These dumplings are crafted with a lace-like pinch around the edges, characteristic to Russian-style dumplings called vareniki. The spelt dough is a breeze to make and very manageable, with no eggs involved. The green, tender filling includes seasonal spring-ingredients like asparagus, peas and basil. Slideshow: More Dumpling Recipes 

April 2015


Credit: Photo © Anya Kassoff

Recipe Summary test

1 hr 10 mins
Makes about 60-65 dumplings




Make the dough
  • Combine the flours with the salt in a large mixing bowl. Add oil and work it in with your hands.

  • Slowly pour boiling water in, stirring. Knead into a soft dough, cover and let rest while making the filling.

Make the filling
  • Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add shallots, ginger and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes.

  • Add in asparagus, snow peas and green peas. Sauté until vegetables are bright green, about 4-5 minutes. Add salt and lemon juice. Remove from heat and let cool.

Make the dumplings
  • Flour working surface with the light spelt flour. Cut one medium-sized piece at a time from the dough and roll with hands into a rope of even thickness.

  • Cut the rope into small pieces. Roll each piece in the flour and press into a round disk. Roll each disc into a 1/8-inch-thick dumpling skin. Add the basil into the filling if using.

  • Fill each skin with a small amount of filling. Pinch both edges together to enclose the filling, making sure that the dumpling is sealed securely. Place finished dumplings on a parchment paper-covered tray.

  • Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cook immediately or freeze. Transfer into large Ziplock bags once hard and keep frozen until ready to use, within one month.

  • To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add dumplings and gently stir, making sure that they're not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil for 3-4 minutes, until the dumplings float to the surface. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add ghee or any mild tasting oil and mix, ensuring that the dumplings don’t stick together. Serve with your favorite pesto, chimichurri or the traditional Russian way—with sour cream (good plain yogurt will work as well).


Alternatively, you can divide all the dough into two portions and roll one portion at a time to be 1/8 inch thick. Then cut out uniform skins using a glass or cookie cutter. Re-shape, re-roll and re-cut the scraps until all the dough is used up. Keep the skins covered.