The fact that Podkarpackie Region may be particularly abundant in potato dishes, honestly makes me wonder what people used to eat before potatoes were discovered?! This traditional Polish main course has been kept in the Folk Museum in Kolbuszowa for years, but you can be sure every local hostess has her own way to make these dumplings!
Anyhow, here is the dish that has been popular mainly because the used ingredients (originally potatoes and pork fat) are available all year round. The potato Balls would be served warm, with a layer of fat and glazed onion. Some people used to prepare this dish with milk and serve it as a soup with little potato balls. As on Fridays you would not eat meat, this meal, thought to be vegetarian, was particularly popular on that day.
Kacapoły ( ka – tsa – poh -wih), also called Klęgle ( kle – gleh ), are an excellent recipe for all the dumpling, potato pancake and Russian dumpling lovers, because they resemble the taste of all these dishes. What’s more, they can also be served sweet!
Once served with bits of pork rind sautéed in lard (Pol: skwarki), today the dish is usually served in a fully vegetarian version. The filling of these round potato balls is cottage cheese (Pol: twaróg).
Kacapoły or klęgle – Polish Potato Balls Recipe
- 2,5 kg potatoes
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tablespoon potato starch
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 250 g cottage cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 onion (optional)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Pepper or Sugar
How to make Kacapoły – Polish Potato Balls with cheese filling
- Peel the potatoes. Choose 5 medium potatoes and cook in salted water.
- Grate the rest of the raw potatoes using the small holes of a grater.
Leave for a while and strain it by pressing or using a linen cloth.
- Boiled potatoes press through a potato press or mush with a potato masher.
- In a bowl, combine mashed potatoes with the grated potatoes, egg, flour, and add some salt. Make a dough.
- In a separate bowl, add the yolk to the cheese and mix together. Add salt and pepper for the savoury version or sugar if you decided to go with the sweet option.
- Take a little dough from the bowl, create a hand-sized cake (3-5 cm / 1 -2 inch), put a little cottage cheese in the centre and close it forming a round ball (the shape may also be a bit cylindrical).
- Cook in boiling, salted water for about 10-15 minutes. The cooking time depends on the size of the balls.
For a savoury version of this dish: peel and cut the onion, sauté it in butter, serve dumplings topped with butter and onions.
For sweet version: serve dumplings covered with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar.