Some years ago a Belarusian friend promised to make me draniki’s if I visited Belarus. I didn’t visit, never got the chance to try authentic homemade draniki and it got forgotten until I saw it on Yuliya’s blog. It brought back memories and the urge to make it in my own home.
The word draniki means 'having being grated'. It may not be the most enticing sounding name but don't let the word discourage you. With its crispy exterior and soft interior, draniki's are absolutely delicious. It is generally served with sour cream but I was quite happy to eat it on its own.
Russiapedia has the following to say about draniki:
Draniki originated in Russia some 200 years ago. The first mention of the dish dates back to 1830, though it is also said the dish was a kind of imitation of a German course. There are international variants of Russian draniki such as Ukrainian deruny or kakorki, Polish tartyuhy and Israeli latkes.
Draniki, quite unlike Japanese sushi or French fondue are not considered an exquisite dish. This is due to the “low origin” of the main ingredient – the potato.
There are numerous recipes for the dish that vary from family to family and from region to region. Some add onions; others who are more carnivorous add minced meat and still others mix grated potatoes with grated carrots.
But traditional Russian draniki are prepared in accordance to several fixed rules, the main one being never use flour when making draniki!
The traditional recipe just uses potatoes, onion, sourcream and salt. All ingredients are mixed then fried. The traditional recipe looks interesting but I have already made something similar before, my baked version. The traditional version mixes sourcream with the batter whereas the ‘modern’ recipe serves sourcream on the side. Perhaps the Belorussians deconstructed the original recipe even before today's chefs knew what deconstruction means!
Recipe source: Yuliya’s Kitchen and More
5 lbs potatoes
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream for serving (optional)
- Grate the onions and potatoes in a large bowl. Grate onions first. If you start with potatoes they will discolor
- Add eggs, flout, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil
- Place tablespoons of batter in the pan and flatten
- Cook until the bottom is golden brown, turn over and cook on the other side. You may need to add more oil when turning over the pancakes