Beet Dumplings

Hi K,

I hope you enjoyed my version of Chiles Rellenos. Here’s a recipe I know we’ve both been eying for a while.

Beet dumplings! It’s basically just a recipe for beet dough which you can boil like pasta. They end up tasting like vaguely-beet flavored pierogis. I think you can basically stuff them with anything you want, and I am greatly intrigued by an idea I had last night to make spaetzle out of the dough. Wouldn’t that be beautiful!?

Of course, the main plus of putting beets in your dough is… it’s BRIGHT red. I don’t think you can accurately see in the photos how bright red it is. It’s really awesome.

It’s also…. drumroll… a really cheap (if mildly time consuming) dinner option! I don’t know about you, but where I am, beets are super super cheap and I bet I could make somewhere around 50-60 dumplings out of the two-beet dough I made. Score!

Beet Dumplings
from Pure Vegetarian by Lakshmi

1 3/5 cup flour*
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Beetroot paste (from 2-3 small beets)*
Water if needed

  1. Wash and scrub the beets (without peeling them)
  2. Splash with olive oil
  3. Roast in the oven (200 C / 400 F) until the skins are wrinkled and the beetroots are soft when pricked with a knife – it takes about an hour, depending on the size
  4. Remove from the oven
  5. Cool, peel and place in a blender with enough water to make a silky, smooth paste
  6. Combine the flour and salt
  7. Add the olive oil to the beetroot paste
  8. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the paste gradually while mixing it with the flour (by hand)
  9. Use all the paste
  10. If the dough is not coming together, add a little bit water
  11. The flour should form a ball that is soft but not sticky
  12. If it is sticky add a little bit flour
  13. Knead it well for about 5 minutes
  14. The dough should be seamless, firm but soft (if you press it with a finger, it should bounce back)
  15. Wrap in a plastic or damp cloth
  16. Let the dough rest at least 30 minutes
  17. Take a part of the dough and roll it out as thinly as possible
  18. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter
  19. Place a little bit of filling* in the centre of each circle
  20. Brush the edges of the circles with water (one side is enough)
  21. Take the circles in your hand one by one and seal them tightly with another hand
  22. Keep them separately on a floured surface
  23. You may trim any excess dough around the sealed edges
  24. Boil plenty of water with salt
  25. Carefully drop the dumplings into the pot (avoid overloading)
  26. They will sink at first
  27. When they pop up on the surface, they are cooked (if the dough is thin, it shouldn’t take longer than a couple of minutes)
  28. Take them out with a slotted spoon and place them on a frying pan with a mixture of hot extra virgin olive oil and butter
  29. Coat them with oil-butter and serve immediately

Notes on this preparation:

1. My computer died before I could read out what was in the filling. This ended up being fortuitous since I really liked what I put in. I used equal parts feta and cream cheese (like the recipe) and added fresh basil, cumin and tumeric (since I remembered it being vaguely indian). It was so good!

2. Obviously, the amount of flour is dependent on how much beet paste you have. She must use tiny beets because I needed about double the amount of flour. You really need to just go for consistency. Her comments on that are also a little vague. Dough is always going to be sticky. You just need it to be not-sticky enough to roll it out without the dough completely sticking to your surface/ rolling pin.

3. I didn’t fry them after I boiled them. Still good! (Again, the computer died and I was sans charger, so I didn’t read this step.)

4. I really really really need cookie cutters. Hint hint family hint hint. I cut all of my circles out with a sharp knife. Obviously, they’re not as pretty as the ones in the original blog post.

See you soon!

L

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