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Lamb Dumplings in Garlic Yogurt Sauce – Shish Barak

Shish Barak consists of succulent  little lamb dumplings bathed in a garlicky minty yogurt sauce.

Shish BarakDoes this dish sound weird to you?  I understand.

It’s a little different, but trust me it’s really very tasty, it’s pretty simple to make, and oh so comforting.  And I’m pretty excited to share it with you because I made it for the first time the other day.

But not without trepidation.  You remember that meal your mom used to serve that was so tasty you get warm and fuzzy just thinking about it?   This is one of those meals.  I didn’t want to ruin it.

To help me taste test this I called my cousin to come over and try it.  I got 2 thumbs up and 3 “wow, this is good.”  He should know, he loves to eat, and his mom is a fabulous cook.

The dough is simply flour, water, salt, olive oil.  That’s right, no yeast.  You can use wonton wrappers if you don’t want to make the dough.

The lamb is spiced with allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and sautéed with onions.  You can totally substitute with ground beef or ground turkey.

 The yogurt sauce has parsley, dried mint and toasted garlic in it – a perfect match.  Sounds like tzatziki sauce, doesn’t it?  Trust me, it’s excellent!

For the dough I used 2 cups of flour combined with the other ingredients in a stand mixer and then let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.  You can do this all by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer.  If you get caught up doing other things and the dough rests for a couple of hours, it’s ok.  That’s what happened to me.

Shish BarakI cut the rounds with a 2 inch biscuit cutter.  I filled them with about a teaspoon of lamb, folded them over and pinched it closed.  Then I folded it in half again by bringing the 2 pointy ends together and pinched them shut.  They sort of look like tortellini, or maybe a little rose.  I’ll go with the rose.

I sautéed the lamb and let it cool.  And I toasted some almonds in a little olive oil on the stovetop.  This is optional.

I filled and shaped the dumplings and baked them for about 8 minutes at 350.  Because the dough is thin, they don’t need to bake very long.  They will finish cooking in the yogurt sauce.

For the yogurt sauce – I cooked this after the dumplings were finished baking in the oven.  I poured the yogurt and all other ingredients in a saucepan and stirred them up before turning on the stove.  Once combined I turned the stovetop on to medium-high.  It came to a slow boil and then I gently dropped in the dumplings.  Then let it simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally so the dumplings won’t stick to the bottom.  Meanwhile I toasted 3 cloves of minced garlic in butter and oil until golden then added that to the yogurt sauce.  Then I added the mint and parsley.

I’m licking my chops as I’m writing this. :)

Shish Barak

I’m so happy for you now.  You have a new recipe that you’re gonna love!

Lamb Dumplings in Garlic Yogurt Sauce – Shish Barak
I got about 40 pieces from this. That includes the 4 I popped into my mouth right out of the oven and burned my mouth.
  • ~~~~~Dough~~~~~
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ~~~~~Lamb~~~~~
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups ground lamb or beef, or turkey
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • ~~~~~Yogurt Sauce~~~~~
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (Dannon) (greek yogurt is fine)
  • 1½ cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint, or 1 teaspoon fresh
  • 1 teaspoon parsley chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. ~~~~~Dough~~~~~
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the dough ingredients. Turn the mixer the #1 to combine
  3. When combined turn the mixer to #3 and let knead until the dough comes together. It will clean the bowl
  4. Remove to a lightly oiled glass bowl and let rest for 30 minutes
  5. Cut the dough in 2 or 3 pieces. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. This step is to make it easier to work with.
  6. Working with 1 piece at a time roll out to about ⅛ inch thick
  7. Cut 2 inch rounds and fill each with about 1 teaspoon of lamb. Top with toasted almonds
  8. Fold the dough over, pinch all around the edges, then fold the 2 pointy ends together.
  9. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  10. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes
  11. ~~~~~Lamb~~~~~
  12. In a non-stick skillet heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the onions and the spices. Sauté until translucent. About 5 minutes
  13. Add the lamb and sauté until no longer pink
  14. Set aside to cool
  15. ~~~~~Yogurt Sauce~~~~~
  16. In a COLD medium sized saucepan add the yogurt and the next 4 ingredients. Wisk until well combined
  17. Turn the stove on to medium-high.
  18. Let it come to a low boil then gently drop in the dumplings
  19. Turn the heat to simmer and let it simmer for 15 minutes
  20. In a skillet heat the olive oil and butter. Add the minced garlic and sauté until golden. Stir this into the simmering yogurt and dumplings
  21. Stir in the herbs
  22. Serve and enjoy!

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