Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 25, 2021

© Alicia Taylor

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Beef dumplings with garlic yogurt and paprika butter

Traditional Turkish dishes that you can replicate in your kitchen

This dish is a labour of love, but amazingly delicious. Invite some friends over when you make these, and perhaps drink some wine — but not too much, or it will take twice as long!

Because this makes a large quantity, it’s possible to freeze the dumplings before baking. Pull them out of the freezer before you go to work and leave them to thaw; you can then come home after a hard day’s work, pop them into the oven and bake as directed.

For the dumplings
2½ c. (625 ml) plain all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (5 ml) sea salt
1 free-range egg, lightly whisked
1/3 c. (80 ml) cold water
¼ c. (60 ml) olive oil, plus extra for greasing
garlic yogurt to serve (recipe follows)

For the filling
7 oz. (200 g) ground beef
1 brown onion, peeled and grated
2 tbsp. (30 ml) finely chopped, flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

For the paprika butter
2 oz. (60 g) butter
1 tbsp. (15 ml) sweet paprika

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the egg, cold water and olive oil. Using your hands, mix together to make a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well for about 15 minutes, until the dough is elastic and soft, and feels like your earlobe.

Oil the bowl and return the dough to it. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C). Put all the filling ingredients in a bowl, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mix together.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes, then divide into halves. Cover one half with a damp cloth while you work with the other half. Roll out the dough using a thin rolling pin. You want the dough to be as thin as possible — maybe as thick as two sheets of paper. Now cut into squares about 2 inches (5 cm) across.

Spoon a tiny teaspoon of filling onto each square. Lift each corner and pinch together to create a little bow at the peak of the dumpling. Place each dumpling on a floured surface as you finish making the first batch, then use the second dough portion and the remaining filling to make as many of these delicious morsels as you can.

Place the dumplings in a well-oiled baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges turn slightly brown. Remove from the oven, then pour 4 cups (1 L) boiling water over the dumplings. Cover with foil and bake for another 15–20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the dumplings are soft. Meanwhile, make the paprika butter by gently melting the butter in a small saucepan and stirring the paprika through. Leave to infuse until needed. Transfer the dumplings to serving plates and generously dollop with garlic yogurt. Drizzle with the paprika butter and serve. Serves 10 generously.

Garlic yogurt

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp. (15 ml) sea salt
2 c. (500 ml) plain (Greek-style) yogurt

Crush the garlic cloves to a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle. Gently fold the garlic and salt through the yogurt; don’t stir too vigorously as you don’t want to the yogurt to liquefy. Cover and refrigerate until required; the garlic yogurt is best served cold, as it tends to get a little runny at room temperature. Makes 2 cups (500 ml).

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