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Prep Cook Yield Ready In
5 hours 1 hour 50 minutes 4-6 6 hours 50 minutes

Dushpara (Bukharian Meat-Filled Dumplings) Recipe

Hearty and flavorful.

I was 10 years old when I first tried folding dushpara. I watched my savta’s wrinkled hands, crisscrossed with veins, twist and fold and pinch in one artful motion, none of the filling seeping out. The ingredients are relatively simple: dough, meat filling, and a broth-like sauce. I think that they’re supposed to be eaten alone, but I tend to act as though they are a soup, ladling the sauce into a bowl, tearing a hole into the dushpara, and making sure that I catch both liquid and filling in one bite.

To read more about Madison’s search to recreate her grandmother’s duspara, read this from our sister site Alma


  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped + 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour   
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 ¾ lbs tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • salt
  • cilantro, to garnish


  1. Soak the chickpeas in water for 3-4 hours, until the skins can easily be removed.
  2. To make the dough, place the flour into a dish, form a well in the middle, and add the eggs, 1 tsp salt, and enough water that the mix can stick together. Knead the dough into a ball, cover with a towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out the dough until it’s paper-thin. Cut dough into 2 inch squares.
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp oil and sauté the 3 onions for 4-5 minutes. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes, then transfer into a shallow dish to cool.
  5. To form the dumplings, place ½ tsp of filling in the center of a dough square, then fold the strip into a triangle. Pinch the long edges together. Fold the unfilled end of the strip upward and wrap the filled end around your index finger — similar to forming tortellini. Connect the edges and pinch together to seal.
  6. Make the sauce. Start by sautéing onions in the remaining oil for 5-6 minutes. Add 7 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the skinned chickpeas and cook for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes, salt, and ¼ tsp ground pepper, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  8. Cook your dumplings in boiling, salted water until they float to the surface.
  9. To serve, transfer the cooked dumplings into a dish, top with the sauce, and garnish with cilantro.

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