Plant-Based Russian Style Dumplings
2 to 4
1 pack of silk tofu (soft) 100g green lentils (cooked) 2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed 1 large onion (or 2 medium) 2 tbsp yeast flakes 1/2 tsp dried mint 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp turmeric 2 tbsp soy sauce Black pepper and salt for seasoning
1. Add the flour, water and salt to a mixing bowl or a food processor and mix well. The pastry is done once it holds nicely together.
2. Knead it on a clean, floured surface and form into a ball.
3. Cover it with a damp towel and set aside for 20 mins.
4. Now is a good time to make a start on that filling (below)
1. Drain the tofu, don’t worry about it falling apart because you will need to mash it with a fork in a bit. Once drained, dab it with a towel and put it in any mixing bowl. Now comes the mashing with a fork stage, put 1 tbsp of soy sauce in, yeast flakes and some salt and break up that tofu while mixing everything. Set aside.
2. Now is the time to cook your potatoes. Do what you normally do with them, put in water with a little salt, bring to boil until cooked. Drain and mash, set aside.
3. You should have the lentils ready nearby – if you cooked them, great. If you’re using tinned lentils, that’s good too.
4. In a large frying pan or a wok, put some oil in (1 1/2 tbsp should do), once warmed up, throw those onions in. Let them fry for 3 – 4 mins on a medium heat. Then turn the heat up, and let the onions sizzle for a bit (2 – 3 mins) until the sides go golden to slightly brown but not black! The sizzling gives the onions a slightly different flavour and adds to the flavour of the dumpling filling mixture.
5. Once they onions are smelling guuurrd, add the tofu and the lentils into the frying pan/wok. Mix it up and let it cook for 2 – 3 mins.
6. Add paprika, turmeric, mint and a little bit more soy sauce (1 tbsp). Fry on a slightly higher heat to help remove any leftover moisture from the tofu. Turn down the heat, keep mixing until it’s thoroughly mixed together.
7. Add the mashed potatoes to the mix, stir and turn off the heat. The filling is done! Just for guidance, it should look similar to the below:
Now back to the pastry:
1. Split the dough in half, and roll each half on the surface as thinly as you can.
2. Using a large circle cookie cutter or a large glass (roughly 4.5 inches), cut the pastry into circles.
3. Once you’ve cut circles, start filling them with the filling. 1 tbsp of filling per circle. 4.Place the filling into the middle/centre of the circle. Fold it in half, and seal the 2 ends of the pastry with your fingers tightly.
5. Use a fork to seal the dumpling together, giving a nice artistic look too…
6. In a large saucepan, boil some water, filling the saucepan 3/4 of the way. Add a drop of oil and salt, this will stop the dumplings from sticking together.
7. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down slightly, and start carefully placing the dumplings into the water. Depending on the width of your saucepan, put not more than 3 – 4 dumplings in at a time. Otherwise if you put too many dumplings in, they may stick together. So if your saucepan is quite wide, you can cook more dumplings at any one time (possibly even 5 – 6 dumplings!)
7. Let the dumplings boil for a few minutes. Once they start floating and coming up to the top of the water, from that moment, let each dumpling cook from 10 – 12 minutes.
8.The pastry on the sides should look slightly transparent, rather than a solid white/beige colour. That’s when you know the pastry is cooked.
9.Fish them out using a spoon/spatula, and carefully place on a plate or in a colander to cool. Voila!
You can serve this with a nice side salad or you can even put them in some soup or with a nice sauce!