There are two words that describe Belarusian cuisine: potato dishes. And vegan Belarusian draniki or potato pancakes are at the head of them.
Our Vegan Belarusian Draniki Two Ways
Kletski, babka, kalduny, tukmachi – there is no end of traditional potato dishes in Belarusian cuisine. The country with the highest consumption of potatoes per capita in the world proudly regards this simple plant as the second bread.
The potato dishes satisfy hunger of every Belarusian on a regular basis. The traditional delicacies made from the potatoes top festive tables, always surprising the guests with the abundance and rich flavor of the potato dishes. But despite such a variety of the potato recipes, the Belarusians unanimously favor their Belarusian draniki, which they eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For some, Belarusian draniki are also a satisfying snack to relish on on the go.
Spice Belarusian Draniki with a Word from History
Although an essential part of Belarusian cuisine nowadays, draniki were borrowed from other culinary traditions. It is believed the potato pancakes originated in Germany and slowly spread throughout Central and Eastern Europe. In Belarus, draniki reached its peak popularity in the 19th century. They have been a favorite traditional potato dish ever since.
The name “draniki” is, however, of Belarusian origin. It can be translated as rubbing. You can’t ask for a better word to describe Belarusian draniki, which are made by grating the potatoes using a fine grater.
Traditionally, the Belarusians serve their draniki with sour cream, eggs, or machanka, a dish prepared from finely chopped scraps of lard or various trimmings. Kids like to slather generous amount of butter on their potato pancakes and sweeten them with sugar. Such combination certainly raises eyebrows of the unaccustomed diners. But as they say, tastes differ.
Two Recipes of Vegan Belarusian Draniki
Belarusian draniki are in essence vegan. They ask only for three ingredients: potatoes, onion, and salt. But condiments and side dishes that you use to customize your potato pancakes make them vegan or non-vegan.
The original recipe of Belarusian draniki is very simple. All you need is to grate the ingredients, form the pancakes, and fry them in coconut oil over medium heat. Every household, however, adds something new, and now you can find draniki with vegetable or meat fillings. We are going to make Belarusian dranikit two ways, both vegan, with and without the filling.
Vegan Belarusian Draniki Recipe
- Yield: 5-6 servings
- Time: 40-50 minutes
- 10 large potatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 teaspoon of salt (you can add more if needed)
- Coconut oil for frying
Filling (for the second recipe)
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 1/2 bell pepper
- 7-8 medium mushrooms
- salt and pepper to taste
- coconut oil for frying
Vegan Belarusian Draniki: Method One
- Peel the potatoes and onion, grate them on a fine grater.
- Drain almost all the juice, but include some starch that sank to the bottom of the bowl. The mixture shouldn’t have any excess liquid.
- Add the salt and mix well.
- Pour coconut oil onto a hot pan. Spread one tablespoon of the mixture on the pan to form a small pancake. Fry over medium heat for 2-3 minutes before flipping over. Continue frying on the other side until the potato pancake is crisp and golden brown. Repeat the same with the remaining of the mixture, adding more oil if needed.
- Serve draniki immediately.
Vegan Belarusian Draniki: Method Two
- Repeat steps 1 to 3 from the first recipe of vegan Belarusian draniki.
- Prepare the filling for your draniki by dicing the vegetables and frying them in coconut oil over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour coconut oil onto a hot pan. Spread one tablespoon of the mixture on the pan to form a small pancake. Place one teaspoon of the filling on top of it and cover with another tablespoon of the grated potatoes and onion. Fry over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Once it has browned, flip over and continue frying on the other side until crisp and golden brown. Repeat the same with the remaining of the mixture, occasionally pouring more oil into the pan if needed.
- Serve draniki immediately.
- You can use food processor or powerful blender to grate the potatoes. If you don’t have neither of them, use juicer. However, be sure to discard the “juice” and keep the pulp. It will greatly expedite the whole process, taking approximately 10 minutes. Grating the potatoes manually on the fine greater can take up to 40 minutes.
- Use coconut oil for frying, as it is highly resistant to oxidation at high heat.
- Serve draniki immediately. Once reheated, they lose their rich flavor and taste qualities.
Want to experiment with more travel inspired dishes? Check out these recipes.