’Mother and Daughter’ (Dumpling and Chickpea Stew)

Anali Kızli

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This complex combination of large and small dumplings in a lamb and chickpea stew comes from Malatya in eastern Anatolia, an area best known for apricots. The mothers are a mixture of beef and bulgur stuffed with minced lamb. The daughters are not big enough to have stuffing. You won’t find this dish in many restaurants—only home cooks (and my friend Musa) have the time to do it properly.

For the mums’ outer coating it’s important to choose beef with a low fat content and to knead it thoroughly so it dissolves into the bulgur.

Ingredients

Base

  • 50 g ( oz/¼ cup) dried chickpeas
  • 400 g (14 oz) lamb leg
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capsicum (pepper) paste
  • 10 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon

Stuffing

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 150 g ( oz) minced (ground) lamb
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste (to make your own)
  • ½ tablespoon capsicum (pepper) paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

Shells

  • 250 g (9 oz) fine bulgur
  • 200 g (7 oz) lean minced (ground) beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (to make your own)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ tablespoon dried mint
  • ½ tablespoon chilli flakes

Method

Cover the chickpeas with water and soak overnight.

Strain and rinse the chickpeas, place in a saucepan with 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of water and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

While the chickpeas are simmering, make the stuffing. Finely chop the onion. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes until soft. Add the minced lamb and cook for 2 minutes more.

Put the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix with 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of water. Stir the mixture into the onion and minced lamb, and bring to the boil, then simmer, with the lid on, for 5 minutes. Set the stuffing aside.

Next, make the shells. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Slowly add 45 ml ( fl oz) of warm water. Wet your hands and knead for 5 minutes to make a smooth paste.

Mould the shell mixture into spheres about the size of a ping-pong ball. Put a ball in your palm and with the fingers of the other hand, make a well in the mixture. Place a teaspoon of stuffing in the middle and fold the shell back around it. Repeat to make sixteen balls. With the rest of the bulgur mixture, make about forty smaller chickpea-size balls.

Now, make the base. Chop the meat from the leg of lamb into small cubes, removing any sinews and most of the fat. Finely chop the onions. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and, when sizzling, cook the onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the capsicum paste and fry for 1 minute.

Add the cubed lamb. Cook for 2 minutes, then add 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the small balls (daughters) and the large balls (mothers), chickpeas and parsley to the lamb mixture. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Divide the mothers and daughters onto four plates, with the cubed lamb underneath.

For the topping, place a frying pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the dried mint and chilli flakes and sizzle for 4 minutes. Drizzle the mint and chilli butter over the analı kizli and serve.