300 g Flour
150 ml Water
1 small egg
1 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
200 g mushrooms
300 g potatoes
1 small onion
30 g Butter
Salt & pepper
Vareniki are often seen as a vegetarian alternative to pelmeni, and that is not too far off: wrap some dough around a sweet or savory filling, fry or boil it, and there you go.
However, vareniki are not considered a variation of pelmeni in Russia, but a dish of Russian cuisine. For sweet vareniki, the most common fillings are quark or berries, a variety that is usually eaten for breakfast. Another type of vareniki can be made from potatoes with mushrooms or onions or cabbage. They are very often eaten with sour cream.
- Start with the classic Russian dumpling dough. In a bowl, whisk one egg with water, oil, and salt.
- Sift all the flour into a separate bowl or right onto the cooking surface, and make a kind of crater in the center. Pour the liquid mixture into the crater and start mixing with a fork; then continue kneading the dough with your hands. When all the ingredients are incorporated, put the dough on the cooking surface dusted with some flour, and continue kneading.
- Knead for around 7 minutes until it becomes quite thick but still elastic and very soft on the surface. Round it and let sit wrapped in cling wrap for 30 minutes.
- For the filling, fry the chopped onion in vegetable oil until soft. Add the finely chopped mushrooms and stir until ready. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water until very soft; drain and mash with a generous slab of butter; set aside to cool for a minute.
- Combine the mashed potatoes and mushrooms with the onions.
- Now, back to the dough: use a rolling pin to roll it quite thinly. Cut circles from the dough (about 7 cm in diameter); collect the scraps, firm a ball again, and repeat the process until you run out of dough and have many dough circles.
- Put 1 tsp of filling on each circle and start forming your vareniki: fold into half-circles and seal the edges tightly; repeat with the rest. Leave the edges as they are or decorate however you wish.
- To cook the vareniki, put them in well-salted boiling water; wait until they float, and then cook for 2 more minutes. If cooking frozen vareniki, then boil for another 1-2 minutes.
- Drain and serve with a nice slab of butter or sour cream, as well as some chopped dill.