Home, and my mother’s white dumplings

It’s good to be home. I’ve been spending time cleaning out closets, reading my kindergarten report cards (”she needs to improve her conduct”- I, a 5 year old sociopath!), and cooking fresh vegetables from my mother’s verdant vegetable garden.

Summer Squash vine taking over the house

This time, I asked her to give me the recipe for her white dumplings, aka safed kofte. These were my absolute favorite growing up. Much like the laal pulav, these were reserved for special occasions. I would tiptoe around the kitchen, sneaking in a couple of dumplings straight out of the fryer before she smothered them with the rich white sauce. Rich, sophisticated, yet understated, it’s the perfect statement recipe.

The measurements below are approximations- I followed my mother’s style and did not meaure anything. Go ahead, take your chances with this one.

They taste a LOT better than this looks

For the dumplings:

3 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled

About a cup full of green peas, boiled

6-8 slices regular white bread, crusts removed (don’t use low-carb high-fiber type bread)

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup raw peanuts, skin removed

6 green cardamoms, seeded, seeds crushed (or 1 tsp powdered cardamom)

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp golden raisins

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 cups milk

salt and white pepper to taste

1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus enough for deep frying the dumplings

– Whizz the crustless white bread in a food processor to get soft crumbs. Set aside.

– Mash together the potatoes and peas with a little salt until you get a smooth green mash. Add enough bread crumbs (about half) to get a mixture that is soft, yet firm enough to fashion into balls.

– For the stuffing, chop 1 tbsp each of the cashews and peanuts into coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, mix these with the raisins, cilantro and cardamom.

– Heat enough oil in the fryer while you form the dumplings.

– Divide the dumpling mixture into 1/4 cup portions.

– Take the mixture in the palm of one hand and form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc and put about a tsp of stuffing on top. Close the soft edges of the disc around  the stuffing and pat the ball between your palms to form a slightly flattened dumpling. Dredge the dumpling in the remaining bread crumbs and keep aside. Repeat until you have all the dumplings.

– Deep fry the dumplings in medium-hot oil, taking care not to overcook them. They should barely change color. Remove and drain on paper towels. Arrange in a platter.

– For the sauce, whizz together the remaining cashews and peanuts in the food processor/blender until they are powdered. Add any remaining breadcrumbs and the milk and blend again.

– Heat one tbsp oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and wait until  they sizzle. Turn the heat to low, add the blended milk mixture, and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens, abut 10 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper.

– Just before serving, pour sauce on dumplings.

Served with naan, dal makhani and rice, this is a meal fit to serve a royal family.


About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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30 Responses to Home, and my mother’s white dumplings

  1. trishc1812 says:

    Sounds very yummy!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. mizunogirl says:

    that sounds great. Probably too complicated for me to make. However….Not too complicated for me to order when I am in the right place!

  3. Ooh! Does this recipe make enough for four people? I’m thinking of trying it this weekend. The Indian mother-in-law made these sans raisins, and she used a sauce made from yogurt. I don’t know if it’s a regional difference, since she’s from Jaipur, or if it’s possibly a different dumpling altogether.

    Nice to see you here again! I hope you’re enjoying your visit with the family.

    • purplesque says:

      Yes- it should be plenty for four! What your samdhan made were probably different from these, but I bet they were scrumptious, too. These are rather unusual dumplings- I’ve never had them anywhere else.

  4. Happy to hear from you again! Enjoy your visit.

  5. hmmm. yummmmm…. send over to me too 🙂

  6. phantomxii says:

    I’m glad you’ve got this opportunity to be back. Going home means something special, and it increases with distance, I think.

  7. aubrey says:

    If those little dears taste better than they look, they must be spectacular, as this is once again a beautifu foodist portrait. I’ve had kofte before, but only out of a TV dinner, please don’t hate.

  8. Aussie Emjay says:

    Isn’t “home” just the most wonderful place? Whenever I go back to Australia I feel as though I’m re-grounded.

  9. I was listening to a program on TV last night and it was discussing the issue of mental illness in India, and how so many people can not access the help that they need. Apparently there is an initiative between Australia and India to work on the issues and the needs. I don’t know it we are sending health workers, or just helping with the project. I remembered your comments about going home and having the opportunity for plenty of work. Too true, sadly.

  10. robpixaday says:

    You’re home!
    And your Google thing is gone (except the email part).
    Are you still here-here?
    Wherever you are, ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))

    • purplesque says:

      Ah- I guess they finally figured out purplesque couldn’t be my given name and kicked me out. lol..funny that I’m actually glad to be rid of another thing to keep track of. I’ll still be here-here, just sporadically. ((((hugs)))) backatcha- how are you?

      • robpixaday says:

        How am I? Happy to see you!!!!!

        Yes, keeping track of all this stuff is angst0inducing…LOL

        How are you? Is it OK to ask where are you?
        As long as you’re here-here, even sporadically, that’s wonderful!
        I hope everything’s great.

        I’ve decided to use this WP site as my home-base online. It’s nice to be with people I “know”…and blogging is always enjoyable. The art links and feeds are attached to my home page, so they’re all present.
        “Real life” is OK. Isolated but good. And I’m still teaching myself how to paint. Drawing is going well.

        Gosh it’s wonderful to hear from you!

        • purplesque says:

          🙂 I am home-home, in India-in my hometown! It’s kind of bitter-sweet, though, since the spouse is still in US, as is the household we built together. I’m hoping to be back in another month or so, once the visa Gods smile upon us.
          Glad to hear that WP will be your base- I’ve found it to be the most consistent way to keep track of friends. (Speaking of which, I HAVE to check out your art links!)

      • robpixaday says:

        Oh!! You’re at home-home!
        To stay?

  11. mizunogirl says:

    how is everything going???inquiring minds you know….want to know.

  12. talksoftly says:

    I’m sorry to be so long since we last visited. I was bragging to my FaceBook friends about your wonderful cooking, and what a wonderful person I think you are. Anyway, Thanksgiving is approaching, and a couple of my friends are vegetarian, or looking for vegetarian recipes to serve over the holidays. I couldn’t think of a better place to send them.

    Your food is still beautiful, and you are looking mahhhvelous, dahling!
    – scorpion1116

  13. robpixaday says:

    Ae you still around?
    Miss you!!

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