Something you might not know about me is that my dad has lived in Russia for the past 25 years, for work. I visited him when I was about 15 (that age is scarily getting further and further away!) and had incredible Russian food, which I didn't expect at all! As Lisa and Dima are both Russian as well, I have pretty much been surrounded by such food ever since but have yet to find pelmeni since visiting my dad. However, as Dima's parents are currently staying with us there have been new hearty Russian dishes everyday made from scratch, and I was so happy to see Dima's mum making pelmeni! I sat down and helped her for the afternoon, a strangely therapeutic way to spend a Saturday..
Dumplings with meat in them are called pelmeni, and SO GOOD. We also made ones with cheese and with potato fillings, which are called Vareniki - also incredible! These are super homely and filling, perfect for October weather.
Probably better than I could tell you are recipes here and here - my idea of cooking tends to be sneakily eating everything as someone else does the important parts (like measuring!) but I can show you the dumplings I helped to finish off, and tell you how fantastic they are!
Once you have your dough ready you roll it into a line, and chop off little sections ready to be rolled out into little flat circles, ready to embrace their fillings.
These ones, with the edges simply pinched together are Vareniki
And these chubby little things with the sides sealed together (by simply crossing over the edges and pinching) are Pelmeni
It helps to distinguish them so you don't accidentally eat raw meat (errr I may have eaten a few cheese/potato ones raw, bad habits and a taste for dough!)
Pop them in the fridge until they are ready to cook, where you will place them in boiling water for twenty minutes..
Then tuck in! The Russian way to eat pelmeni (and potato vareniki) is with a scoop of butter and sour cream, and for the cheese Vareniki, slightly more dessert-y, they are eaten with a generous dose of jam and sour cream. I know it sounds odd, but it works!
Enjoy your dumplings!
P.S - I have also started learning Russian this week, finally doing something about not being able to understand everyone around me! I would definitely recommend this book, it's amazing :)