Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

This week is Polish foods week and the title deserves an exclamation point because of the sheer effort that went into creating these pierogi last Sunday morning- I LOVE pierogi (and pelmeni, and variniki and….eastern European dumplings en general) so I convinced Katarzyna to get her mom’s and teach me how to make them. The only other time I’ve made pierogi is with pre-made dumpling skins (CHEATING).

This should make about 80 dumplings.


– 2 big tubs of hard feta cheese, grated*
– 5 med/large soft cooking potatoes, peeled *there should be roughly equal amounts of potato and feta
– One large onion, chopped and fried
– Black pepper, paprika, salt

– 6 cups of flour
– 2 cups of water


sour cream


onion, chopped and fried

bacon, chopped and fried


-A dumpling press (a MUST if you don’t want this to take longer than it already is going to. They’re cheap and easy to find)

-A dough hook for your KitchenAid. Or get a workout like we did and make the dough with your hands.

The night before peel and boil the potatoes. Dry them out overnight.

When you’re ready to get started, grate the boiled potatoes and mix them together with grated feta, and fried onion (which should be cooled at this point) and set aside.

Put flour in a mound or bowl and scoop out an opening in the middle. Add water little by little, mixing it together first with a wooden spoon and then with your hands. Keep kneading and working the dough until it is the right consistency, adding a bit of flour and water as needed. This will be one massive piece so you might want to separate it into two chunks and work each piece separately to make it more manageable. If you have a dough hook, put in flour and add water and let the KitchenAid do all the work for you!

When your dough is done being kneaded roll it flat with a rolling pin, as thin as possible. Use something with a circle approximately the same  circumference as your dumpling press and cut out small circles. This is where Kate cut her hand badly because we were using wine glasses and she put too much pressure on the glass- so be warned, go lightly with the glass!

Roll out the individual circles once more  to get them thin as possible before putting them in the dumpling press. Spoon a bit of filling in, close the press and squeeze, and cut out the extra dough with a knife.

After you’re done with that, boil the water with plenty of salt (at least two teaspoons) and cook 6 dumplings at a time for about 3.5 minutes. Let the dumplings dry on a drying rack, and don’t stack them or they’ll stick.

You can freeze all you want at this point. When you’re ready to eat throw some oil in a frying pan and fry up the dumplings so they get a bit browned. Garnish with sour cream, dill, fried bacon pieces and fried onion.

GOOD LUCK. I recommend doing this over the course of a few days or getting a group of at least 3 people (even with three people it will still take you 4 hours). Oh yea, and starve yourself the week before because it’s so many calories I refuse to even count. Maybe you want to serve it with some homemade borscht.

For more detailed instructions and photos visit Katarzyna’s blog.


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