Mysterious Russian Food Kundyum

Did kundyum really exist or were they invented by one of the writers about the Russian cuisine?

Modern culinary historians have to reconstruct many forgotten recipes. One of such dishes is kundyum. A full description of this Russian dish was given by William Pohlebkin in his book. And after some time he was accused that he simply … made up the recipe of kundyum. So, did such dish really exist?

Pohlebkin about Kundyumy

The Russian chef gives the following description of kundyum. They are special dumplings with mushroom filling made with lenten dough. However, kundyums are different from dumplings in that you don’t need to boil them. First they are baked, and then stewed in a special broth.

The researchers found no documents confirming the accuracy of the recipe. For a long time it was a mystery where Pohlebkin found that recipe. Much later researchers found a note with the recipe of kundyumin the “Cookbook dictionary” from 1796 (the author – Vasily Levshin).

Was Kundyum always a Lenten Dish? 

In his description of kundyum Pohlebkin insists that this dish was exclusively for the lenten table. But researchers have found mentions of kundyum with eggs. And this ingredient was never lenten in Russia. Kundyumis mentioned in lists of cheap dishes alongside meat dishes. Accordingly, they could be prepared in many different ways and with a variety of fillings.

Kundyum Recipe from Pokhlebkin

In vegetable oil (4 tablespoons) you should add an almost full cup of boiling water, then add 2 cups of flour and knead the dough. Stuffing is made ​​from boiled and finely chopped mushrooms, mixed with rice (or buckwheat) porridge and eggs. The dough is rolled out very thinly, cut into squares. Then you put on each of them the filling and form the so-called “ears.” Kundyums are then laid out on a greased baking sheet and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes. Then you place them in a baking pot, cover with an herb broth (made with bay leaf, pepper, garlic and parsley), add salt and bake for another 15 minutes. Kundyums are served with sour cream, and sometimes – in the broth.

Bon appetite!


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