I started a series “Arabic cuisine” featuring my traditional food. Today the dish is Meat dumplings in Yogurt sauce (Shishbarak)
This recipe is a very old one. History said that its origin belong to Turkish cuisine. Now it’s popular in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
One of the good things I love about old recipes, that it meant to fed large families. Therefore, usually the women in the family make it together. and maybe the neighbors will help too! This really helps the housewife, and makes her feel less alone.
These dumplings are filled with cooked ground meat, and then dropped in yogurt sauce. It’s a very basic dough with no yeast. And it´´s shapes looks like Tortellini pasta. Here are my dumplings before cooking, I apologize for the harsh lighting, I had some problems!
Why meat is good for you
It has high amounts of heme iron, which is the type the body can easily absorb. It has complete protein, that contain the essential amino acids the body needs in balanced ratios. Also it has vitamin B12 , and good amounts of minerals like zinc, and selenium.
Why meat is bad for you
Lots of studies discuss that red meat consumption increase mortality rate, and increase risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and cancers. According to Harvard, red meat consumption in adolescent, and early adulthood can increase the risk of breast cancer in women. This study find a positive association between red meat consumption, and increasing the risk of diabetes type 2 in elderly women. And in this study they found that processed meat like sausage linked to heart failure .
Most of the studies are observational, and also a correlation. They are not causation. Means they can’t conclude that A cause B . So further studies needed.
You can still enjoy meat. You can pick a lean one, grass fed if you can! And eat it twice a week, or even once. There are other options like poultry, and fish, that are lean, and can be delicious too!
One of my favorite foods ever! I love it cooked, like in this yogurt soup with lentil. Or raw as side with with freekeh or kibbeh. Its full of probiotics! You can pick low or zero fat, but I love my dairy all whole. It makes it more satisfying and tasty! And would rather take the fat from dairy, than ice cream, or chocolate!
Now lets get to the recipe! Enjoy!
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tb vegetable oil
- Warm Water enough to make the dough.
- Meat (The filling)
- small Onion
- Half lb of lean ground Beef or lamb (I used beef)
- Salt, Ground black pepper, and ground cinnamon.
- 1 tsp of vegetable oil.
- Yogurt Sauce:
- 2 cups of Yogurt
- 1 egg
- Spices like Cumin, Cinnamon, Salt and Black Pepper
- Dried herbs like Oregano, Thyme or Basil
- Mix water, flour, salt, oil together to make dough. It has to be in a shape that you can cut it easily (not so soft, not so hard). And leave it at least 15 minutes.
- In the mean time, mince the onion.
- Heat a skillet on medium heat, add the oil and then saute the onion for 3-5 minutes
- Now add meat, and leave it until its done, but don't leave too much to dry.
- In a food processor, add yogurt, egg, spices, and herbs. Mix them together and set aside.
- Cut the dough in a circle shape, using a cutter or the bottom of a tea cup.
- Add teaspoon of filling, then fold the dough and twist it to look like tortellini.
- In a medium pot, add water, when it boils, drop the dumplings to cook them before mixing them with yogurt.
- Heat the yogurt mix in medium pot, on a medium heat and stir constantly so it won't break.
- After 10 minutes, add the dumplings, and keep stirring for another 10 minutes
- Serve it hot, and refrigerate any leftovers.
I used less meat , (less than half lb) it depends on how much you want to fill the dumplings. Just make sure its not so much, or the dumplings will tear in the sauce.