Monday, February 21, 2011


Kalsonnes are Syrian cheese raviolis. They are also one of my absolute favorite foods. We make kalsonnes and then freeze the extras. The kalsonnes are boiled and then served with melted butter (although now that I am more health conscious I will eat it without the butter. It is so delicious by itself that the extra fat is not necessary.) The real kalsonnes recipe involves making your own dough. Most people make it the lazy way now. We use wanton skins instead of dough. This is the way that I know it and love it. Even my grandmother stopped making it with real dough, so I only know of it with wanton skins. However, my mother says that it doesn't even compare to kalsonnes made with homemade dough. It's time consuming enough, stuffing each wanton skin, that it never seems worth it to give me additional work and make the dough as well. Until now. Now is as good a time as any to give it a shot and see exactly how much better than wanton skins home made dough really is.

So my grandma's recipe said to crack 2 eggs, fill all 4 halves of the egg shells with water and pour into bowl, add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Then it said to keep adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky. My grandma's recipes are like all grandma recipes out there - not very precise. So I just poured in a whole bunch of flour, way, way too much. Then I put the dough into a bowl and covered it with a towel for an hour and a half. I then kneaded it by hand for 5 minutes and covered it again for 20 minutes. I ended up with VERY thick dough because I had put in too much flour. It was so thick.
I used a wine glass to make circles and then I rolled the circles out with a rolling pin to make it a little thinner and then filled each circle with cheese and then folded and pinched it closed.
As I was rolling the dough thinner, I knocked the wine glass down and it broke into a million pieces and I hope no glass ended up in my dough. I think my kalsonnes came out looking pretty nice. I now know to use a lot less flour because they were really thick to eat, but yum none the less. I will most definitely attempt to make the dough again. It really was not that much work. Hardest part was rolling it because it was so thick. A thinner dough will be much easier to deal with.
So because it was so thick it didn't end up being such a big recipe. I was left with soooo much extra cheese. I have the best husband ever who very willingly went to the market at 9:15 pm to buy wanton skins for the extra cheese.
That's a lot of left over cheese! So much so, that it filled almost 2 packages of wanton skins. I placed a dollop of the cheese mixture in the middle of each wanton skin and then I stuck my finger into water and rubbed all 4 sides of the skin and then folded it over.
Easy as can be, but so time consuming. I thought it would never end. This is the kind of activity to do with a partner. And let me tell you, every second of torture is so worth it in the end. You won't regret it. Just freeze them and eat a little at a time whenever you get a craving for deliciousness.

And now I will post 2 recipes. The grandma recipe which has no measurements and a more precise recipe so that you have better success than I did.

Grandma's Kalsonnes Recipe- the not so precise recipe

Break 2 eggs into a bowl and then take the four half shells and fill with water and add to eggs. Put 1 tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of vinegar and stir all together. Now add a little flout at a time until dough is not sticky. Make into a ball and put it in a bowl covered with a cloth and let it rest for an hour or two.
1 package farmer cheese
1 package cheddar cheese (same size package as farmer cheese)
2 eggs
Mix together farmer cheese, grated cheddar cheese and eggs

Knead dough for 5 minutes. Cover with towel and wait 20 more minutes. Roll out the dough, cut out circles of dough with small glass. Point dollop of cheese in middle of dough and fold over.
When ready to eat, put in boiling water with a little salt added. Cook about 20 minutes. Drain and eat.

Thanks for humoring me by reading the above recipe. That's the recipe I followed. But please, follow the next recipe instead. I assume you'll get better results with the next recipe. Or just use wanton skins. Which as I mentioned is absolutely delicious.

Kalsonnes - the recipe you should follow

The dough proportions comes from: A Fistful of Lentils by:Jennifer Felicia Abadi
The filling and everything else is the way my family makes it

5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water

1 pound of grated Cheddar cheese (any similiar cheese is fine too)
1 pound of farmer cheese (can use 2 pounds of Cheddar instead of farmer cheese)
2 eggs

1. Place all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
2. In another large bowl, combine the flour, beaten eggs, and salt with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the water while mixing it with your hands until a soft dough is created. Knead in the bowl until very smooth and elastic.
3. Use glass with a small mouth to make the dough into circles. Put cheese in center of dough and fold over. (If you are using wanton skins, rub water over the four sides before you fold over.)
4. Put the kalsonnes in boiling water and cook until they rise to the top. Drain and eat with melted butter on top!

**Freeze in a single layer (or else the kalsonnes will stick together) on a baking sheet and then transfer to Tupperware.)**

If you want to serve this for company and want this recipe to go farther, what you can do is mix it with a pound of buttered noodles and bake it in the oven covered for 30 minutes. This is what the Syrians call "Kalsonnes b'Rishta" which means Kalsonnes with Noodles.


  1. Having actually tasted the calsones featured in this blog, all I can say is: DELICIOUS!

  2. Three orders to Jerusalem, Israel, please.

  3. Wow! Your blog is so cute!!! So when are you trying the kalsonnes with pesto and peanut butter?

  4. Thanks everyone! David, I wish I could get the order out to you. But I can teach you the recipe. It's really easy. Tzviah, the pesto version has been posted and peanut butter is on the way...