Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A bit of Russian cuisine

 Often when we learn a language of some country we're also curious about culture of that place. And culture includes cooking traditions as well. I'll show a few video-recipes of meals quite common in Russia. Most are Russian, one comes from another Slavic nation. Prepare to salivate! All videos are in Russian so it's good practice for you.

Draniki, potato pancakes

I love draniki, they're so yummy! Though it's originally a Belarusian meal, many Russians also enjoy draniki from fresh potatoes in the summer. I love draniki with garlic, but it's optional. You can also serve them with some sour cream, if you want.

So, for this recipe you'll need 7-8 average potatoes, 1 onion, 1 table spoon of sour cream, 1 egg (optional, I always make draniki without it), flour (depends on how moist raw potato mesh will be, probably you'll need 1-2 tablespoons), salt and black pepper to taste and oil for frying. It's a very easy recipe, and if you love fried potatoes – it's a must.


They are yummy and delicious! Main ingredient is curd. You can enjoy syrniki with jam, condensed milk, sour cream or just like that. They were sometimes served in my school, and if I got a portion with a lot of condensed milk over syrniki, I was always so happy ^.^

Ingredients: 500g of curd, 1 egg (yolk; I cook without it), 5 tablespoons of flour, 5 tablespoons of sugar (I add less), 2 tablespoons of sour cream to serve with, salt to taste and oil for frying. In the video he fries syrniki and then quickly bakes them in oven, but in my family there's only frying. You can choose if you want to bake them after frying or not. Pretty simple anyway!

Baklazhannaya ikra (aubergine paste)

Easy and yummy! Bake 6 small eggplants, 3-4 tomatoes, 3 red bell peppers, peel them and put to a blender. Add there garlic and fried onion (1 big bulb) and blend till smooth. Add salt and black pepper to taste, some parsley or cilantro and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. That's all, now serve it with potatoes or spread over a slice of bread – that's how I like it most :).

And buckwheat kasha (porridge) with mushrooms

It's a common meal in Russian monasteries. To make this kasha taste as if it was cooked in a traditional Russian oven you need to put 1 glass of buckwheat in a big thermos and add 2 glasses of boiled water. Leave it for an hour. Meanwhile fry 500g of mushrooms (for example fresh chantarelles) with 3 onions and spices. Bay leaf can be added. When buckwheat kasha in thermos is ready, mix it with mushrooms and serve. I haven't tried this recipe but I'm quite curious about cooking buckwheat like that. Notice that he uses brown roasted buckwheat – only after moving to Finland I learned that buckwheat is actually green, and what Russians eat is a roasted type!

Hope you enjoyed these simple Russian recipes :-).

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