation:

1. Knead the dough from the sifted flour, hot water, salt and vegetable oil. The dough should be elastic and steep enough so that no additional portion of flour is used during rolling and sculpting. It should not stick to one's hands at all, as it also dries very quickly.

Olga Brovkina

2. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.

Olga Brovkina

3. For the filling, cut the onion finely.

Olga Brovkina

4. Then put it into a bowl with the minced meat and mix with spices, salt and an egg. Do not add water.

Olga Brovkina

5. Cut the rolled thin layer of dough into squares with an edge of 1.5-2 cm each. Put a little minced meat on each, take one and fold the wrapper and pinch the top of the rim to seal. Make 2-3 pleats from each end. Then press all around the edge to completely seal. If you're accustomed to some other folding techniques, you can use anything you want to make your dumplings special.

Olga Brovkina

6. Put the finished dumplings on the board sprinkled with flour. In total, I got about 200 dumplings, of which 100 are small. I froze the bigger ones for the future.

Olga Brovkina

7. Now, time to peel carrots, onions, and garlic (to taste). Grate the carrots on a coarse grater, chop the onion to your taste, and chop the garlic.

Olga Brovkina

8. Heat the mix of vegetable oil and butter in a saucepan that you're going to use to cook the soup. Add vegetables and simmer until the carrots are soft, about 5 minutes. Mix from time to time.

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9. Add water and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Next, add dumplings and cook for 5 more minutes or less. Add bay leaf. Add chopped herbs, salt, and pepper.

Olga Brovkina

10. The soup should be served hot. It's advisable to serve with sour cream or full-fat yogurt separately. Let everyone season it as they wish. Enjoy!

Olga Brovkina

READ MORE: The ultimate guide to cooking Siberian pelmeni (RECIPE)

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