Did You know?
Pelmeni is a national Eastern European (mainly Russian) dish usually
made with minced meat filling, wrapped in thin dough (made out of
flour, eggs, optional milk or water might be added). For filling, any
kind of meat (pork, lamb, beef, or any other) can be used, mixing
several kinds is also popular. By traditional Ural recipe, pelmeni
filling is made with 45% of beef, 35% of lamb, and 20% of pork. Various
spices, such as pepper, onions, and garlic, can also be mixed into
Pelmeni belong to the family of dumplings and are close relatives to
Vareniki, Ukrainian variety of dumplings with filling made of mashed
potatoes or cottage cheese. Pelmeni are also similar to Chinese
The origin of pelmeni is not clear, and many versions exist.
The most widely accepted one is that they were discovered in the Ural
Mountains by Russian explorers and pioneers who found that a similar
dish (called pelnyan - literally "bread ear" in the native language)
consisted of pieces of meat wrapped in very thin bread was being used
by native people.
By other sources, pelmeni were invented by hunters looking for light,
easy-to-prepare and nourishing food to take with them in long hunting
trips, and pelmeni are perfect for this purpose as they can be kept
frozen for a very long period of time without any loss of quality or
flavor, and the water they are boiled in makes a pretty good soup.
In any case, pelmeni are documented to exist in central Russia by the