Mákos Nudli (Poppy Seed Gnocchi)
(Pronunciation: “Mah-kosh Nood-lee”)
This dish caught me off guard; my mother never made it, so I never tasted it. However, this surprisingly turned out to be one of the tastiest Hungarian dishes I’ve ever tried! ヽ(*≧ω≦)ﾉ
So “nudli” is similar to the Italian “gnocchi”, in the sense that they’re both dumplings made from potatoes, flour and eggs, but the English translation for “nudli” is actually “Shlishkes“, so it’s technically different, but I translated it to “gnocchi” because literally nobody knows what “shlishkes” are. (´･ω･`)
“Shlishkes” are usually served covered in toasted breadcrumbs and topped with powdered sugar and jam, in which case the dish is simply referred to as “nudli”, but for this dish, we’ll be using mák, or poppy seeds. (If you can’t get poppy seeds or just don’t have any means of grinding them, you could totally do this with breadcrumbs toasted in butter!)
Ingredients (serves 4)
250g (around 2 cups) flour*
100g poppy seeds**
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp (28g) butter****
powdered sugar to serve*****
1. Rinse your potatoes thoroughly and place them into a pot of boiling salted water. Cook uncovered at a simmer for 15 minutes or until fork tender.
2. Remove potatoes from the water (but do not remove the water from the pot), and mash them with a potato ricer. When working with a large amount of potatoes, a potato masher may not do a thorough enough job, so use a potato ricer if you have one.
3. Add your egg and salt first, mix well, then add your flour and knead the dough with 1 hand (so you can still use the other to add more flour if necessary) until you got a nice ball of evenly mixed, not very sticky dough. Knead only until the dough is evenly mixed, and DO NOT OVER-KNEAD. Add more flour only if the dough is absolutely too sticky to work with.
4. On a lightly-floured surface, take small portions of your dough at a time and roll them out into ropes as thin as you can make them without tearing them (about 2 cms in diameter), then cut those ropes into pieces, called nudli, about 3-4 cm long. Roll the individual pieces gently (or vigorously, depending on their firmness) for even firmer and better shaped nudli.
5. Toss the nudli back into the pot of boiling water and cook them at a gentle simmer until they rise to the top. Should take no more than 2 minutes. Do this in batches if you need to.
6. Remove nudli from the water with a strainer and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from turning to mush. Let them cool/dry for a bit before serving.
7. Get out your butter and melt it (either 30 seconds in the microwave or placing a bowl containing your butter over the hot water to heat it up until it’s liquidy) and pour it onto the nudli. It is recommended to place the nudli into a bowl before doing this.
8. Pour on your grated poppy seeds and either toss with your hands or gently shake the bowl until all your nudli is evenly coated with the butter and poppy seeds.
9. Portion out, and serve sprinkled generously with powdered sugar. Some people like jam, too. (´･ω･`)
*More or less. It’s a good idea to start off with 2 cups per kilo of potatoes, then add more if absolutely necessary, but I was able to get away without adding any extra flour whatsoever. The trick is not to over-knead the dough, since after awhile it’ll start to get sticky again. Remember; flour spoils the taste, so it would be ideal to get away with using as little flour as possible, without tearing the nudli. (´･ω･`)
**You’ll need a coffee grinder, magic bullet (miniature blender), grater, etc. to grind these before attempting this recipe. If you don’t have one, go out and get one before attempting this recipe, otherwise, you could use breadcrumbs lightly toasted with butter instead, and then leave out the other portion of butter.
***Normally I do ingredients “per serving”, but that would cause some confusion about the egg. Basically, 1 egg is enough to hold together 1kg of potatoes worth of nudli, and I wanted that to be clear.
****Technically this is optional, you know, if you don’t want your Mákos Nudli to be tasty. If you like tasty food, add it!!! ( ꒪Д꒪)ノ
*****Some people mix the powdered sugar in directly with their ground poppy seeds, but really, some people like their food sweeter than others, so it’s a good idea to give whomever you’re serving the control over their own food’s sweetness. I usually go ~2 teaspoons on my own portion.
(makos, makosnudli, mákosnudli, mák, mak)