Like many others, I learned how to prepare dumplings or ’nokedli/galuska’, as it is called in Hungary, from my grandmother. This simple but delicious side dish is an essential part of our cuisine. ‘Nokedli’ is similar to the German ‘spätzle’, but dumplings are also part of the Slovak, Ukrainian, Polish and Romanian cuisine.
Magyarországom has gathered the most important tricks of making the perfect Hungarian dumplings in 5 easy steps.
1. Ingredients (for 4 people)
- 50 dkg flour
- 4 eggs
- approximately 200 ml water
- pinch of salt
Some recipes recommend 1 egg/10 dkg flour, others use milk instead of water or add a bit of sour cream to the dough. However, you should always focus on the consistency. The dough should not be too liquid or too dry, but a little sticky.
2. Mixing the dough
After the ingredients are prepared, you can start mixing the dough. First, pour the flour, the eggs and the salt into a bowl. If you do not add enough eggs, the dough will be too sticky. Start combining the first two ingredients and add water gradually. The secret of good dumplings is that you should not overmix the dough or leave it to rest because it can harden. Put a bigger pot of water to boil (add some salt and oil to the water) before you start mixing the ingredients.
3. Forming the dumplings
You can use a dumpling maker/grater, a teaspoon or a knife to form the dumplings. In the first case, place the grater on top of the pot, fill the sliding basket with the dough and slide it back and forth. I would recommend using a spoon because it allows you to form even and perfectly-shaped ‘nokedli’. Stir the dumplings occasionally, so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
4. Cooking the dumplings
You have to keep it in mind that dumplings do not take much time to cook, so try forming them as quickly as you can. The dumplings are ready when they float to the surface of the water.
5. Rinsing and seasoning
After you drain the cooked dumplings, you can rinse them with water so they do not stick together. However, this step is a bit controversial since it cools the dish. Another solution is to add a bit of oil, fat or butter to the dumplings. You can season the dumplings with some chives or garlic and it is the perfect side dish for chicken paprikash. Beat some eggs, pour them over the dumplings and cook the mixture for a few minutes to get the perfect egg dumplings, ‘tojásos nokedli’ in Hungarian.