Mom’s Recipes

Aushak (Afghan Leek Dumplings With Yogurt and Meat Sauce)



2 hours

total time


2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large leeks (about 2 pounds total) trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions (about 8), thinly sliced

½ teaspoons fine salt, or more as needed

½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

flour, for dusting

36 dumpling wrappers, thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion (about 8 ounces), chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or minced

1 pound ground beef (80 percent)

2 teaspoons paprika

1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

½ teaspoons fine salt

½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 cup tomato sauce

1 cup plain full-fat yogurt

1 garlic clove, minced or finely grated

1 tablespoon dried mint

fine salt, to taste


Make the dumplings: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the leeks and scallions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and crushed red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until most of the moisture has evaporated, another 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Fill a small bowl with water. Generously dust a large, rimmed baking sheet with flour.

Place a dumpling wrapper on the countertop and add about 1 tablespoon of the leek mixture into the center of the wrapper. Dab your index finger in the water and dampen the edges of the wrapper. Fold in half diagonally to form a half triangle (or half circle if the wrappers are round), pressing the edges together to seal and being careful to squeeze out any pockets of air in the dumpling.

Set the formed dumplings on the prepared baking sheet; cover with a kitchen towel until ready to use. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling until you run out of one or the other.

Make the meat sauce: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as much as possible. Season with the paprika, coriander, salt and black pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute or so.

Add the tomato sauce, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the meat is cooked through and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Makes about 3 cups.

Make the yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, garlic, dried mint and salt. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, if desired. Makes about 1 cup.

When ready to serve, fill a 3-quart pot three-quarters of the way with salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Carefully drop in 6 dumplings and cook, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, until the dumplings float to the top and appear translucent, about 5 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

Top with meat sauce and garnish with yogurt sauce and serve family-style.


Serving Size

Per serving (6 dumplings



Total Fat

27 g

Saturated Fat

8 g

Unsaturated Fat


Trans Fat



57 mg


535 mg

Total Carbohydrate

60 g

Dietary Fiber

6 g

Total Sugars

12 g


22 g



2 hours

total time
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