The Schupfnudeln Challenge- Frugal Friday

schupfnudeln || cityhippyfarmgirl

The first part of this challenge is to say schupfnudeln.

Unless you have a German speaking back ground, it’s a little bit of a mouthful. A good mouthful though, let it roll off your tongue and try it out a few times… schupfnudeln, schupf…much like the little pan-fried potato dumplings themselves.

Now potatoes in this household are not a huge staple. My kids are probably the only kids on the planet who don’t particularly like them. Me, I can take or leave them. However I did like making these, as I hadn’t heard of them until recently. They are a German potato dumpling, (which are very similar to Italian gnocchi) where you cook your potatoes, pop a couple of eggs in and then add a little flour to the mixture.

Really simple food, which hits all the frugal bells as well. (I did read this dish came out as the result of army rations.)

Now the second part of the challenge is to see if you can take a picture of these little pan-fried dumplings served with sauerkraut in a tantalising way. Google images of schupfnudeln and you’ll find a whole lot of beige. They are a bugger to photograph. They make children, pets and chocolate brownie seem like a walk in a photogenic park.

Are you game to take on the plated beige?

schupfnudeln and sauerkraut || cityhippyfarmgirlSchupfnudeln 

(I’ve only done this the once, but this is how I did it.)

800g steamed potatoes, with their skin peeled off. Now grate them and put them in a big mixing bowl. Add two eggs, salt and pepper and enough flour to bring the dough together. Knead together on a lightly floured surface, to make a smooth dough and divide off into small pieces. Rolling the edges in a pointed fashion.

Pan fry them lightly and serve with sauerkraut.


tortilla de patatas- Frugal Friday

Tapas is one thing that Mr Chocolate has a real soft spot for. Anything that involves small dishes being brought to the table with lashings of olive oil over it, there is a good chance he’s straight in there with a fork at the ready.

Our first proper date was at a tapas restaurant. Dark walls, candle lit tables, and jugs of sangria dotted the various tables. Being fluent in Spanish, he encouraged me to try out some words he had just taught me on the wait staff. As my language skills at that stage were limited to “dos cervezas por favor”, any spanish chit chat on my part was questionable.

However the night was young, the sangria was good and my spanish got better. It wasn’t long before our table was littered with empty small dishes, and a smattering of olive oil drops. With satisfied bellies, the jug now empty, our conversation remained lively.

Sparks were flying and… (well, perhaps that’s a story for another day.)

Until then, how about an easy Tortilla de Patatas.

Tortilla de Patatas

(a very simplified version)

In a frying pan add

a good couple of slugs of olive oil

some cubed cooked potatoes (4-ish)

beaten eggs (4-ish again)

cook on a medium heat until it starts to cook on the edges. Then pop a lid on, lower the heat to cook for a further few minutes until cooked through. Season to taste.


eat with gusto, a glass of sangria and your very best Spanish pick up line

“Donde estas la zapateria?” (which is probably not your best pick up line.)

Godambah or stuffed roti

I’m convinced every country has their own version of a stuffed pastry. They differ in names, they differ in flavours, but essentially it’s the same kind of thing, a little bit of vegetables or meat thrown between  some pastry or bready outside and then cooked. Quite often frugal in ingredients, seasonal and easy to use up what ever is going on in your fridge….and so far, I like them all.

England has the pastie.

Italy has the calzone.

Eastern Europe has the pierogi.

Japan has the gyoza.

India has the samosa

South America has the empanada.

Australia has the pie


Sri Lanka has the godambah, or stuffed roti.

Street food at it’s best. I ate these in Sri Lanka teamed up with a feisty chilli sauce, and usually wrapped up in yesterday’s news. An easy food to eat while you wander around.

I hadn’t made them up until now, as roti and I were not friends. As  much as I had tried, I just couldn’t master the little buggers. Then I caught sight of this cookbook lying idly on its side waiting for a good page flipping.

Bingo…oh big bingo! Loved it.

 Stuffed roti, along with a whole lot more goodies to be cooked on other days. Now there is nothing I like better than Sri Lankan food. Every thing about it speaks to my senses. Visual, taste, smell it’s all there. I’d made curries before and Love Cake but it was now time to give the Godambah a crack.

For the original recipe please see here. For how I did it, see below.

Vegetable Godambah

* adapted from Sri Lankan Flavours– Channa Dassanayaka


2 1/2 (375g) cups plain flour

1 (250mls) cup water

1 tsp salt

Mix ingredients together, and let rest, covered for a couple of hours. Give it a quick knead and divide dough into 8 balls. Roll balls on a pizza tray (or something stainless steel.) Then store in a well oiled bowl. The oil  is important to get the right consistency when rolling out the roti.

Get a ball, and spread out dough with your finger tips, pushing out to a rectangular shape. Place a good sized spoonful of mixture in the middle and fold up. Then fry each side until golden.

Roti Mixture

a couple of slurps of vegetable oil

1 onion diced

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sambal olek

Fry until fragrant and then add potatoes, carrots and 1/2 cup peas.

(Use what ever  vegetables take your fancy, and incorporate mashed potatoes in there to firm up the mixture. I used…)

3 steamed potatoes- mashed

1 steamed carrot- diced

Once all parcels are cooked up, serve with some chilli sauce.

* Roti can be cooked up as a flat bread as well and served with a curry. Just fry quickly in an oiled fry pan or wok.

gai lum potatoes- Frugal Friday

Thanks to the lovely BM@ Living a Little Greener, a little book now sits by my table. Food Rules by Michael Pollan. A handy little book that is full of wise advise like,

41# Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks– People who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than those of us eating a modern Western diet of processed foods. 

With that in mind, I’m not quite sure which food culture this Frugal Friday dish is trying to harness. Olive oil in a wok with gai lum? Chinese or Italian? Would both cultures be quietly drawing in their breath and shaking their heads?

Possibly. Either way though, I still say it’s easy, it’s healthy and I was making good use of that fantastic mixed bag of potatoes and soul filling local olive oil I had got on the weekend. I didn’t want to cook the potatoes in any old fashion as I didn’t want to lose any of the flavours. So I cut them into long quarters, and dinner was quickly made up.

Gai lum Potatoes

In my trusty flat bottomed wok, (or pot)

a generous couple of slurps olive oil

added 2 stems of spring garlic

an assortment of rocking potatoes cut length ways

Cook until lightly golden on one side. Whack a lid on to steam a little.

Add chopped gai lum (chinese broccoli) or other seasonal greenery,

add lid again for a little steaming

season and drizzle with olive oil.


This dish might seem too simple, but it worked because everything was super fresh, cooked fairly quickly, and the flavours of what was in there easily held their own. An easy, healthy Frugal Friday dish that had Mr Chocolate  fast becoming Mr GaiLumPotatoes.

Food Rules 14# Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.

Spiced Indian Potatoes- Frugal Friday

Spiced Indian Potatoes

in a pan take

a good double slurp of vegetable oil

pop in

1 diced onion

2 tps cumin

2 tps coriander

2 tps tumeric

(if you have them 2 tps mustard seed, black or brown)

1 knob of diced fresh ginger

2 cloves of diced garlic

gently cook all these ingredients, letting the spices waft around the kitchen tantalizing your taste buds

Now pop in 4 roughly cubed medium sized potatoes, (you can partly cook them in the microwave beforehand just to make the process quicker. Only partly cooked though, you don’t want mush.) Stir it round, spices and onions coating the potatoes. Done when the potatoes are soft when pierced through.

Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt, and a seasonal salad.

Easy dinner for Frugal Friday.