Just Like Mother Used to Make?

I’m not sure how many people are aware of it, but my great grandmother, or Baba as we used to call her, was from the Ukraine. Not only did it give me some crazy middle names but it also means that my mother occasionally cooks a little delicacy called varenyky which is a stuffed dumpling. She rarely makes them though because they take quite a bit of preparation for what they are! So, I was pretty surprised when I was browsing the chilled ‘World Food’ section in Tesco to find they were selling pre-made ‘dumplings with meat’ or as I know them – varenyky! 

The verenyky my mum makes is a bit more of an english twist and she stuffs them with corned beef and potato, it’s one of my favourite things she makes. But I can’t imagine they’re forgiving in calories. They’re folded into dumplings and can be served in a few ways. As they can be frozen they’re good stock to have in the freezer and once they’re prepared they can be whipped up pretty quickly in a frying pan with some butter and onions, yum! I thought I’d try and cook these pre-packed ones the same way I’ve seen my mum cook her home made version. 

My cooker is so shockingly shit it took forever to begin to fry the onions! So I started them off and as they were cooking I placed the chilled dumplings into some boiling water from the kettle. As the onions were frying, the dumplings were rising. Once they’d floated to the top I placed them in the pan and let them fry for around 15 minutes. I imagine on a normal cooker this method would be a lot quicker than on mine though! I tried to wait until the dumplings looked crispy yet soggy. I don’t know if that makes sense unless you’ve tried fried dumplings before though. It’s kind of like dumplings are a kind of chewy consistency but can crisp up a little at the same time. My hob is so soooo rubbish I managed to burn most of the onions though! Inside they have a kind of mushed up meaty pork mix, which I must admit I was a little dubious about. But it was bearable if I didn’t think about the origin of said meat for too long.


So, were they as good as mama’s? Ermmm… NO. They were OK, not quite as flavoursome, or satisfying as my mums. They’re a good quick dish to make for something a little different than pasta on a week night, but I wouldn’t replace the original home made ones for these. Although saying that, you’ve probably not tried my mums! So if you’re always browsing the world foods section, wanting to try something but not sure what, then give these a whirl! They cost £1.69 from my local Tesco chilled section.