How to make Authentic Sokovian Paprikash

A key moment in the relationship of the Scarlet Witch and Vision was when he attempted to make Wanda Paprikash, an authentic dish from her made up homeland Sokovia.

Turns out Paprikash is an actual Hungarian dish (Paprikás), served with little flour & egg dumplings (Nokedli).

Scouring the internet for how to make it, I complied this tasty looking recipe. I ran it past a Hungarian colleague who said it looked great – but suggested the addition of the cucumber salad (Uborkasaláta), and noted her grandmother used pork fat (lard) instead of oil & butter.

FYI: Vision’s key mistake appears to be using just “a pinch of Paprika” – this dish requires a lot of Paprika – about 40g, so 100 times ‘a pinch’. The clue is in the name – Paprikás is the Hungarian word for Paprika.

To make this dish I strongly recommend using authentic Hungarian Paprika, as well as a Spaetzle maker for the dumplings (Nokedli).

Serves 4. Allow 30 mins prep, 60 mins cooking time.

How it should look: Chicken Paprikash, with dumplings and cucumber salad

Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás) recipe

  • 1 tbsp oil (or lard)
  • 2 tbsp butter (or lard)
  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, v.finely chopped
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml/14fl oz hot chicken stock
  • 150ml/5fl oz sour cream

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan)

Heat the butter & oil (or lard) in a heavy pan placed over stove.

Season the chicken with salt & pepper, brown in pan then set aside.

Add the onions, garlic and peppers to the pan and gently fry for 10 minutes – until onions are translucent.


Stir in the paprika & flour. Once combined, stir in the tomatoes and stock.

TURN ON HEAT, then return the chicken thighs to the pan. Simmer gently in oven for 30–40 minutes.

Reserve the sour cream until ready to serve.

Now make the optional cucumber salad (Uborkasaláta), and then the essential dumplings (Nokedli).

Dumplings (Nokedli)

  • 140g flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (you may need more or less)
  • Butter or olive oil (for serving)

Mix flour and salt together in a bowl.

Add the eggs and sour cream and whisk the mixture to combine.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until your dough is soft, but not runny. 

(If you are using the board and knife method, the dough should be a little firmer).

When you’re ready to make the Nokedli, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Method 1: Put your Spaetzle maker over the pan of water, and run the dough in small batches into the boiling water using the dough scraper.

Method 2: Put the dough on a wet wooden board and then use the back of a knife to cut small dumplings into a pot of boiling water. I usually use the back of a large spatula for this as the dough won’t stick to it as much as it will stick to a piece of wood. 

Give the dumplings about 30 seconds in the water after they float to the surface, to ensure they are fully cooked.

When cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl, and cover to keep them warm, tossed with a little butter or olive oil to keep them from sticking together.

Hungarian Cucumber Salad (Uborkasaláta)

  • 2 large English cucumbers
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of water
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of 10% white vinegar
  • Sweet paprika powder (to sprinkle)
  • Ground black pepper (to sprinkle)
  • Salt

Peel the cucumbers and (preferably using a mandolin slicer) cut both cucumbers as thinly as possible into a bowl. 

Add the salt and mix the cucumbers slices to lightly and evenly coat them. Let sit for 30 minutes to draw out the water from the cucumbers.

The cucumbers will release about ½+ cup of liquid. Then, take large handfuls of cucumbers and, with your hands clenched, squeeze out as much liquid as you can and place the balls of squeezed cucumbers in a bowl. Discard the liquid.

In a cup, combine the sugar, the vinegar, and the water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add this mixture to the squeezed cucumbers and mix thoroughly. Add the chopped garlic, sprinkle with paprika powder and ground black pepper.

Serving the Chicken Paprikash

When ready to serve, stir the soured cream into the chicken mixture, and dish up over the dumplings with the cucumber salad on the side.

Chicken Paprikás, with Nokedli and Uborkasaláta

Leftovers are great the next day with pasta, either short pasta or flat noodles. Or you could make some more Nokedli 😉

For more movie inspired food, why not try my Big Night Timpano?

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“We Don’t Eat Peppa Pig… Do We?”

I rather mischievously call venison sausages Bambi, and more recently have taken to naming any pork one as Peppa Pig. When shopping, and given a choice, my 3-year-old daughter generally chooses the Peppa Pig sausages. She didn’t know why they were Peppa Pig sausages, just that they were.

I was wondering when the first question about where meat comes from would happen. She understands that fruit comes from trees, vegetables are grown in the ground, and eggs are from chickens. I assumed that a knowing question about where chicken or lamb comes from would be first, as they don’t have a secret identity in the way beef/steak (cow), venison (deer), and pork/ham/bacon (pig) do. Chicken is chicken, and lamb is a baby sheep (awww).

So, while we shared a lunch of a ham & cheese rolls, my daughter asked me “Where does ham come from?”. From a pig, I answered. “How does it come from the pig?”.

While I may be disingenuous at times with my daughter, I never want to lie to her. So I set about telling her an admittedly sanitised and idealised explanation.

“Ham is actually a piece of pig who was raised to be our food. A farmer looks after a pig from when it’s little, gives it good food and treats it very nicely. When it is big, the farmer decides it’s time for the pig to die, and after it does it gets chopped up into pieces. The farmer sells them, people buy them, and we cook and eat them.”

She mulled that over for a moment and then carried on eating her ham roll, seemingly undisturbed.

I was quite glad to get this out of the way relatively early. I have friends who’s children have stopped eating meat when they realise what it is.

The other day, on our walk to nursery, my daughter had by this time made a few connections, and then asked me – “We don’t eat Peppa Pig… do we?”.

It’s fair to say I don’t really like Peppa Pig. We’ve never seen the show, but the books are so poorly written I have refused to read them aloud any more. They are read the books at nursery from time to time. I also had a copywriting job where I went a little mad with all the Peppa and George tat I had to gush about. I understand the TV show is better, but I’m too preoccupied with showing her the likes of Star Wars, Studio Ghibli, and (currently) Dinosaur movies.

So I was very, very tempted to answer “Yes, we eat Peppa Pig”. But on consideration I replied “No, we don’t eat Peppa. Or George. Or their mummy or daddy.”

“But we do eat other pigs. Sausages, ham, bacon, are all from other pigs who are dead”.

Again, she pondered that for a moment, and then our walk to nursery continued.

I appreciate that as a society, we have become increasingly removed from the fact that meat is part of a dead animal. My wife has made a better go at facing this head on. When 7 months pregnant, she took it upon herself to skin, decapitate, and joint three wild rabbits that a friend had hunted – just to prove to herself that she could. We don’t have a photo of any of this, as I was hiding in the living room until the dead animals were transformed into meat, which I was then more than happy eat.

My daughter has the beginning of an understanding of where meat comes from, and so far it hasn’t conflicted with her love of cute animals. Or annoying ones like Peppa.

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