Chuchvara

Uzbek dumplings

 

ChuchvaraChuchvara (dushpara, dyushbara, tushpara, chuchpara) is a dish with a very strange name for a traveler, which means dumplings only. It can be compared with Russian dumplings or italian ravioli. However, Uzbek chuchvara have several important differences from Russian dumplings and ravioli:
- chuchvara is much smaller in size;
- chuchvara stuffing is made of finely chopped meat instead of forcemeat, they also never use pork;
- chuchvara is boiled not in “clean” broth, but in broth with fried meat, vegetables and greens, so it turns out that chuchvara is a soup, almost "shurpa with dumplings";
- chuchvara also differs from dumplings with its form: dough for chuchvara is never rolled out  separately for each dumpling, but a single large piece of dough is rolled, which then is cut into small squares (as small as you can use for shaping the dumplings).

Uzbek cuisine is rich in diversity and colors, so the stuffing for chuchvara can be absolutely different, as there are several ways of cooking chuchvara. For example:
- for classic chuchvara, lamb or beef cut into small pieces can be used, then onions cut into small cubes should be added;
Chuchvara- to cook osh kuktli chuchvara, you will need finely chopped greens with onions and tail fat. Sauté the ingredients on a low heat. Then add 2-3 finely chopped hardboiled eggs to the fried green stuffing.
- kovurma chuchvara (fried chuchvara). This type of chuchvara is mainly cooked for the religious holiday of Eid for a treat. Cooking procedures are the same as for common chuchvara, but the stuffing is pre-fried and then, after it has cooled, it is used for “molding” chuchvara. Then chuchvaras are put into the hot oil (in kazan or deep fryer) and fried until ready. The ready dish may be dusted with powdered sugar;
- ugra chuchvara is cooked using the same recipe, but meatballs and noodles should be added into the broth.

There is such a variety of chuchvara alone in the national cuisine of Uzbekistan. Chuchvara is served with sour cream or sour milk and greens.

While Uzbek flatbread  and samsa is a single cooked and not factory-made product, factory produced chuchvara can be purchased in almost every supermarket and small shops in Uzbekistan. Therefore, if you are in Uzbekistan and suddenly want (which is unlikely, but still) to cook typical dumplings, then look for packages with the "chuchvara". They can be with beef (mol gushtidan) or with lamb (kui gushtidan) stuffing, but you will never meet chuchvara with pork in Uzbek cuisine.

ChuchvaraYou can also cook chuchvara at home. Here is a simple chuchvara recipe:

Dough for chuchvara :

  • flour 500 g.;
  • 1 egg (to taste);
  • 1 table spoon of salt;
  • near 0.5 glass of water. Depends on the grade and quality of flour. For this recipe, the dough should be tight but elastic.

Stuffing for chuchvara:

  • 500g of lamb (beef) ( you can use lamb and beef in 50/50 ratio);
  • 1 tea spoon of salt, black pepper to taste;
  • 4-5 small onions.
  • You can add fat to taste.

ChuchvaraBroth for chuchvara:

  • meat on the bone - 400 g.;
  • 1-2 onions;
  • 1-2 carrots;
  • 1 tomato or a spoon of tomato paste.

How to cook chuchvara. Should you add an egg to dough? Here the opinions of the Uzbek chefs are divided. Some add an egg, others believe that it spoils the taste of the dough, and exclude it from the recipe. Nevertheless, without the egg, the dough definitely becomes softer. This gives the dish a special flavor.

After you mix tight dough, roll it into a ball and cover with blanket or put into a bag, leave it “resting” for 20-30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, we should cook broth and stuffing. Fry the meat on bone and then add onion cut in cubes, carrots. The last ingredient we put into the kazan is grated tomato without skin. After, pour some water (or broth), add salt and pepper and boil until the meat is ready. You can also add some greens to taste (dill, parsley).

To cook stuffing, you will need some finely chopped meat and onions. Add salt, pepper and grated cumin.

ChuchvaraChuchvara is unusual in its shaping. After dough has “rested”, it should be rolled out in thin piece and cut in squares - the smaller are squares the better is chuchvara, and the more respect the host shows the guest, serving this dish. The stuffing is put into the middle of the square so that one can shape a dumpling. After that, you should connect the opposite corners, pinching all the seams, you will get a triangle, then connect the two lower corners. In form, it is the Russian “pelmeni” dumpling, but with a triangular cap at the top.

The dish should be boiled the same as the typical dumplings - 12-15 minutes. When the chuchvara is almost ready, you can take them out of the broth in which they were boiled and put into the brazier. Then this dish will become colorful, and the broth will remain clean and without glutinous taste, which some do not like.

To cook such chuchvar is a true pleasure. Experiment and you will succeed, your loved ones will ask more!

Bon Appetit!

Photos:

Chuchvara Chuchvara Chuchvara Chuchvara
Chuchvara Chuchvara Chuchvara

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