Discovering new food for my tongue is always the exciting part of every tour I make and I take time to sit on the internet just to do research on the traditional food and find out the vegetarian options available. Before my trip to
, I could interact with two Polish friends who guided me to Polish food that I have eventually fallen in love with. I was blessed in two ways. One, I could find out the exact restaurant they suggested and they served awesome Peirogi and two, I was able to relish proper home made Peirogi prepared in the traditional way. When I first told my friends that I ate Pierogi with potato fillings they stuck their tongue out and mocked that it was Ruskie and not traditional and then when I told them about the sauerkraut filling, they accepted me into the league of Pierogi lovers. Krakow, Poland
Pierogi is the first Polish fascination I am going to write about and then later follow this up with another wonder as soon as I cook it. The day I ate Pierogi, it was Vinayakar chaturthi and it felt like I was not missing the kozhakattais. Well, this is a very crude comparison just with respect to how it looks! Then when I described it to amma, she reminded me of the Chinese kozhakatais (well, she invented this name) she used to make. But yet again it would be blasphemous to compare Pierogi with this, even though the outer layer is the same. And oh, this is the egg less version!
First a dough needs to be made with all purpose flour. Make the dough with dilute milk, salt and a small pinch of sugar. Egg lovers can add in one yellow into this and Vegans can just ignore it and proceed. Once the dough is made, make small Chapattis with it, 3 inches in diameter. Thanks to Amma and sister for this effort for without them my Pierogis would have lost shape!
Be creative with the fillings. But here is the traditional one. Saute sauerkraut (a separate blog is coming up on this), finely chopped onions and finely chopped mushrooms. Use very little oil to sauté them and add some cumin seeds and a dash of pepper after all these vegetables have been added. Cook them well and add salt, take off the flame and then add finely grated cheese. Mix well. The cheese will melt mildly and make the filling thick. You can ignore the cheese and substitute the sauerkraut with finely shredded cabbage. Alternatively you can play around with smashed potatoes and cheese or blue berries and strawberries!
Now place a spoon of this filling in the middle of the 3 inch Chapattis and close it and seal the edges properly. Do not over stuff it, but make it in such a way that it is full and fat and properly sealed. Drop these into hot boiling water in batches and carefully cook them. Melt butter in a skillet and sauté these boiled Pierogis in this. Do not fry them too deeply but just until you start to see the fry patterns appearing. Garnish with roasted onions!