Nokedli or Spaetzle
These little dumplings are simple to make once you get the hang of it. Galuska are the preferred accompaniment for pörkölt and paprikás, and are also often served with eggs and lettuce for a super-simple lunch at the étkezde. You’ll save yourself lots of trouble (and elbow grease) if you have a decent a spaetzle plane (an instrument with small holes through which you push the batter through, directly into the water), which you can buy at any kitchen supply store in Hungary or at the markets. But they can also be made by simply tearing pieces of the dough and dropping them into the hot water. The amount of water required for the dough will vary according to the type of flour you use and the size of the eggs. Start with a half-cup and slowly keep adding until the batter is elastic, and not too sticky to work with. Also: you might want to double the recipe, since half of these little dumplings always seem to disappear by the time the meal is ready.
435 g (3 cups) flour
2 tsp. salt
240 ml (1 cup) water, plus more as needed (up to about 2 cups/480 ml)
Lard, melted (optional)
With a wooden spoon, mix the flour and salt. Make a well in the center.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and the water and then add to the flour mixture. Mix until just blended. Overworking the batter will make the dumplings rubbery.
Cover and let the mixture rest for at least 10 minutes, until bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Push the batter through a spaetzle plane propped on the pot, or use a spoon to tear off pieces of the batter and drop them into the water.
The dumplings are ready when they rise to the top of the water. Remove them with a slotted spoon and, if desired, toss with the melted lard.
Makes: 4 side-dish servings
More Hungarian Recipes to come!