10 comfort foods that Russians really love

These hearty and easy dishes in the Russian cuisine will warm you on a cold winter evening and cheer you up!

The dishes that were loved so much by children back in the day still warm hearts - and bellies - today. They are hearty, simple and very satisfying, as if you are at your parents’ place again. So what comfort food do Russians prefer?

1. Grenki, or bread in eggs

Take two slices of wheat bread, put the jam between and then fry in sweet eggs: this recipe may seem weird, but such grenki were adored by almost all Soviet children and children who grew up in the 1990s, when there were not so many sweets as today. In addition, such a dish was very easy to prepare and children could even make it themselves. And some adults still do! (Check the recipe here)

2. Navy style pasta

A real “people’s” dish that deserves a medal. Navy style pasta was really served to the sailors in the Soviet Union and then it went to the “civil kitchen”. In fact, it is simply pasta fried with minced meat and covered with egg (optional). This dish was a salvation for many families, as it allowed them to prepare dinner very quickly from available products. (Recipe)

3. Fried potatoes with sausages or mushrooms

What could be more delicious than coming home after work and frying potatoes with onions and sausages or mushrooms? Unlike Americans and Europeans, Russians prefer to cut potatoes into small slices and fry in a pan, not in a fryer. This is how to make a very simple, but very flavorful “comfort” dish. One thing: try not to eat this dish very often if you do not want to say goodbye to your body shape!

4. Pelmeni (dumplings)

Many Russian families still have a tradition to gather in the kitchen on winter evenings and make pelmeni. Usually, they make many dumplings and freeze them for the future and when you need a quick dinner you can just boil them for a few minutes. Today, Russians often buy frozen dumplings at the supermarket. They are best eaten with sour cream or mayonnaise. And some even like to fry them up!

5. Syrniki (cottage cheese pancakes) 

One of the Russians’ most favorite dishes from cottage cheese are syrniki. These thick “pancakes” consist only of cottage cheese, eggs, flour and sugar and are prepared in just 15 minutes. The perfect comfort food for a Russian, which always reminds him of childhood. Again, don’t forget to add sour cream! (more!)

6. Waffle tube with boiled condensed milk

A dessert for those who had a vintage Soviet waffle maker at home. The dough was the easiest, however, the hardest thing was to roll waffles in a tube. Of course, it’s impossible to imagine this yummy treat without boiled condensed milk inside! (Check the recipe here)

7. Slice of bread with rye bread, butter and salt

Bread has always had a special place in the Russian heart and rye bread, especially ‘Borodinsky’, is still very popular. It is considered healthier than the “white” wheat loaf. Such a simple slice of bread, butter and salt will cause bouts of nostalgia in any Russian person.

8. Oladyi (fried pancakes)

Lush and appetizing little pancakes made from kefir (sour milk) dough are prepared in a few minutes and will remind you of Sunday breakfasts at a Russian granny’s home. (How to do oladyi)

9. Processed cheese soup

In the Soviet years, there was a popular processed cheese called Druzhba (“Friendship”) and many dishes were prepared with this product, including this vegetarian soup. For cooking, you needed only some vegetables, processed cheese and dry bread (croutons). People still make this soup today - for a little nostalgia! 

10. Squash pancakes

Pancakes with grated fresh squash or zucchini remind of summer days at a Russian dacha. If there was a great squash harvest nearby, this dish would be very popular for lunch. The recipe is easy: squash, onion, flour and eggs - don’t forget to add sour cream! (Find the full recipe here

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