Dumplings with a touch of Malta!

Makes 15

Prep time 2 hours

Ingredients for the dough

Water, 75ml
Sunflower oil, ½ tablespoon
Plain flour, 170g, plus extra for dusting

Ingredients for the filling

Maltese sausage meat, 150g
Onion, 70g, diced
Garlic cloves, 2, grated
Cold water, 50ml
Cayenne pepper, pinch
Freshly ground pepper, ½ tsp
Zhoug green harissa, 1 tsp
Dried thyme, 1 tsp
Fennel fronds, 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Sea salt flakes

Ingredients for the sauce

Garlic clove, 1, grated
Lemon, Juice of ½
Tahini, 50g
Olive oil, 2 tbsp.
Pomegranate molasses, 3 tbsp.

Method for the dough

Start by making the dough. In a large mixing bowl, pour the water and oil, then add the flour gradually. Mix everything using your hands. Flour your work surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes to work and stretch the gluten. Do not worry if the dough is tight – it should be that way, as you need it to be strong enough to hold the filling. Seal the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

Method for the filling

Mix the Maltese sausage meat with the diced onion, garlic, half of the measured water, cayenne pepper, thyme, zhoug green harissa, fennel leaves, black pepper, and sea salt flakes. Set aside and leave the mixture to absorb the water for 15-20 minutes. Add the remaining measured water and leave this to stand for another 10 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the pomegranate and tahini sauce. In a small mixing bowl, mix the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, and pomegranate molasses. Set aside.

To Assemble

Flour your work surface and roll the rested dough into a 35cm (14in) square, around 2-3mm thick. Important that the dough is not too thin as it needs to hold quite a heavy filling. Using the rim of a glass, cut out circles from the rolled dough and roll each circle a bit thinner (about 9-10cm diameter).

Place just under a tablespoon of the meat filling in the centre of each rolled circle. With your fingertips, bring the edges of the rolled circle up over the filling, pinching the edges firmly to seal and form a pleated pattern. Keep the filled dumplings covered with a tea towel to prevent drying.

To cook

Boil some well-salted water in a large pan and cook the dumplings in batches of 6-7 for about 8-9 minutes (or until they start floating to the top). Remove from the boiling water and serve hot dipped in the sauce