One of the saddest days of my college life happened when Pelmeni closed. Pelmeni was a tiny little restaurant in Madison that served just that – pelmeni, or Russian dumplings. They had meat or potato or mixed and you could get it spicy or plain. There were piles of sour cream in the cooler and a few sodas, too. Not spicy enough? They had bottles of some sort of magical spicy sauce that you could dump onto the pelmeni.
So. Dang. Good.
I was devastated when they closed. Where else was I going to be able to get such a filling meal for only $5? I searched everywhere for pelmeni – in grocery stores, other restaurants, everywhere. I finally gave up and tried making my own version. The verdict? I think it came out pretty close to the original State Street restaurant.
To make the dough:
2 cups flour, sifted
7 fluid ounces of cold water
1 teaspoon salt
To make the filling:
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the topping:
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Sour cream, to taste
- Place flour in a large bowl. Make a dimple in the top of the mound and crack the egg into it. Add salt. Gradually add cold water and knead.
- Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Combine all filling ingredients and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.
- Roll the dough into a rope 1 inch in diameter. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Roll the pieces into circles 1/16 of an inch thick.
- Place a teaspoon of filling into the center of the dough and pinch the edges to seal the pelmeni. The pelmeni will be in the shape of a semi circle. Bring the two pointed ends together to form the final shape.
- Mix the butter and vinegar together and set aside.
- Boil the pelmeni in salted water for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Toss pelmeni with the topping ingredients
- Toss the cooked pelmeni with the butter and vinegar and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a dash of curry powder, a sprinkle of cilantro and a drizzle of Sriracha!