Savor Tradition: Original Kumla Recipe From Mom’s Kitchen

Kumla is a traditional Scandinavian dumpling, primarily made from potatoes and flour. Typically, it’s boiled in a broth, often with ham or salt pork, creating a hearty and satisfying dish. Its simplicity reflects the modest yet flavorful cuisine of Scandinavian culture. You can find variations in different Scandinavian countries, but the essence of Kumla remains the same: a comforting, starchy dumpling that pairs perfectly with meats.

The Cultural Significance of Kumla

Kumla holds a special place in Scandinavian households. It is more than just a meal; it’s a tradition that brings families together. Often served during holidays and family gatherings, Kumla represents a culinary link to the past, reminding you of your heritage. The recipe is typically handed down through generations, with each family adding its unique touch. Making Kumla can be a collaborative effort, fostering togetherness and preserving cultural identity.

Essential Ingredients for the Original Kumla Recipe From Mom

Choosing the Right Potatoes

Choose the right potatoes to achieve the best Kumla texture. Russet potatoes work well for Kumla due to their high starch content. Peel and grate the potatoes immediately before making the dough to maintain freshness. Fine grating ensures that the potatoes blend seamlessly with the flour, creating a smooth dumpling. Avoid waxy potatoes, as they make the dough sticky and hard to work with.

The Importance of Ham and Seasonings

Ham enhances the flavor profile of Kumla. Use ham hocks or salt pork to add a rich, savory taste to the broth. Opt for high-quality, well-cured ham for the best results. Incorporate salt and pepper into the dough for basic seasoning. Add finely chopped onions or fresh herbs like parsley for additional layers of flavor. Remember, seasoning the broth well also affects the overall taste of the dumplings as they absorb the liquid during boiling.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Ingredients

Gathering all ingredients before starting improves efficiency. For the original Kumla recipe, use 6-8 medium-sized russet potatoes, 1 pound of ham, 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 large onion, salt, and pepper. Ensure the potatoes are peeled and grated finely. Drain any excess liquid to maintain the right texture. Dice the ham into small pieces. Mince the onion finely to ensure it blends well with the mixture. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Mixing the Dough: Combine grated potatoes, flour, and minced onion in a large mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly until it forms a thick, sticky dough. Add small amounts of flour if it’s too wet.
  2. Forming Dumplings: Shape the dough into golf-ball-sized dumplings. Press a small piece of ham into the center of each dumpling, ensuring it’s fully enclosed.
  3. Boiling Dumplings: In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling water, ensuring they don’t stick to the bottom.
  4. Cooking Time: Let the dumplings cook for 30-35 minutes. The dumplings will rise to the surface when they are cooked. Ensure continuous boiling without covering the pot. Remove them using a slotted spoon.
  5. Serving: Serve the hot Kumla with additional pieces of ham and a drizzle of melted butter or a spoonful of broth from the pot. Optionally, garnish with freshly chopped herbs for added flavor.

Following this guide ensures each step of the traditional Kumla cooking process is executed correctly, resulting in delicious, authentic dumplings.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Kumla

How to Achieve the Desired Texture

A smooth, consistent texture defines perfect Kumla. Ensure potatoes are finely grated to avoid lumps. Use a potato ricer for even results. Incorporate flour gradually, mixing until the dough reaches a pliable yet firm consistency. Knead briefly but thoroughly to develop structure without overworking the gluten. Let the dough rest for a few minutes before forming the dumplings. A light dusting of flour on your hands helps prevent sticking. For best results, maintain a water-to-potato ratio of around 1 cup of water per 4 cups of grated potatoes.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid excessive flour as it results in dense dumplings. Stick to the recipe’s recommended ratio. Don’t overmix; it can make the dough tough. Use cold water for boiling; hot water affects the cooking process negatively. Ensure dumplings are similar in size to achieve uniform cooking. Check the water temperature; vigorous boiling causes dumplings to break apart. Instead, maintain a gentle simmer. Using stale or aged potatoes results in poor texture and taste. Stick to fresh, high-starch potatoes for optimal flavor and consistency.

Variations of the Original Kumla Recipe From Mom

Regional Variations

Different regions have their own takes on Kumla. In Norway, you’ll find Raspeballer, which uses barley flour. Swedish variants often incorporate ground meat, creating heartier dumplings. Danish versions sometimes include diced onions for added flavor. Exploring regional versions helps you appreciate the versatility and cultural significance of this traditional dish.

Contemporary Twists

Modern cooks have introduced new twists to the original Kumla recipe. Some add cheese or bacon bits for extra richness. You might find variations using sweet potatoes or mixing in herbs like dill and chives. Substituting gluten-free flour can make Kumla accessible to those with dietary restrictions. Contemporary twists provide creative ways to enjoy this timeless dish while catering to evolving tastes and preferences.


Exploring the original Kumla recipe from Mom offers a delightful journey into Scandinavian culinary traditions. This hearty dish, rich in history and flavor, remains a cherished part of holiday feasts and family gatherings. By mastering the key techniques and experimenting with modern twists, you can enjoy Kumla in its classic form or tailored to your preferences. Whether you stick to the traditional ingredients or venture into contemporary variations, Kumla promises a comforting and satisfying meal. Embrace the opportunity to bring a piece of Scandinavian heritage to your table and create new memories with this timeless dish.

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