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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shish Barak (Meat Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce)

My husband and I first tried this dish at an Afghan restaurant in San Diego. After tasting it once, I just knew I had to figure out how to make it! Using won ton wrappers makes this dish much quicker to make. However, because they are so thin, they must be handled very gently. You can also make a large batch of dumplings and then freeze them on a baking sheet until firm. They can then be stored in the freezer so that you can enjoy this dish at a moments notice.

While you can use regular yogurt, you may find that Greek yogurt produces a less tart sauce.

Shish Barak (Meat Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce)

1 TBS butter
1 cup minced onion
2 TBS toasted pine nuts
2 cups ground lamb (or hamburger)
1 package round won ton wrappers

2 cup plain yogurt
2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt

In a saute pan over medium high heat, melt the butter and cook the onions until softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the meat and saute stirring frequently until well browned and cooked nearly though. Add the toasted pine nuts, stir, and set aside to let cool enough to handle.

Once the mixture is cool, spoon a small amount of filling into the middle of a won ton wrapper. Dip your finger in water and dampen the edge of half the wrapper. The water acts as a glue when you fold the wrapper over in half, forming a little pouch. Press the air out and firmly seal. Set on a plate or baking pan until ready to cook.

When all of the dumplings are made, mix the yogurt, water, cornstarch, egg white, and salt together in a sauce pan. Whisk together well. Bring to a simmer and add the dumplings. Stir very gently as they cook. Simmer the dumplings for five minutes. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro, if desired.

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