Monday, 16 January 2012 16:41

I heard the name kolduny being applied to several different dishes. One is Belorussian meat stuffed potato patties. Another is Lithuanian dumplings resembling Russian pelmeni. The third one is dumplings stuffed with raw meat and sautéed cabbage, the one I’m going to talk about here.

I don’t remember where my mom got this recipe (she doesn’t remember that either), I just recall that once, when I was a kid, she made these wonderful dumplings and they immediately became our favorites.

These dumplings are a hybrid of pelmeni and cabbage vareniki. Pelmeni are stuffed with raw meat, beef or a mixture of beef and pork; cabbage vareniki are stuffed with sautéed cabbage seasoned with salt and black pepper; kolduny are stuffed with both.

My mom makes them in the shape of vareniki, i.e. crescents, whereas I go for the pelmeni shape which resembles that of tortellini.

In Russian, kolduny means “sorcerers” or “magicians”. And for me these dumplings are nothing short of magic.

To make kolduny, you will need a batch of pelmeni dough and equal amount of sautéed cabbage and extra lean ground beef (about 15% fat content), say, a half pound of each or so. Combine meat and cabbage together and season with salt and black pepper.

Make kolduny either in the shape of pelmeni or vareniki, your call. Freeze them if you’re not planning to use them right away. They can last a while in the freezer. When the time comes, boil them like vareniki and serve topped with lots of sautéed onions.