VARENIKI WITH AMARANTH – UKRAINIAN CLASSICS AND THE NEWEST NUTRITSEVTIK

Автор - | 09.03.2021

Vareniki is a traditional Ukrainian dish, like the well-known borscht. Sung in folk songs, dumplings are delicious favorites in every family. Do you remember these lines: “And my miliy varenichkov want – navari dear, navari dear, navari, oh-ho-ho, my black-shaved”? In folklore, this dish has the greatest reverence and sincere love. Even the classic of Ukrainian literature Nikolai Gogol did not ignore this topic and painted a vivid scene of mouth-watering eating of dumplings by the mystical hero Patsyuk in the famous work “Evenings on a Farm near Dykanka”. This picture is worth remembering about it again: “Patsyuk opened his mouth, looked at the dumplings and opened his mouth even more. Then the dumpling jumped out of the bowl, fell into sour cream, turned over to the other side, jumped up and just got into his mouth. Patsyuk ate it and opened his mouth again, and the dumpling went there again in the same way. And his only job was what to chew and swallow. ” Have you already thought that amaranth, Gogol and dumplings are not related in any way? No, wait!

Amaranth is a world-famous plant that received a second birth millennia after oblivion and even strict prohibitions on cultivation. Humanity has caught on to, seeing what kind of treasure it inherited from the Aztecs. It is a living landmark that was passed on to descendants as a unique plant for health and longevity. Many breeders, including Ukrainian ones, have improved the initial genetic material of the amaranth genus and created varieties that grow faster, have more seeds or more abundant foliage, variegated color and, of course, good yields, despite different growing conditions.

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol is also a world-famous writer. With his works, he was able to convey the unique flavor of everything Ukrainian – our holidays and the beauty of our nature, the original characters of people and, first of all, their unique sense of humor. It is nice to understand that the dishes immortalized by Gogol in the aforementioned work are still on the menu of modern Ukrainians to this day. And this also gives us a chance to understand that his works and dumplings are not only a cultural heritage, but also one of the foundations of our interesting future.

Dumplings … By this word, you can, perhaps, identify people from Ukraine, wherever they are. Say this word to them and add: “What do you love them with?” And you will hear many different answers: dumplings with potatoes and sour cream, sweet dumplings with cottage cheese and even raisins, dumplings with mushrooms and fried onions, sweet dumplings with cherries or mulberries, plums or other berries. And someone loves dumplings with stewed cabbage or something else original. And the phrase “homemade mother’s or grandmother’s dumplings”, made according to a special family recipe and with great love for their relatives, also resonates with warmth in the soul.

So what do we have? The Aztecs cultivated and respected the amaranth grain. Nikolai Vasilyevich loved dumplings so much that he bequeathed to us to cherish and cook them. Dumplings have become one of our national dishes and are popular all over the world. Therefore, we decided to combine the incredible benefits of amaranth, the fabulous taste of dumplings and the parting words of a genius writer to appreciate your family, tell other people about it, both in your country and gourmets from abroad.

Recipe for dumplings with amaranth groats.
For cooking, we need the following ingredients:
For the test:

  • Kefir or homemade sour milk – 400 ml.
  • Soda 1 tsp. Spoon.
  • Salt 0.5 tsp Spoons.
  • To your taste – sugar 2 tablespoons (or other sweetener, except honey).
  • Flour – 500-600 grm.

For filling in dumplings:

Amaranth groats – 100 grm
Water – 350-400 ml.
To your taste, if you need sugar 2 tbsp. spoons (or other sweetener other than honey).
Description of the preparation of amaranth dumplings.
Prepare the porridge first. To do this, slowly pour the cereal into boiling water, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and cook for 5-7 minutes, remove from the stove and cover with a lid so that the porridge stands for another 15 minutes (you can take the porridge cooked the day before cooking). It is necessary that the mass is thick. So it will be more convenient to put it into the rolled dough. You do not need to add butter here, so as not to thin the consistency of the filling once again. SHVEDOV FAMILY polished amaranth groats, which we took to prepare this dish, is distinguished by the fact that it is prepared faster than untreated cereals. If you have unpolished amaranth, then you need to cook for 20-30 minutes.

Polished amaranth groats in a package
Add salt or sugar to taste. The peculiarity of this cooking recipe is that you can cook dumplings in a salty version and then add fried onions. And, if you want to get a dessert, then add sugar, stevia or something else to the porridge as a sweetener, but not honey, because it reduces the density of the porridge.

So, while the amaranth filling is cooling, knead the dough. Pour the kefir into a bowl and add baking soda and salt (and sweetener if you’re thinking of sweet dumplings). Stir well until a light, foamy mass is obtained, then pour out most. Stir until very thick sour cream. Pour the rest of the flour on the table in a layer of 0.5-1 cm. Put the mass on it and knead the dough, actively enveloping it in flour. If you press your finger on the resulting lump and the surface is quickly leveled, the dough does not stick to your finger, then it is ready. Leave it for 10 minutes and put a pot of water on fire. Salt it.

How to make dumplings?
Many chefs offer to roll out the dough and squeeze out circles in a special round shape or glass, into which it is then convenient to put the filling. Great and practical idea! You can also do this: divide the whole dough into several equal parts and form them into sausages 4-5 cm thick. Cut them into even lengths of about 2.5 cm. Then roll them in flour and smooth them into thinner circles with a rolling pin. Please note that they should be larger than, for example, for dumplings with potatoes. The amaranth filling is softer and will be more difficult to wrap in dumplings. Put the porridge in the center of the circle with a spoon and blind first the edges of the dumpling on both sides, and then closer to the center. And so press the edges tightly until you cover all the filling.

The process of making dumplings
Kefir dough with soda is cooked very quickly! Place the formed dumplings in boiling water and stir gently so that they rise up. After the water boils again, it is necessary that the dumplings boil for 1.5-2 minutes, no more. Ready-made amaranth dumplings can be laid out in plates or in a large bowl to grease with butter or onions fried in vegetable oil. Serve the sweet version: with honey, yogurt, sweet curd mass or melted butter. And salty: with sour cream, fried mushrooms and golden onion. Garnish with chopped herbs: parsley, chives and garlic feathers, dill, or more.

As you can see, we propose to maintain national traditions in cooking and boldly experiment with new gastronomic delights. Do not forget the dishes that have been tested for centuries in the kitchens of our great-grandmothers. We think that amaranth dumplings are a new recipe, but we are not entirely sure about it. After all, this culture has been cultivated in Ukraine for a long time. Probably a hundred years ago, or maybe even earlier, some hostess had already implemented such an idea and made her family happy? Have we just returned a long-lost recipe? Who knows …
The main thing is that today we can use organic amaranth, which is a universal product for adults and children. With a creative approach to creating nutritious and tasty new dishes, we are absolutely confident that we are consuming natural food, enriching our body with a wonderful set of useful components.

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