Rice Flour Dumplings (Varenyky, Perogie) – Gluten Free Recipe and Tips
You can easily find them at Eastern European places, such as parish picnics, ethnic festivals, specialty delicatessen, or even in the freezer section of your favorite grocer.
They all don’t taste the same, because “you get what you pay for”, as the old saying goes, but if you can’t have the original, you have to settle for a copy.
Recently one of my readers inquired about some possibilities of creating varenyky dough from gluten-free flour, as they love these dumplings, but are seriously allergic to wheat.
I took their suggestion as a challenge for myself, and today I used White Rice flour to make the dough, and mashed Sweet Potatoes (see TIP below the post) for the filling.
The process had to be slightly altered, but the final results were quite pleasing.
I can’t wait to test the Gluten Free Pizza Crust Whole Grain Mix, which, according to the list of ingredients, contains several different grain flours, and sounds absolutely amazing.
Stay tuned to the next post, if this interests you, or pass the word on to anyone you know who would benefit from this information.
This recipe yields 27 dumplings.
- 2 cups White Rice flour
- 1 Tbs. corn starch
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 whole egg, slightly beaten
- 1 Tbs. sour cream
- 1 Tbs. canola oil
- 1/2 cup milk (whole or low fat)
- 1/4 cup water
- Place the Rice flour, corn starch and salt, on a work surface.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour ( same technique as in this post ).
- Add egg, sour cream, and canola oil.
- Work it in as shown in the previous post.
- Mix milk with water, and gradually mix it in with the flour.
- Once all the ingredients are incorporated into the flour, knead it to form a ball of dough.
- This dough does not have the elasticity like the regular white flour dough, and it does not need to rest (since it does not contain gluten).
- Since this dough is difficult to roll out, I was pinching it piece by piece, and formed walnut size balls (27 in total).
- Working with one dough ball at a time, using your fingers and palm of your hand, flatten it to form a circle (about 2 inches in diameter).
- Place your favorite filling in the middle, and gently pinch sides together (watch the technique in the previous post).
- Use corn flour to dip your fingers in, if you find the dough too sticky for pinching.
- I also pressed down the pinched edges, to prevent them from over cooking and opening up.
- Fill a 6 quarts pot halfway with water, add 1 tsp salt and 1 Tbs. canola oil, bring to boil.
- Drop about 10 pieces of varenyky into boiling water, loosen them around gently with a wooden spoon.
- Bring back to boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove cooked varenyky with a slotted spoon, onto a strainer, to drip off.
- Place them on a plate to cool off for later use, or serve them hot with melted butter.
Since I used Sweet Potato filling, I served my dumplings with a mixture of melted butter and brown sugar.
This dough is a little bit firmer, and it has a light rice flavor to it. Something to get used to, if you always only had the traditional ones. However, I feel it is much lighter to digest, and great for those of you with wheat (gluten) allergies.
These dumplings would not pair well with white potato filling, but I can almost taste the goodness of fruity fillings: chopped fresh cherries, plums, apples, apricots; or veggie fillings of cabbage, spinach, or sauerkraut.
If you like them crunchy, you can fry them on both sides to a golden color , in oil or butter, just before serving.
So if you love varenyky (perogy), but can not tolerate the wheat, or gluten, you will be happy with this recipe.
To prepare the filling, I used one large Sweet Potato. Peeled and cut up the potato. Boiled until soft. Drained the water. Added 1 Tbs. of butter, and mashed well. Cooled off, before filing dumplings.