Seven dumplings on a spoonIt’s time to party Eurovision style! I’m heading to a friend’s place tonight to celebrate the fashion, the windswept hair, sequins, lights and of course the music. This year’s competition is in Azerbaijan, so I’ve packed Azeri dumplings.

I’ve set myself a real challenge as the meat-filled dumplings of dushbere are tiny. The women of Azerbaijan make the dumplings so small it’s expected they can fit 10 on a tablespoon. I only got as far as seven, even with my tiny fingers.

Plastic containers filled with ingredients

I’ve packed a kit at step 7 of the method, to complete the remaining steps at the party. I’ll let you know how it goes. Have dumplings, will travel!

Serves 6


For dough

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup warm water

For filling

  • 200 g lamb mince
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

For soup

  • 2.25 L water
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 2 chicken stock cubes

For serving

  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • garlic and vinegar sauce (4 crushed garlic cloves in 1 cup red wine vinegar)
  1. Mix dough ingredients well. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Allow the dough to rest for an hour.
  2. While waiting for the dough to rest, combine the filling ingredients.
  3. Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured surface. Keep rolling until the dough is 1-2 mm thick.
  4. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into a grid of 2 x 2 cm squares.
  5. Place a small pinch of filling in the middle of each square.
  6. To seal each dumpling, fold a square into a triangle. Then, bring the longest sides of the triangle together. Press them to seal. Space the dumplings on a tray sprayed with oil to stop them sticking together.
  7. Blend tomatoes in one cup of water with the stock cubes. (At this point I packed my goodies to head to the party.)
  8. Add the tomato mix and the remaining 2 L water to a pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
  9. Gently drop the dumplings into the gently boiling soup. Cook until the dumplings float to the top (7-10 mins).
  10. Serve the soup sprinkled with coriander, with the garlic vinegar on the side to be added to taste.

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