Lazy Kuban dumplings in tomato sauce (RECIPE)

These dumplings are hearty, easy to make and soaked in summer!

These dumplings are hearty, easy to make and soaked in summer!

Yulia Mulino
If you want to eat well in summer but don’t want to spend time cooking something complicated, then try this recipe for lazy dumplings.

It's hard to imagine that anyone would want to mold dumplings for the whole family when the weather is red-hot outside. But Kuban strumby - no problem! Strumby is a dumpling version made in Kuban in the south of Russia.

Kuban cuisine is a mixture of culinary traditions, and with strumby you can guess that it’s dumplings with meat, Ukrainian galushki and German strudel combined. 

Strumby are made of flour and meat, and their signature feature is in the way they’re shaped. These are small meat rolls stewed in tomato sauce. They are called ‘lazy’ because you roll out the dough only once, make a big roll filled with meat and then cut it into circles. They are ‘lazy’ in comparison to conventional dumplings, and you’ll need to spend some time on them (up to one hour). But you’ll be delighted by the result.

Another distinguishing feature of these lazy dumplings is that they’re not boiled, but first fried and then stewed in a special tomato and cream sauce. The summer version definitely should contain fresh, fragrant tomatoes that Kuban is rich in. I chose the sweetest that I could find in the local grocery store.

You can use any kind of meat, but it’s better to use mixed stuffing. I have beef, pork and the fatty part of a brisket. Some families follow long-standing traditions, such as mincing the meat into small pieces with a special cleaver rather than using a meat grinder. Or cook the dish on oven coals. I cooked Kuban strumby in the usual manner at home (fried and stewed), and I served them with an extra portion of heavy sour cream and flavorful southern herbs. It came out really delicious!

Ingredients for 2 servings:


  • Flour -170 g
  • Egg - 1 egg
  • Water - 2-3 tbsps
  • Salt - 1 tsp


  • Mixed stuffing (beef and pork) - 250 g
  • Bacon or smoked pork belly - 40 g
  • Onion - 1 pc
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Tomatoes (large) - 3 pcs
  • Onion - 1 pc
  • Carrots - 1 pc
  • Garlic - 2 pcs
  • Tomato paste - 1 tbsp
  • Cream (30%) - 150 ml
  • Water - adjust as desired
  • Oil for frying


1. Place flour, salt, an egg and two spoons of water in a bowl and knead the dough by hand or with a mixer. Add a third spoon of water if necessary.  For more elasticity, I knead the dough in a mixer for 15 minutes.

2. While the dough is kneading, prepare the sauce. Finely chop onions and carrots and fry in vegetable oil.

3. Add tomato paste.

4. Add tomato pulp. The fastest way is to grate them over the pan - the skin remains on top of the grater.

5. Cook the sauce for a while and add cream and water. Let it stew while the strumby are prepared.

6. When the dough is smooth, let it sit (covered) for 15 minutes while the stuffing cooks.

7. Put all the ingredients in a meat grinder. I tried chopping the fat and onions finely, as was done in the olden days with a knife. 

8. Roll out the dough into a rectangular layer 1.5 mm thick.

9. Spread stuffing evenly on the layer.

10. Roll it into a tight roll and sew the edge on top.

11. Cut into 2.5 - 3 cm rounds.

12. Roll them in flour so they hold their shape when stewing in the sauce.

 13. Add water to the sauce if necessary.

 14. Fry rolls till both sides are golden brown.

15. Pour the sauce over the strumby, add garlic, a bay leaf, check the salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes under a lid on low heat to prevent them from burning.

16. Serve hot immediately with sauce or sour cream and fresh aromatic herbs. Enjoy!

READ MORE: The ultimate guide to making Russian shchi (RECIPE)

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