Daring Cooks June Challenge-Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

This month’s challenge was hosted by the amazing Jen from use real butter. She challenged us to make Chinese dumplings / potstickers (a.k.a. “gyoza” in Japanese). As usual, the original recipe and instructions can be found at The Daring Kitchen, and you can also find some very useful tips and pictures on Jen’s blog.
I loved this recipe!…Thanks to my sister, who taught me how to make these wonderful dumplings years ago and now and then when I am not feeling  lazy I treat my family to a traditional Turkish dinner dish…  It is impossible for a Turkish mom not to know how to make these delicious dumplings (Manti)
Turkish recipe:

– 550 g (20 oz.) or 5 glassfuls of flour
– 3 tsp. salt
– 2 eggs
– 10 2/3 glassfuls of water
– 2 small onions
– 250 g (9 oz.) ground meat
– 6 tbsp. butter or margarine
– 1/2 tsp. paprika
– 1/2 tsp. pepper
– 6 cloves of garlic
– 660 g (22 oz.) yogurt
  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl, setting aside 1/3 cup.
  2. To the rest, add 1 tsp. salt. Mix well and make a well in the center. Place the eggs in the well.
  3. Make a firm dough, gradually adding 2/3 cup water. Continue kneading for 7-8 minutes, then divide the dough in half and let rest for 30 minutes covered with a damp cloth.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the finely chopped onion, meat,  1/2 tsp. salt and pepper in a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Roll out the first piece of dough to a 1 mm thickness.
  6. Place 1 spoonful of filling at regular intervals on the dough.
  7. Brush the dough between the filling with water.
  8. Roll out the second sheet of dough slightly larger than the first and lay over the first.
  9. Using your fingers, seal thedumpling by pressing around each mound of filling.
  10. Using a knife, cut the dumplings into individual circles and bake them for 15 minutes at 350F.
  11. Bring some salted water to a boil in a large pot; add the dumplings and cook for 15-20 minutes, until they rise to the surface.

Sauce and serving

  1. Meanwhile, wash and chop the tomato; sauté for a few minutes in the butter; add the paprika;
  2. Peel the garlic and crush in a mortar; add the yogurt and mix well to make a smooth sauce.
  3. Just before serving, place the ravioli in a serving platter. Pour on the garlic-yogurt sauce and garnish with the tomato sauce.

Melomakarona(Greek) /Kalburabasti(Turkish)

These honey deep spice cookies belong to Mediterranean region. I know that  melomakorano/kalburabasti  cookies are traditional to Greeks and Turks. Melomakaronas are Christmas treats for Greeks and Kalburabasti is also served for weddings/holidays  among Turks.

They are one of my favorite cookies and  my daughter’s, as well. I have to give her credit for this delicious dessert. For once, I was the one being pampered while I watched her make her first melomakarona/kalburabasti.

kalbura basti



  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 3 3/4 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • 2 cups Greek amber honey
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat together first 4 ingredients. Sift flour, baking powder, cloves, and baking soda 3 times.
  3. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the oil mixture and knead gently.
  4. Pinch off 2 1/2 tbsp. portions of dough and form into little flat oblongs (football shapes). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet 2-inches apart.
  5. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.


  1. Boil honey, sugar, water, and cinnamon for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour syrup over hot melomakarona cookies.
  3. Allow to soak for 15 minutes, take them out of the syrup and place on large plate.
  4. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts