Draniki, the potato pancakes

Russians cook so many things with potatoes! We fry it, we stew it, we add it to salads, we make the draniki, a sort of potato pancakes that came from Belorussia.

Everyone who is even a little familiar with Belorussian (and finally Russian too) cuisine will most likely agree that it’s hard to imagine it without potatoes! The name draniki (Belorussian – дранiкi) finds its origins in the Old Russian word drat’, which meant ‘to grate’, but in modern Russian means ‘to flog’. This is probably comes from the fact that draniki are made from raw potatoes, which had to be ‘flogged’ against a sharpened board before the invention of the grater.

For 10 pieces of draniki:

5 potatoes

½ onion

1 egg

200 g flour

salt and pepper

Three simple steps to make draniki:

1) First, we grate the potatoes and very finely chop half an onion.

2) Add one egg and add a couple of spoons of flour, salt, and pepper. Mix it all.

3) Fry the patties in a pan.

Draniki can be eaten with sour cream and herbs or served as a side dish.

Some people add onions or kefir so that the grated potatoes don’t darken. Others let the draniki simmer in the oven after frying them. Modern recipes call for adding other things to them, like baking soda, flour, cottage cheese, ground meat or fish, bacon, chicken breast or liver, sausages, mayonnaise, mushrooms, pumpkin, garlic, cheese, boiled carrots, parsnip, celery, and even poppy seeds. But that’s a story for another podcast.

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