Makes 40-50 dumplings. Resting time 30 minutes.  A choice of 3 fillings is given below.

In South Africa you can taste the most delicious homemade varenyky by Ukrainian Bakery in Cape Town.


Water dough

1 large egg, lightly beaten

150 ml (¼ pint) water

300–350 g (10–11½ oz) ‘00’ or plain flour, plus extra for dusting

fine sea salt


Curd cheese filling (varenyky z syrom)

150 g (5 oz) Polish twaróg (cow’s curd cheese)

1 egg, lightly beaten

50 g (2 oz) butter, melted

50 ml (2 fl. oz) soured cream or creamy Greek yoghurt, to serve


Cabbage filling (varenyky z kapustoyu)

1 tbsp sunflower oil

300 g (10 oz) kvashena kapusta (sauerkraut)

50 g (2 oz) butter, melted

50 ml (2 fl. oz) soured cream or creamy Greek yoghurt, to serve


Potato filling with crispy pork (varenyky z kartopleyu)

150 g (5 oz) potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp sunflower oil

100 g (3½ oz) shallots, sliced

100 g (2 oz) pancetta, sliced into lardons

sea salt flakes

To make the dough:

  1. Mix the egg and water together in a bowl, then gradually add the flour and mix it in well, adding more flour if necessary.
  2. Knead the dough on a well-floured work surface until it stops sticking to your hands – a firm (or as we call it in Ukraine, tight), elastic dough.
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to help the gluten relax.


The filling:

  1. For the curd cheese filling, mix the cheese and egg together in a bowl and season heavily with salt – it should be slightly over-salted.
  2. For the cabbage filling, heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the cabbage for 5 minutes. Place it in a bowl and let it cool completely.
  3. For the potato filling, place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water, season well with salt and bring them to the boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and mash them until smooth.


  1. Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and fry the shallots over medium-low heat for about 15–20 minutes until starting to colour nicely. Mix the shallots with the potatoes and set aside.
  2. Place the lardons in a dry frying pan and fry them over medium heat until crispy. Tip them into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Flour your work surface generously and roll out the dough into a 30 cm (12 inch) diameter circle or until the dough is a bit less than 2 mm (about .16 inch) thick.
  4. Cut the dough into 3 cm (1. inch) squares – you should end up with about 20–25. (Don’t throw away the off cuts. These can be cooked along with the stuffed pasta). Repeat with the second piece of dough.
  5. Have a well-floured tray ready. Pop 1 teaspoon of the filling into the centre of each square, fold in half diagonally to create a triangular-shaped dumpling and press the edges together to seal. Place the varenyky on the floured tray, making sure that they don’t touch each other.


The fillings:

  1. For the curd cheese- and cabbage-filled varenyky, have a large bowl with the melted butter ready. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and carefully pop the varenyky in. Boil them for a couple of minutes or until they float to the surface. Drain the varenyky well.
  2. For the curd cheese and cabbage varenyky, tip them into the melted butter and swirl them around, then serve with the soured cream or Greek yogurt.
  3. For the potato with crispy pork varenyky, sprinkle over the lardons and pour over any fat and serve.


Enjoy your meal!  Smachnoho!

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