Aushak
INGREDIENTS
  • Servings: 6-8
  • Meat Sauce:
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 finely diced onion
  • 3 cloves of finely diced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp ground mace or 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro; chopped
  • 4 oz Tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of water (you might not need it all)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Yogurt Sauce:
  • 1 cup Greek style yogurt
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Mint; Chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried Dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dumplings:
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 1 bunch of green onions, Green Parts ONLY and chopped finely
  • 2 cups sliced leeks; white and light green parts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes or 1 inch Red Pepper Paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten and mixed with a teaspoon of water
DIRECTIONS
  1. Meat Sauce:
  2. Sauté the onions in olive oil until soft.
  3. Add beef, garlic, coriander, mace, cilantro and ginger and sauté until cooked.
  4. Add 1/4 a cup of water and simmer slowly until the water is reduced by half.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for five more minutes.
  6. Add water if the mix starts to look dry.
  7. It should be as thick as a Ragù alla Bolognese (thick but not dry).
  8. Cover and set aside in refrigerator.
  9. The meat will absorb the flavors while resting
  10. Yogurt Sauce:
  11. Combine ingredients, cover, and set aside in refrigerator.
  12. Dumplings:
  13. Sauté the leeks and green onions gently in olive oil until soft but not brown. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, cilantro and red pepper flake.
  14. Let cool slightly then proceed with dumpling assembly.
  15. Assemble Dumplings
  16. Place 1 1/2 tsp of filling on a wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with a thin layer of egg, fold the wrapper onto itself to form a triangle, and press firmly to seal, making sure to expell all the air or they will explode while cooking.
  17. Set on a lightly floured baking sheet, and repeat until you run out of filling.
  18. Keep the baking sheet covered with a tea towel over a sheet of plastic wrap to help retain moisture in the wonton wrappers.
  19. Boil two quarts of water to a rolling boil and add 2 tsp of salt.
  20. Drop the aushak and boil until translucent and they begin to float (2-3 minutes)
  21. If you are boiling previously frozen ashrak, they will take about 5-6 minutes.
  22. While you are boiling your aushak, reheat the meat sauce over low flame.
  23. Serve:
  24. Drain the cooked aushak and arrange them on a warmed plate.
  25. Spoon little mounds of Meat sauce over the dumplings they spoon little mounds of the chilled yogurt sauce in between.
  26. Serve immediately.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
Afghan food really doesn't get a lot of attention. This is a traditional leek and scallion filled dumpling spiked with cilantro and chili pepper. It is then served with a warm spiced meat sauce similar to a really thick Ragu alla Bolognese along with a pallette cooling chilled minted yoghurt sauce. The Two Sauces can be made ahead of time and the dumplings can be frozen in a single layer and then stored in a freezer bag for later use. In fact, I usually end up freezing about 1/2 of the dumplings from this recipe.