Almost every culture has dumplings as a staple. Usually, the dumplings are stuffed with some savory ingredient or other. In our culture we have domplines (pronounced "dom-plee-ness), which are our version of dumplings, except, they are not stuffed. It's more like deep friend dough, which is a common staple in the Caribbean. Other places have it such as in Indian cuisine where they deep fry the dough and call it poori.
In our family, domplines have been with us forever. I remember my grandmother making them for breakfast with eggs, or at lunch or dinner with codfish. They are deceptively easy to make, and quite tasty. Given below is the basic recipe for domplines. If you want to liven up the recipe even more, you can add one or two minced cloves of garlic to the dough. This will give it an extra tang (if desired).The recipe is from my first cookbook, Puerto Rican Cuisine in America (Perseus Books Group: Running Press).
DOMPLINES (Puerto Rican style dumplings)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for frying
1. Combine flour, baking powder and butter in a bowl.
2.Add salt to water and add to flour, a bit at a time, while mixing with a wooden spoon until it forms a doughy consistency.
3. Remove this dough to a lightly floured surface and knead continuously with hands until soft.
4. Form kneaded dough into a horseshoe shape and set aside.
5. Fill a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet halfway with vegetable oil (usually about an inch). Heat until oil is very hot. Break off a small piece of dough and shape into a flat round patty. Drop patty into skillet and stir-fry until golden (about 5 minutes). Repeat until dough is all gone. Remove and drain on absorbent paper towels.
Yield: about 20 dumplings
Note: If a little color is desired, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric to the flour during the first step. This will render truly golden-yellow dumplings.