Belarusians have preserved many traditional recipes.
Salad Fern Flower
Cut onion into rings, and marinate them for 2-3 hours in water with vinegar (mixed 3 to 1). Cut the meat, cucumbers and peeled tomatoes into long thin pieces. As soon as you are ready to serve, mix the ingredients together and season with mayonnaise. Keep all the ingredients separately till the last moment otherwise they will give juice.
Wash the mushrooms a couple times and put them into cold water to soak for 2-3 hours. Wash them again to make sure they have no sand. Boil the mushrooms. Fry the liver in a part of the oil, cool down and chop finely. Cut the boiled mushrooms. Chop finely pickled cucumbers, and 2 hard boiled eggs. Cut the onions and saute in vegetable oil, let it cool down.
Join all the ingredients add salt and pepper to your taste and add mayonnaise.
Boil potatoes and cut into small squares. Wash and boil mushrooms, let cool down and cut them. Chop the onion. Add together potatoes, mushrooms, sour kraut, onion and mix. Season with vinegar, oil a little bit of sugar and salt.
Light Salad with apples and raisins
Shred the fresh cabbage and mix thoroughly with salt and sugar, let it take in the salt and sugar. Grate the carrot and apples (without cores). Finely chop the onion. Wash the raisins and dry with a towel. Mix the ingredients, add the salt and season with vegetable oil.
Cut sorrel into strips 0.5 cm wide cover with water and boil for 1 minute. Grate beetroot, cover it with 1 l of cold (previously boiled and cooled) water add chopped cucumbers, cut onion and sorrel together with the stock where it was boiled. Chop scallion and mix it with a bit of salt and add to the beetroot/sorrel mix. Add salt, sugar, sour cream, and vinegar. Mix well. You can either cut the egg and put it into holodnik or when serving put into each plate a half hardboiled egg, pour Holodnik. Add a tablespoon of sourcream and a sprinkle of finely chopped dill.
Oatmeal Soup with Mushrooms
Put dried mushrooms into water for 3-4 hours and then boil them using the same water. Add oatmeal and boil about 30 minutes then add chopped (in cubes 1cm x 1cm) potatoes. Add separately fried in oil chopped onion and grated carrot and add to the soup. Add laurel leaf. Boil till potatoes and oatmeal are soft.
Serve with sour cream.
Jur is a very special unusual Belarusian soup. Its recipe goes back to the old traditional Belarusian cuisine. The basis of the soup is “oatmeal stock” that gives this soup a specific jelly consistency/texture and a specific souerish taste. There are several variants of this soup: Lenten, milk, meat jur. To cook jur you need first to prepare the basis.
“Tseja” Jur Basis
Take 150-200 g oatmeal flour (you can make it by grinding oatmeal flakes) and add it into 1 lt of warm previously boiled water. Store it in a non-metallic container such as earthware in a warm place for 8-12 hours. It should get a sourish taste and pleasant smell. Strain it to get rid of any lumps or oatmeal flakes. Now you have the Jur basis (tseja)
Add caraway into boiling water and then slowly pour Jur Basis (tseja). Boil for 5 minutes then add dill and salt. Turn the heat off. Whip sour cream with milk and add to jur, mix well. Serve with boiled potatoes topped with melted butter.
Finely chop the meat. Cut turnips and carrots into big chunks. Boil the meat together with chopped onion, turnips and carrots. When the vegetables are ready, strain the stock (take out the vegetables and meat) and add the Jur Basis. Boil them together, add salt, garlic grated with salt and finely chopped dill. Add the meat mix to the stock again. Serve the boiled vegetables separately with potatoes topped with melted butter or lard.
The most well known potato dish is draniki – pancakes from grated potatoes. Draniki come in many variants with various fillings such as mushrooms, meat, sour kraut, fish or with various toppings – creamy machanka (meat or mushrooms machanka), sour cream, cheese etc.
Grate potatoes and onion together, drain out excess potato juice. Whip eggs and mix everything with flour and sour cream. Put some oil on a pan and let it get hot. Put a small portion of the draniki puree on the pan and let it get golden fried from one side. Turn it over and fry it from the other side. Serve with sourcream or machanka.
Belarusian Draniki with Pork
Grate potatoes together with onions (so that potato mass does not get dark). Drain out excess juice. Whip eggs and add together with the flower to the potato mass. Warm some oil on the pan fryer and put a small portion of potato puree with a spoon. As soon as it starts to become a bit firm put in the center some ground meat and cover with another portion of potatoes. Fry it till it gets the fried golden colour and carefully turn it over to fry from the other side. You can also put ready pancakes into a clay pot, put sour cream on top and put into the warm oven for 10-20 minutes. This way they get shapelessness characteristic for traditional Belarusian cuisine.
Grate raw potatoes (to prevent from darkening you can add kefir), drain excess juice, add flour, 1 egg and mix.
Ground the meet together with onion and add egg, salt and pepper.
Make little pancakes from potato mass and put inside each ground meet. Put into the oven with butter and brush with sour cream. Bake till golden brown crust.
Babka: Similar to Kolduni (see above) is Babka recipe. The difference is that you do not form pancakes but make one big layered-pie-type pancake.
Ingredients are the same. Prepare potato dough as described above. Put 1 layer potato dough into a greased round form (skillet), cover it with a layer of minced meat and then add another potato layer, brush with sour cream. Bake in the oven till golden brown.
Another variant of Babka is to mix grated potatoes and minced meat without layering. However in this variant pork for the filling (or sometimes bacon) is cut into small pieces and before mixing with potatoes fried with onion till onion becomes translucent. Then mix potatoes and pork, put into oiled skillet, brush with sour cream and bake in the oven.
Boil potatoes in skin, peel, grate, add flour, butter, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well and form balls each about 20 g. Bake in oven till they turn golden brown. Chop the onion and fry it. Put sour cream and onion over kartoflyaniki and simmer for 5 minutes. Can be served with fried mushrooms or finely chopped onion.
Machanka: Machanka is used as a Belarusian traditional sauce for draniki or blini. There are several variants of machanka.
1. Quick Machanka Recipe (as a sauce):
Fry ribs or sliced pork and chopped sausage using the lard, then stew till you have some juice. Chop an onion and sauté it separately. Add together meat and the onion and put everything (including the juice) into a clay pot. If there is not enough juice add a little bit water. Add sour cream and stew in the oven about 20-30 minutes.
2. More Complicated Machanka:
Cut the pork (with ribs) and country sausage into chunks and fry till brown. Saute the flour, blend it with meat stock or water, mix in boiling water, stirring constantly until it gives a thin flour gravy. Add salt. Cut and brown onions, add them to the sauce as well as pieces of pork fat. Mix with meat and place in oven for about 30-40 minutes. Serve with draniki, pancakes or boiled potatoes.
You can try out the following recipe variations of that dish.
Blend oatmeal in the blender to make flour. Add milk, eggs, melted butter, sugar and salt and mix well. Cook thin pancakes and serve with sour cream or jam.
Baked oatmeal flakes pancakes
Mix oatmeal flakes with flour and cheese, melted butter, milk and salt. Mix well. Make round pancakes. Brush with yoke. Place them into the oven and bake till ready.
Though Blini is considered a Russian specialty it is one of the favorite dishes in Belarus as well! So here is a traditional easy blini recipe.
Easy recipe for Blini
The batter for blini should be made thin. Mix yokes with sugar and add milk, mix in salt and warmed up butter, add flour and mix till smooth and well blended. Whisk egg whites separately into a foam and mix in to batter. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Lightly oil the pan. Pour enough batter into the pan, to cover the bottom in a thin layer, tilt it to spread evenly. When the edges appear crispy and the surface get covered with tiny bubbles, flip the blin over with a spatula to fry from the other side.
You can serve blini with various fillings such as ham and cheese, fried mushrooms, smoked salmon or sweet fillings such as fresh berries, jam, cream, yoghurt etc.
Finely chop onion and add together with eggs to the beef, add salt and mix well. Form bitochki (some form them as meat balls and others as cutlets) and fry in the melted butter. Serve with boiled potatoes and mushrooms.
Fried goose stuffed with apples
This is a holiday dish. Prepare the bird (goose, duck or chicken), singe over a fire (if needed) and clean. Rub the inside with salt and chopped garlic. Cut the apples into quarters, cut out cores and skin. Stuff the goose full with the apples. Sew up the vent with a trussing needle and kitchen string. Place the goose in a shallow roasting pan. Pour a small amount of water in the pan so that as the fat releases it won't burn. Roast in the oven till ready – about 2-3 hours depending on the size of the goose. When roasting from time to time pour the released fat and juice over the goose. Carve the ready bird into pieces after removing the threads and serve together with stuffing.
We recomend to try one of the most delicious deserts - Belarusian sirniki with raisins.
Baked Apples filled with honey
Wash the apples and carefully cut out the cores. Fill in the apple with honey. You can also add your favorite type of nuts or berries. Bake the apples in the oven. Before serving sprinkle them with some powdered sugar.
To get apple pure bake the apples, take out the kerns and pure them. Add wheat flour, salt, east, butter and sugar. Mix into thick dough.
Warm up butter or oil on the frying pan. Place small portions of dough to fry small pancakes (8-10 cm in diameter)
You can serve the pancakes with sour cream or jam.
You can use any forest berries (wild strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries etc.) for kulaga as well as plums and cherries without pits. Fill a clay pot half with berries and half with water (1:1). Boil on the stove or in the oven.
When the berries become soft add the flour and mix well, keep stirring frequently. In 10 minutes add sugar and honey, keep stirring and cook till kulaga has thick consistency.
Ready kulaga should have the consistency of porridge cooked for a very long time. Let it cool down and serve. Sirniki with raisins:
Wash the raisins and soak them in water for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry. Prepare sirniki dough: mix the quark, raisins, 50 g sugar, egg and 50 g flour. Form into small balls with 2-3 cm diameter, dip in flour. Put on a plate and place into the freezer for a couple hours. Prepare the sauce. Soak poppy seeds in hot boiled water for 15 minutes, drain. Melt the butter, add sour cream poppy seeds and sugar. Put on low heat but do not let it boil. Deep fry sirniki in oil till brown crust. Put sirniki into a clay (stoneware) pot, pour the sauce over them and let boil in the oven at 180 C. As soon as boil take out and serve.
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