Roasted Red Kuri and Shiitaki Dumplings in a Hearty Lamb Sauce

Anita Appetizer, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Entrée, Meats, Nuts, Pies, Vegetables, What's Cooking 4 Comments

Red Kuri and Shiitaki Dumplings
It’s an incredibly beautiful Fall day.  I’m writing this outside listening to the birds on the trees, the neighborhood kids screaming with joy and my tummy rumbling from hunger.  Adding these pictures to the post isn’t helping either.  These dumplings are my take on a very traditional dish made with lamb-stuffed dumplings in a dehydrated bulgur -yogurt sauce (kishk).  After writing my article for last week, I had my mind set on making something with pumpkin quickly.  Red Kuri squash is one of my favorites, it’s mildly sweet, nutty and so versatile.   It made for a tasty stuffing.  From the same dough and stuffing, I also made a few calzone-type turnovers that we could enjoy for breakfast with a side of eggs. If you’re not a big fan of making dough, you could easily substitute with wonton wrappers.
Pomegranate Arils
Roasted Red Kuri

The sauce is made from lamb stock and thickened with chick peas.  The idea came after a conversation with my mother about a traditional northern Lebanese dish. I’m not from the North, so this is my adaptation of it, and it is exactly what intrigues me about food and cooking in general.  Simple ingredients and a vast culinary heritage.  I’m fascinated and excited about these traditional foods.  Ideas are flooding my head and feeding my soul.  I hope you will try this, I won’t disappoint.

Kuri and Dumpling Duo
Sliced Dumpling

 Roasted Red Kuri and Shiitaki Dumplings in a Hearty Lamb Sauce

2 cups red kuri squash, roasted and mashed (1 kuri squash)
4 oz shiitaki mushrooms, diced
3 tbsp shallots, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts and place in a bowl.  In the same skillet, heat oil and sauté shallots and mushrooms (sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper) until tender. Pour over the pine nuts.  Wash squash, slice in wedges and place on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.  Roast in a 400˚F for 30-40 minutes until soft. Peel (if desired) and mash the squash with a ricer or a potato masher, add to bowl.  Add everything else and mix well to blend together.

Basic Dough recipe *
3 1/2 cups whole grain flour (or whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups luke warm water (may vary based on altitude and humidity)
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ghee
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Pour the flour in the mixer bowl, add salt and mix well. Bloom the yeast with sugar in 2 tablespoons of  luke warm water. Add oil, ghee and yeast mix to flour and slowly start adding the water as you mix. Add water as needed to get all the flour incorporated well. Continue mixing until the edges of the mixer bowl are cleaned out (about 1 minute or 2). Test the dough with your finger. If too stiff or resistant, add a touch more water and mix again until all blended and bowl is cleaned agai n. Repeat as needed. Place covered in a bowl to rise for one hour. Divide dough into 3 large balls and let rest again covered for 30 minutes before handling. Place a ball on a floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thick, cut the dough in circles (I used 3″ cutter), place a teaspoon of the of the stuffing in the center, fold over and seal edges shut, then bring end points together and tuck one under the other.  Bake at 500ºF for approx. 8 minutes until dough is baked. Remove and set aside.  You will need approx. 24-28 dumplings.  Add more if you like.  The rest make a great snack.
* Substitute with wonton wrappers 

Lamb Sauce
3-4 lamb shanks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt 
Freshly ground pepper
6-8 cups water
3 sprigs thyme, fresh
2 bay leaves
1 inch ginger, sliced in half
1 cinnamon stick
5-6 cardamom pods, cracked
10 peppercorns, whole
2 tsp sea salt
In a heavy bottom pot, heat oil.  Sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper and rub through.  Sauté in oil until browned on all sides. Add spices and herbs, water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half until the lamb meat is tender and falling off the bone.  Remove shanks and strain the stock into a bowl and set aside.


5 cups lamb stock
1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans), skin removed *
1 small onion
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)
Pinch of nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper

Sauté onions in a large pot with olive oil until tender, add ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix.  Add molasses and paste then stock.  Once all incorporated, add chick peas (garbanzo beans).  With a hand held blender, pulse a few times to crush the chick peas.  The goal is to keep it chunky.  Add whole  lamb shanks (for a manly dish) or lamb meat only.  Simmer covered for 30 minutes.  Add dumplings and continue to simmer gently for another 15 minutes until dumplings absorb some of the sauce. You’ll know when they’re not floating anymore.  Keep stirring to a minimum at this point, the dumplings are delicate and tear easily.  
* To remove the skin from the chick peas, drain the peas and place between two paper towels and rub together.

Comments 4

  1. Anita

    I am so impressed! We just got a dozen huge pumpkins from the orchard and I was thinking of ways to fix them; this one is so very elegant and beautiful!
    I have to say your site combines amazing photography with remarkable creativity in the culinary field, as well as a faithful adherence to the near eastern heritage. A ten.

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