I loves the dumplings. I really do.
And besides my love for actually eating the things, I find the slightly labour intensive process of making them the perfect way to de-stress. Well, sometimes. other times it’s a process likely to bring me out in a ball of hormonal rage and order a pizza, but sometimes the repetitive rolling and filling of these little parcels of joy is just the ticket to me calm down.
Recently, I did these spiced aubergine dumplings.
I took a handsome aubergine, and throw it in the oven while I changed into something a leetle bit more comfortable.
I also made my wrapper dough, by mixing together some flour…
With enough hot water to make it look like this.
Then, I threw that in the fridge and took my lovely aubergine out of the oven…
While the aubergine was cooling a little, I prepared the spices: lemon grass, ginger and garlic.
I peeled and sliced the ginger…
Removed the tough outer skin from the lemon grass and cut it into small pieces…
And peeled the garlic.
I put them in my lovely big pestle and mortar…
And BEAT THEM TO A PULP. I’m WELL hard like that.
Ahem. Sorry about that outburst.
I then peeled the aubergine…
Mashed it with a fork…
And added some soy sauce and some flour to make it a bit less watery.
Then I took the dough out of the fridge and rolled it out thinly…
Before cutting it into medium-sized circles using a cookie cutter.
These circles get filled with a quarter of a teaspoon of mixture. It doesn’t look that attractive here, but trust me, the end result tastes GREAT.
Then you dampen the edges of the circle and clamp them together…
All the way round, just like this.
Then, heat up a little oil in a pan…
And add the dumplings. Add a little water, bring to the boil…
Then cover the pan and allow to simmer for a little while.
The liquid will disappear. And if you haven;’t clamped the edges of the dumplings properly, the runny bits will have crusted onto the bottom of the saucepan.
We have a dishwasher, and for that I am very, very thankful.
Your dumplings are ready to enjoy! I served these with stir-fried greens as a main, but they made an excellent starter or component of a Chinese-style banquet.
Spiced Aubergine Dumplings
Serves 2 as a main course. Cooking time 1 hour.
Piece if ginger, the size of your thumb
4 cloves garlic
1 slick lemon grass
2 tbsp soy sauce
100g plain flour plus 2 heaped tbsp for the filling
2 tbsp oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Put the aubergine in the oven to roast for 30 minutes.
3. While the aubergine is roasting, combine the 100g flour with enough hot water to form an elastic dough.
4. Put the dough in the fridge to rest and remove the aubergine from the oven.
5. While the aubergine is cooling: prepare the spices: peel the garlic, remove the tough outer leaves from the lemon grass and cut into small pieces and peel and slice the ginger.
6. Crush the whole lot in a pestle and mortar.
7. Peel and mash the aubergine, and combine with the spices, 2 tbsps of flour and soy sauce.
8. Roll out the dough thinly, cut using a cookie cutter and place a quarter of a teaspoon of the filling in each piece.
9. Dampen the edges of the circles, and, using your fingers, clamp them together to create a little parcel.
10. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the dumplings, and fry for a couple of minutes.
11. Add 100ml water to the pan, cover, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
12. Uncover the dumplings and serve.