By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe
My brother and mom’s nickname for me is actually dumpling. When I used to come home from primary and high school, I generally made cock soup, until my mother got home. My only ingredient, apart from Grace Cock Soup, was dumplings. Since then, I have learned how to make soup with all the additions of yam, chocho, potatoe, carrot, thyme, scallion, pepper and Grace Chicken Noodle; but, my Jamaican Dumplings can be seen swimming in their masses.
Jamaican dumplings are quite popular and can practically be called a staple diet in Jamaica. If we don’t have it breakfast, we have it for dinner and maybe lunch too. There are various ways that you can prepare Jamaican Dumplings; the ingredients are generally flour, water and salt. However, cornmeal is used, especially when you making ‘good ole’ peas soup.
Ackee and Saltfish is the Jamaican National Dish, but it is mostly prepared for breakfast with Fried Dumplings. Here, I have provided you with the Jamaican recipe for both fried and boiled dumplings.
How to make fried dumplings
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Rub in the butter until it is in pieces no larger than peas.
- Mix in water 1 tablespoon at a time just until the mixture is wet enough to form into a ball. The dough should be a firm consistency.
- Knead briefly.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot.
- Break off pieces of the dough and shape into a patty – kind of like a flat biscuit.
- Place just enough of the dumplings in the pan so they are not crowded.
- Fry on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels before serving.
Make sure that you turn down the heat as your Jamaican Fried Dumplings will get hard on the sides and soft around the edges.
They can be served with an array of sides or main dishes; including, but not limited to ackee, saltfish, eggs, stew chicken, fish, callaloo, or meat.
How to make Jamaican Boiled Dumplings
- ½ lb. All purpose Flour
- 1 cup Water
- ½ tsp. Salt
- Mix flour and salt together in a cooking bowl.
- Add half a cup of water to the mix, and then use your hand to knead the flour.
- The flour will look like crumbs; when this happens add a little water each time, and knead until the dough is made and the water is finished.
- If you need to add a little bit more water, do so, but do not let the dough get sappy and soft.
- Tear off pieces of dough about the size of a golf ball
- Roll the golf ball sized pieces of dough and in the palms of your hands to make them feel smooth. If you are right-handed, use the right heel of your palm to press the piece of dough until it is flat. This leaves a dent in the middle of the dough.
- The water should be boiling before you put in the dumplings; add the flat pieces of dough to the pot. Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
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