Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Shish Barak - Palestinian lamb dumplings in coriander, garlic and yogurt sauce


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Shish Barak, lamb dumplings in coriander, garlic and yogurt sauce is one of my fondest Palestinian food memories. Here's my recipe!

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I looooove the holy matrimony between mean and dough in all its forms. Italian tortellinis, Russian pelmenis, Georgian khinkalis, Polish pirogis, Uzbek mantis, Chinese dim sums... ahhhh.

Their Palestinian cousin is called Shish Barak and these lambfilled dumplings are cooked in yogurt. Sounds odd, perhaps, but it works.

Just ask anyone who turned up for my book launch!


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Sure, they're a bit laboursome and for an already stressed out author catering her own book launch; scared shitless of the book reviews these are not necessarily the smartest choice to be rolling out the night before...

... though, judging by the rave reviews they received from all the guests, perhaps they were worth all the hassle after all?


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In all honesty filling the dumplings is the only actually laboursome part of the process. That's why I usually make a bigger batch and then freeze them in smaller portions.

And I suppose it's all about your own approach: put on some habibi pop, sit down with a friend and start pinching away. Plenty of time to catch up on the gossip (how very authentically Middle Eastern!)

While they might require a bit of work, there's an definite upside to these: they do feed a crowd.


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In countries, where dumplings like these are an essential part of the culinary traditions, the families have typically been large and people poor - meaning they've had to feed many mouths for as little as possible.

Meat on the other hand has traditionally been the costliest of ingredients, but when you cleverly combine it with dough, a little goes a long way. Just look at this recipe: quarter of a kilo is enough to feed up to six hungry diners!

Once they're filled, the dumplings can be frozed. Just spread them on a parchment-covered baking tray, place the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours (this prevents the dumplings from sticking to each other) and then freeze in suitable sized portions.


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Serves 4-6

Shish Barak - Palestinian lamb dumplings in coriander, garlic and yogurt sauce


the pastry shell:


5 dl all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
0,5 dl oil
2-2 ¼ dl water

Combine flour and salt. Then add oil and mix until you have a crumbly mixture. Then add water and work into a smooth, elastic dough. Cover the dough with a couple of tbsp of oil and leave to rest, covered, while you prepare the filling.

lamb filling for Shish Barak:


1 onion, finely chopped
1,5 tsp bokharat (or 4 epice spice blend)
250 g ground lamb (or beef )
1,5 tsp dried mint 
3/4 tsp salt

a couple of tbsp oil for frying

Heat the oil in a pan. Then sauté onion until translucent. Add the spice blend and, after a couple of minutes the meat, mint and salt. 

Continue cooking until the meat has browned properly. Leave to cook to room temperature.

Divide the dough to 4 portions and keep rest of the dough covered as you're working on one. Roll it thinly (there should be no need for flour) and using a round cutter (or a wine glass) of about 6 cm diameter, cut into discs. 

Fill each disc with about a tsp of the filling and fold into a crescent. Pinch the edges shut, fold the ends behind the dumpling and pinch. 

Place on a parchment-lined tray and keep covered with a tea towel until ready to cook. 

Depending on the size and thickness of the dumplings the recipe yields about 52 dumplings. 

Coriander, garlic and yogurt sauce


1 kg Turkish yogurt
2 dl water
the juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper 
3 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
3 tbsp oil

to serve:

za'atar spice blend (can be found at Middle Eastern shops)
toasted pine nuts
rest of the coriander, chopped

Pour the yogurt and water into a large pot and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring every now and then. 

Heat oil in a small pan and sauté garlic and coriander in it.

Add lemon juice into the yogurt, followed by coriander and garlic mixture (along with the oil). Season. 

Add the dumplings into the sauce and simmer for 20 minutes until done. 

Sprinkle some za'ater, pine nuts and rest of the coriander on top of the stew.

Serve as is or accompanied with rice. 



shish barak_Andalusian auringossa_kulinaristiretkia Jerezista Jerusalemiin_ruokablogi_lammasnyytit_jogurttikastikkeessa_PIN ME

Any of you had Shish Barak yet? Or does Ehud Barak remain your firm favourite...?

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ANYONE FOR SECONDS?


         Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_ravintola Purpur_Helsinki

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