I first tasted Aushak at the Salang Pass restaurant in Fremont, a city where a lot of Afghan immigrants have settled. Aushak is proof that Marco Polo made his way through that part of the world (I mean through the Hindu Kush, not Fremont!) enroute back from China. Aushak is traditionally made with beef - it's the Afghan version of ravioli with a meat sugo sauce, except that the Afghans use spices such as cardamon, sumac, coriander etc instead of herbs like oregano and basil.
I prefer the vegetarian version of Aushak, and instead of a flat dumpling, I make a "tortellini" shaped dumpling that can hold the sauce better. In line with Mr. Polo's "Chinese" influence, I recommend using wonton skin to make the dumplings.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon Oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger, peeled, grated
- 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 Cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
- Â½ teaspoon sumac
- Â½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Â½ cups water
- 1 cup yellow split peas, cooked
- 3 leeks (about 4 cups chopped)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Â½ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 48 pieces square wonton wrappers
- Some mint, chiffonade
- To make the yogurt sauce: Mix all the ingredients together. Set aside.
- To make the tomato sauce: Heat oil in a pan set over medium heat. Add chopped onions, and sautÃ© until translucent about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic, ginger and cumin and sautÃ©, 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until seeds are browned and oil is fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, sumac, cayenne, salt, pepper and water.
- Simmer gently over low heat until sauce is redued by half and is thick. Stir in cooked split peas. Keep warm until aushaks are ready to serve.
- To make the aushak filling: Cut off the dark green hard leaves from the leek. Keeping the roots to hold the leeks together, halve lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse under the faucet to remove sand. Slice finely cross, wise, discard the root.
- Microwave leeks until soft, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Combine leeks with salt, cilantro and let it cool.
- Folding the dumplings: On a clean surface lightly dusted with cornstarch, brush edges of the wonton wrapper with a little water (just slightly damp). Mound about 1 Tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Bring opposite corners together to make a triangle and press to seal, making sure to remove any air from the filling. Make sure seams are well-sealed. Next bring the two corners along the long edge of the triangle to meet together and overlap them. Press the two corners together to fuse them. Place on a tray dusted with cornstarch.
- Cooking the dumplings: Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop in about 12 dumplings in at a time, give it a stir so that the dumplings do not stick to the bottom. Wait 2-3 minutes or until the dumplings floats up. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Serving: Place dumplings in a plate, ladle over tomato sauce and drizzle with yogurt sauce. Garnish with mint.
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 560g|
|Recipe makes 6 servings|
|Calories from Fat 117||12%|
|Total Fat 13.19g||16%|
|Saturated Fat 2.18g||9%|
|Trans Fat 0.18g|
|Total Carbs 183.97g||49%|
|Dietary Fiber 16.8g||56%|