Ravioli, Khinkali, Samosa, Sambusak… Almost everywhere you’ll go to you will find a recipe for filled dough pockets. Sometimes they are cooked, sometimes fried, or even baked. The idea is often the same but the technique – totally different.
After I took you to a little walk through my childhood with my grandma’s recipe to Iraqi Sambusak, this time I will go to the other side of my family – those who came from Poland (crazy mix, I know). And what can be more Polish then pierogi.
These are soft pockets of white dough filled with o-so East European fillings, such as mushrooms or potatoes. Then they can be cooked or fried. Originally the dough is made using eggs but I have veganized it using a method of mixing hot water into the dough, thus making it stretch better. The potato filling, usually made with cottage cheese is here based on specially treated tofu mixed with cooked potatoes. With these amounts you can get 30-40 pierogis.
Ingredients (for the dough)
3 cups and a bit all purpose flour
1 cup hot water
4 tablespoons oil
1 tsp salt
Ingredients (for the filling)
3 medium potatoes
200g firm tofu
juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons coconut oil
optional: 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
salt and pepper
Caramelized onions (3 onions per 10 pierogi)
Start with cooking the potatoes in water until they are soft. When soft, move to a bowl and mash with a masher or a fork. Usually you should peel the potatoes, but I have this thing that I like potato peels, so I mash it with the peel still on them, gives it an interesting texture and some extra flavor, but feel free to disregard my weird ideas and to peel them anyway.
In a blender, mash the tofu with the lemon juice and salt. Add to the potato mix together with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Let the mixture cool while making the dough.
Start the dough with a cup of hot water. Add the oil and salt, mix, and add 2 cups of the flour. Mix will with a fork. You will get a sticky and stretchy dough. That’s a good start. Keep mixing until no lumps are left. Then, slowly add the last cup of flour and kneed with your hands. Once you put all the flour in you’ll have some nice stretchy dough. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
Spread some flour on a working surface and roll the dough, open it to as a thin layer as you can. Make circles using a cup, place them aside, kneed the leftovers to another lump and do the same process again. And again, until you finish the dough.
While you do that, you can prepare the caramelized onions. Slice onions to rings, fry them covered on medium flame until they are golden. Do it slowly, let them turn amber in their own pace. Around 20 minutes, while stirring every 4-5 minutes.
Place some filling in every circle, but make sure not to put too much, you should have some free space on the margins to seal the pierogis. Pinch the ends, until they are sealed. Roll the edges downwards and pinch again, to make sure they are sealed, nut also to give the edges a nice braid-like look.
Cook the pierogis in hot water, around 3-4 minutes, until they float. Serve immediately with a mountain of caramelized onions.