Summer doesn’t exactly make me think of boiled potato dumplings. But hey, as it turns out we had some lovely purple potatoes on hand, and I’ve been watching so much “Next Food Network Star” that I decided to get my hands on some local lamb and attempt an Indian version of pierogies. (Although, sorry Aarti, my heart still belongs to local boy Brad.)
The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.
Let me just tell you that mashed purple potato and ground lamb does not look pretty. I spared you a photo, but trust me on that.
After the first cooking step of boiling, I was pretty disappointed. I haven’t had pierogies in a long time, but these were gummy. I wasn’t sure if it was because I had a terrible time getting the dough thin enough or if I had miscalculated the cooking time. Either way, I tossed them in the fridge and decided to fry them at dinner.
I’m so glad I did, because they redeemed themselves! After a little fry and topping them with a cucumber raita, it was what I had been hoping for when I decided on the flavors for the dish.
My only issue was getting enough spices into the filling mix. Because I wasn’t working from a recipe, I just tossed spices in, hoping it would work. It tasted fine, but wasn’t quite packing the punch I wanted. It’s a lot harder to spice mashed potato and ground lamb than I thought!
Lamb and Potato Pierogies
For the dough
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- About 1 cup lukewarm water
For the filling
- 1/2 cup diced purple potatoes
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1/4 pound ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the cucumber raita
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic
- Salt to taste
For the dough
Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Break the egg into it, add the salt and a little water at a time. Bring the dough together, kneading well and adding more flour or water as necessary. Cover the dough with a bowl or towel. You’re aiming for soft dough. Let it rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.
For the pierogies
Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Meanwhile, brown lamb. Drain potatoes, then mash in a large bowl, adding the Greek yogurt to make smooth. Drain lamb and add to potatoes. Add seasoning, stirring to combine. Taste and adjust if necessary.
On a floured work surface, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch and cut with a 2-inch round. Spoon a portion (no more than a teaspoon) of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Boil the pierogies about five at a time, in order to let them have room to move around. When the pierogi rise to the surface, continue to simmer for about five minutes.
Serve immediately, or let cool and then fry in a small amount of oil. Serve pierogies with cucumber raita, below.
For the cucumber raita
Peel cucumber if desired. Halve it, scoop out the seeds, and chop finely. Let rest in a fine sieve over a bowl to drain while you peel and dice the garlic. Mix all ingredients together and set aside to let flavors mingle while frying pierogies.
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