• Prachi Marfatia

Delectable Vegan Dumplings

Stir-fried veggies and tofu encased in a chewy, soft exterior- just in time for the new year.




Happy Chinese New Year! Or at least, it was, a couple weeks ago. We don't get or eat Chinese food often, unless you count the occasional bowl of noodles or stir-fried tofu. A couple years ago, though, I had a sudden desire to make the crescent-shaped good luck charm- a dumpling! Our neighbors are Chinese too, and their dumplings? Heavenly.


Something about cooked vegetables mixed with tofu(and maybe even some egg?) creates a party for the taste buds. And coupled with the nutty outside of the wrapper? Delish.

And Lunar New Year's just around the corner too, so why not whip up a batch to celebrate? These are by no means authentic or traditional, just my take on a delicious dish that you can make easily at home!


Full recipe with measurements is at the bottom.


Step 1: Make the dough. This is pretty straightforward: take a big ol' pot with flour, make a funnel in the middle, and knead into a dough using water and a teensy bit of oil. If you have a dough hook attachment or food processor, this is even faster.



Step 2: Cook the filling. Throw the veggies into a pot with some oil and spices. Fair warning: the smell is gonna be irresistible- guard it carefully.



Step 3: Wrap the dumplings. Okay, I'm going to be honest: this is not the easiest thing. If you want to do the crescent-shaped ones pictured below, here's a good tutorial for that. If you are doing this for the first time, check out this video with some easy variations.



Step 4: Pan-fry your dumplings. Yes, this does have oil in it. And no, it is not optional. Trust me- you won't regret it! Besides, our bodies need oil to lubricate their insides and keep everything moving smoothly- if ya know what I mean?




Here's to the year of the ox- 365 days filled with good food!


Vegetable Dumplings

Course: Main Meals

Author: Prachi Marfatia

Serves: 4


Ingredients

4 tsp sesame or peanut oil

2 tbsp water

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp garlic-ginger paste(recipe here)

1/2 onion, chopped

14 oz tofu

1 medium carrot, diced

1 cup cabbage, chopped

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, more tofu, or a beaten egg

1 tsp salt, plus more to taste

1 tbsp soy sauce

Pepper to taste

1 tbsp chilli powder or chilli paste(optional)

2 tsp sesame seeds(optional)

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for the dough:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat or multigrain flour

1 tsp neutral oil(peanut, olive, safflower, sesame, etc.)

~1 cup water


Directions:

Take the flour in a bowl, make a hole in the middle, and pour in the water little by little. Using your hands, knead into a smooth dough. As it starts to come together, put in the oil, and coat your hands with some too. Then finish making it into a homogenous dough and let it rest uncovered for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a pot, heat up 2 tsp of the oil and add the garlic, onion, and ginger-garlic paste.. After about 2 minutes of sauteing this on medium-low, add the carrots and cover for about 5 minutes. Then, with your hands and a paper towel, squeeze the tofu, crumble it up, and put it in. Cook this covered for 3-5 minutes, then add the cabbage and mushroom and repeat for 2 more minutes. Finally, stir in the salt, pepper, soy sauce, and sesame seeds/chili powder if you like. Take the dough now, and divide it into small balls, about 2 inches diameter each. Roll them out into small circles around 1-2 millimetres in length, then start wrapping your dumplings. Put a spoon of filling in the middle, then stick the two edges together. If you want to wrap them the same way as pictured, look at this tutorial. Then, heat up another 1 tsp of the oil in a pan(for easy clean-up, use the same one you made the filling in). Brush the last teaspoon of oil on the dumplings, and place the bottoms on the pan for 5 minutes. Then, flip to another side, pour in the water, and put on a lid, for about 3 more minutes. Repeat on the last side, then serve warm with your favorite sauce and chow down!



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