Cooking is my passion. I read recipes on the net at office. I try to keep track of cooking shows. I try to weasel out recipe secrets from friends and family. I am obsessed with trying new dishes. In fact, I really really need a microwave now for all the yummy baking recipes I have in my store. But……it was only today morning that I realized how crazy I am about cooking….
I came across The Daring Kitchen while browsing the net and was immediately hooked. I could not wait for my membership to start. It was so cool when I found out I had access to the private forums. I felt like a little child who had laid hands on grandma’s secret stash of chocolates….he he he. I was scared though…the recipes mentioned in The Daring Kitchen are quite complicated for a newbie like me. So imagine my surprise when I found the June, 2009 Daring Cooks Challenge to be dumplings. This was something I could do….yes.
I did the first batch at night yesterday. It did not look great. In fact, the secret to making dumplings look appetizing is the pleating. Unfortunately, I had not checked out the trick for pleating and I ended up making a big thick roll where it should have been simply two layered and soft. The dumplings still tasted great but the end was inedible.
So I went back to the website for help. The Daring Cooks recipe was even supported by pics on how to pleat the dumpling!!! Wow! That website truly lives upto its name. It truly wants people to better their cooking skills. So I kept mulling over it and today morning itself I just could not help myself. I dumped by gym session for……dumplings session. Looking back now it seems crazy but the passion of cooking I felt in the morning when nothing else mattered other than to get those darned dumplings to look good feels all worthwhile. And I learnt something new.
For the wrapper
1 cup plain flour (maida)
1 tsp butter (optional)
For the filling
½ cup cabbage, grated
½ cup carrots, grated
1 tsp garlic, chopped finely
1 tsp garlic, minced or chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the wrapper by mixing flour and butter. The butter will keep the dough soft for a longer time. Add water spoonful by spoonful and make a smooth dough. Cover with a wet muslin cloth and set aside.
Mix all the ingredients for the filling. Though the filling for dumplings is generally bland to go along with the chilly sauce, a little green chili sauce can be mixed in to give an extra zing.
Make 1 cm balls out of the dough. Roll them so they are thin enough to be see-through. The centre should be thicker than the sides. Fold the dumplings on one side so a small pocket is formed. Fill it with the stuffing and seal with the help of water.
Place the dumplings on a cabbage leaf and steam. They can also be fried or boiled.
Enjoy while hot with red chili sauce.