Draniki recipe, Belarus - Global Storybook

Draniki – Traditional Belarusian Fried Potato Pancakes

Katya Hladkaya

Katya Hladkaya

Katya Hladkaya is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Belarus).
Katya Hladkaya

Belarusian cuisine remains pretty stable in its national tradition.  From immemorial times to the present, numerous original dishes have appeared in our kitchens.  One of the most popular ones is Draniki, which are the traditional Belarusian potato pancakes.  They are usually made from grated potatoes and onions, and can be served as a separate dish or even as a substitution for bread.

The history of Draniki began in the 19th century, when Belarusians started to grow potatoes widely.  There are more than a dozen recipes of Draniki, and in every region of Belarus there are some different variations.  The classic Belarusian Draniki are usually made from young potatoes, onions and salt.  I also add eggs – that’s how my grandmother taught me to cook Draniki.

What we’ll need to prepare the traditional Belarusian Draniki:

  • 1kg (2 pounds) potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • lard or vegetable oil for frying

Draniki recipe, Belarus - Global StorybookHow to make the Draniki:

1. Grate potatoes on a very fine grater.  Then drain almost all the juice – grated potatoes must be free of excess fluid.  Onions are an indispensable element of Draniki.  You can grate them together with potatoes, or just cut them into small cubes and add to the potatoes later.

2. Next, add 1 egg and a half tablespoon of salt.  Mix everything thoroughly until you get a homogeneous mass.  My grandmother used to fry Draniki on lard (pork fat) but I normally use vegetable oil.

3. You can also stuff Draniki with mushrooms* or meat**.  If you’d like to try that – place one pancake on a heated pan then add your choice of stuffing on top of it.  Next, add a second layer of potato, then fry it on both sides until it has a golden crust.

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4. Place the fried Draniki into a pot or roasting pan and then put them into the oven for 5-10 min, at 150-170°C.

*For the mushroom stuffing: boil 200-500gr minced dried mushrooms, then chop them.  Add pre-fried chopped onion, a bit of mushroom broth, a pinch of salt then mix everything well.

**For the meat stuffing: one great choice would be to use pork forcemeat mixed with roasted onions, salt and pepper.

In Belarus, we mostly eat the freshly baked Draniki while hot – always with sour cream on top.  Though, you can also add pickled mushrooms, sauerkraut or even fried bacon with green onions.  Enjoy!

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