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Ruthenian (Russian) Dumplings recipe

In Poland we call them “pierogi ruskie” – what is very often translated into ‘Russian dumplings’. However, in Russia the dumplings are stuffed with various types of ingredients while typical Polish-style ‘pierogi ruskie’ have unique stuffing and derive from historical Red Ruthenia lands. They are one of the most popular Polish meals and most of the housewives have their own recipe for it. The name derives from Proto-Slavic word ‘pir’ what meant festivity.

Ingredients for the dough:

350 g of all purpose flour
125 ml of warm water
a little bit of salt
(1 egg)

The dough for ‘pierogi’ (no matter with which ingredients we will fill them) is made of flour, water and a bit of salt, while some add an egg to it. After mixing all the ingredients together, one must knead it till it forms a smooth dough (adding more water if necessary). Afterwards it is rolled flat and cut into circle pieces – most preferably with drinking glass. Then we fill each circle of dough with stuffing.

Ingredients for the stuffing:

600 g of boiled potatoes
250 g of well drained cottage cheese
1 small white onion
1 tablespoon butter
pepper and salt to taste

Boiled potatoes should be mashed with cottage cheese and mixed with fried onion. The amount of salt and pepper should be dependant on individual taste.

Preparation of dumplings:

Take each circle of dough into your hands and place teaspoon of filling on one of the sides. Fold the dough over the filling – to achieve a half circle – and seal it. Make sure that each dumpling is well sealed – otherwise the filling will come out while boiling.
Prepare a pot with boiling salty water and put dumplings into it (stir it right after so that they would not get stuck to the bottom). When the dumplings float to the top, lower the flame and wait another 3 minutes to take them out with a slotted spoon.
The dumplings might be topped with melted butter, bacon or sour cream. Many Poles, however, wait till the dumplings are cold and fry them on the pan – to get a specific taste of it.

Apart from ‘pierogi ruskie’ there are other popular types of dumplings. One may fill them with meat or cabbage (or meat WITH cabbage) while others prefer to put sweet stuffing into it. In summer dumplings with strawberries or blueberries are very popular while during winter you may fill the dumplings with cottage cheese with sugar.

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