Some different kinds of pancakes

From beer, beet or kefir: choose your recipe.

From beer, beet or kefir: choose your recipe.

Shutterstock / Legion-Media
The recipes for a few unusual pancakes, made with ingredients like beer and beets, are outlined to bring some Russian Maslenitsa festivity to your kitchen.

‘Maslenitsa’ is an ancient Russian pagan tradition that was adapted by the church. The week-long festival, which celebrates the arrival of the sun and the end of winter, now also marks the week before the beginning of Great Lent; the 40 day period of self-denial and reflection which lasts until Easter. People commemorate the seven days of the ‘Maslenitsa’ festival by eating pancakes (the round shape of which is meant to represent the sun), participating in community games and activities and by drinking a lot.

On the last day of the festival, Sunday, people seek forgiveness from each other and burn a large straw doll, also called ‘Maslenitsa’. This year Maslenitsa is being celebrated in Russia from March 7 to March 13.

(The festivities associated with this festival have similarities to an Indian festival, ‘Holi,’ which heralds the onset of summer and involves the burning of an effigy.)

RIR offers three unusual pancake recipes for you to make the most of the festival of ‘Maslenitsa’.

Beer pancakes

This is a good way to use up all your extra beer before starting the Lenten fast, even though some traditions hold that beer is ok to drink, even if you are fasting.

Use dark beer for sweeter taste. Alamy/Legion Media Use dark beer for sweeter taste. Alamy/Legion Media

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces milk
  • 16 ounces beer (lager, or darker beer for sweeter taste)
  • 2 cups sifted wheat flour, or 1.5 cups of wheat flour, or 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or white honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 potato

How to make it:

1. Mix the milk, slightly warmed, together with the beer. Keep stirring and add flour.

2. Carefully mix the batter, adding the eggs, vegetable oil or melted butter, sugar or white honey, salt, and, just before you finish mixing, baking soda. The thinner the batter, the thinner the pancakes will be — experiment and find out how you like them.

3. The pancakes must be cooked in a cast-iron frying pan: do NOT wash it; instead, warm it and wipe it with a napkin before using it.2. Carefully mix the batter, adding the eggs, vegetable oil or melted butter, sugar or white honey, salt, and, just before you finish mixing, baking soda. The thinner the batter, the thinner the pancakes will be — experiment and find out how you like them.

4. Traditionally, the frying pan is greased with half of a raw potato on the end of a fork. Cook the pancakes in a very small quantity of melted butter.

5. Put the finished product — they should be a beautiful dark red in color — into piles and pour melted butter over them. They can also be eaten with fillings.

Beet pancakes

Need something else to do with beets besides make borscht? Try this!

Serve them with herring, caviar or cheese. Source: Shutterstock / Legion-MediaServe them with herring, caviar or cheese. Source: Shutterstock / Legion-Media

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 60 ml natural yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 glass milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 gr beet
  • 3 tablespoons oil

How to make it:

1. Boil or bake beet, cut to pieces

2.Put beet into milk

3. Mix this up with blender

4. Add eggs and yogurt

5. Then add salt, sugar and flour

6. Mix this all and wait 30 minutes.

7. Then fry.

8. You can serve these bliny with cheese and verdure or herring.

Pancakes from Sofya Tolstaya, Leo’s wife

Leo Tolstoy and his family in the country estate in Yasnaya Polyana. Source: RIA Novosti Leo Tolstoy and his family in the country estate in Yasnaya Polyana. Source: RIA Novosti

We’re not saying that eating these pancakes will make you a great writer, but it couldn’t hurt!

Sofya made her pancakes with kefir to keep them thin. Kefir is often available in eco-supermarkets, but if you can’t find any, buttermilk is an acceptable substitute.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kefir
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • sugar and salt to taste

How to make it:

1. Mix kefir, flour, eggs, sugar and salt in a deep bowl.

2. Add soda into a cup of boiling water, mix well.

3. Pour the water with soda slowly into the batter. Mix until the batter is smooth.

4. Let the batter sit 5 minutes. Add oil.

5. Fry pancakes

Read more