Aushak – Afghan dumplings

A lovely treat! Merry Christmas!

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For about 20 dumplings 

Meat stuffing (about 500 gr of ground lamb or beef)
1- In a large pan, put a little bit of olive oil and fry: five cloves of garlic, two teaspoons of cumin, a teaspoon of cloves, the seeds of seven cardamom pods, about two cm of grated fresh ginger root, a cinnamon stick and salt & pepper to taste.
2- When the garlic starts to give its aroma, add the ground meat and the pulp of five tomatoes (cut the tomatoes in half and grate them as you would a carrot, discard the skin).
3- Mix well and cook covered for about 20 minutes. Set aside and let it cool thoroughly before filling the dumplings.

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For the dumplings 
1- In a small bowl beat one egg thoroughly.
2- Add a third of a cup of water and beat again.
3- In a large bowl, mix two cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. Add the egg liquid slowly while kneading the dough. If it is too dry, add a little bit of water. The texture of the dough should be a bit “elastic”.
4. Separate into four balls and cover with a damp clothe. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

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Making Aushak
1- Take each ball of dough and make it into a long stick. Cut the stick in little pieces with a sharp knife (about 5 c. long). Flatten with a roller until you get a round shape. Set aside on a floured surface and continue with the rest.
2- While you are doing that, bring a large pot of water with a few drops of vinagre to a boil.
3- Have a glass of water nearby.
4- Once you are done with making all the dumpling flat circles, fill each with about a teaspoon or a teaspoon and a half of ground meat. Wet your finger tips and pass it on the edge of the circle. Bring all the sides up and close as though it was a little patch. Continue until all the dumplings are done.
5- Place the dumplings one by one in the boiling water. They should take about 5 to 7 minutes to cook. Once the dumplings are cooked, take them out one by one and place them on a sieve.

Serving: serve topped with fresh cilantro with a side of yoghurt mixed with crushed garlic, cumin and salt. 

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