Shishbarak

Though a part of Arab cuisine for centuries, the dish originated in pre-Islamic Persia where it was known as  (joshpara ) which  means "to boil". The Arabic name shishbarak is thought to be derived directly from this name. It was then replaced by the modern Persian name (gosh e-barreh), meaning "lamb's ear", then the Finno-Ugric peoples in western Siberia who were exposed to the dish by Iranian merchants in the Middle Ages gave it the name (pelnan) meaning "ear bread".

Shishbarak‎ or shushbarak, also known as tatarbari in Iraq, is a traditional dumpling dish made in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Hejaz, and Palestine which is similar to Italian ravioli. After being stuffed with ground beef or lamb and spices, thin wheat dough is cooked in yogurt and served hot in cooked yogurt.

It is an intriguing taste stemming from the intense flavor of , and then crowned with subtle aromas from the mint, cilantro and garlic.  preparing this dish in goat plain yogurt yields a much richer and intense flavor than if cooked with regular cow plain yogurt. And both are lovely.

 

 

Ingredients:

For the shishbarak dumplings:

- 2 cups flour

- 500 g coarsely ground beef

- 1 small onion, finely chopped

- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

- 1 pinch of cinnamon

 

For the Sauce:

- 1 kg yogurt

- 3 tablespoons starch, dissolved in ½ cup water

- 3 cloves garlic, crushed

- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

- 1 teaspoon salt

 

Preparation:

1- To prepare the dough: sift the flour in a bowl with some salt. Gradually add water and knead to obtain soft dough. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 30 min.

2- To prepare the filling: on high heat, fry the chopped onion in a skillet with the vegetable oil until golden. Add the ground meat, cinnamon, pepper and salt and fry until the meat turns brown. Set aside to cool.

3- Preheat the oven to 180 ˚C.

4- To make the shishbarak dumplings: on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough using a rolling pin. Cut the dough into 4 cm circles.

5- Place 1 teaspoon of filling at the centre of each circle and fold in half. Press edges together then bring both corners together to obtain a dumpling. Seal well.

6- Put all the meat dumplings in a well-greased baking tray and bake for 10 min or until blushed. Remove from oven and set aside.

7- To prepare the sauce: strain the yogurt into a pot, add the dissolved starch and place over medium heat. Stir continuously in a circular movement until yogurt thickens then reduce the heat. It is very important to stir continuously for the yogurt not to stick to the pot.

8- In a small skillet, fry the minced garlic and fresh coriander with the vegetable oil and add them to the yogurt. Mix well and turn off the heat.

9- To serve, place the shishbarak dumplings in a serving dish and pour the yogurt sauce in another deep dish. You can serve rice along with it.

 

Lara Khouli