I recently received two requests for a recipe for a much loved “dumpling” many of my readers remember from their Nana’s (grandmother) kitchen; farina dumplings.
These dumplings are often served in a rich stock as a soup and, although these are called “Hungarian Farina Dumplings”, they are well-known all over Eastern Europe (“the Old Country”) and in Slavic cuisine. Farina dumplings can be thought of as the Hungarian equivalent of matzoh balls.
What it is and what it’s not
Farina flour is coarse (resembling grits) and is made from ground semolina wheat kernels. You may be familiar with the use of semolina flour in the making of pasta. Grits are made from corn.
In Eastern European, Slavic, and Pennsylvania Dutch (German) cuisine, most cooks are skilled in the art of how to stretch ingredients or meals. In these cuisines, dumplings (or dough balls, pieces, or squares) reign supreme. These budget-stretching tidbits are found in everything ranging from soups, goulash, halushki, and even desserts in a variety of shapes and textures.
Farina dumplings are firmer than the all-purpose flour variety and make the perfect addition to soups, whether chicken, beef, veal, or even vegetable- based.
The dumplings can even be made ahead; cook, then store them in enough broth to keep them moist in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use in your dish or soup.
To shape the dumplings for cooking, dip two small spoons in the boiling broth — the teaspoons from your kitchen cutlery set work well — then scoop up some of the farina mix with one spoon in a oval shape then push it off the spoon into the boiling liquid with the other spoon. Repeat with all the farina mixture. Cooking time will vary depending on the size you make the dumplings.
Hungarian Farina Dumplings (Griz Galuska)Course: Side Dishes, Entrees, SoupsCuisine: Eastern European, Coal RegionDifficulty: Easy
Dumplings made from farina rather than all-purpose flour; often used in soups.
2 small whole eggs, beaten (see “Note” at end of recipe)
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup regular farina (not quick-cooking or instant)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Stock or broth of your choice to cook the dumplings, 4 cups or more.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter until it is light and smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the farina and salt and mix thoroughly. Set aside for 30 minutes; mixture will thicken
- Bring stock/broth/soup to boil. Using two small spoons, dip each in the hot liquid. scoop up an oval shape dumpling the size you desire on one spoon and push it off into the broth using the other spoon. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Simmer and cook anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the dumplings. They will start to float, then cook them until they are the degree of tenderness you desire. Test by cutting or biting through the middle.
- Use as desired.
- If you use large eggs, you might need to add a couple teaspoons more farina to the mix.