Russian Season


Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Draniki (Potato Pancakes Belorussian style)


We haven’t posted any new recipes for a long while – not because we’ve been starving our family as you might have presumed, but because I’ve been ill and absolutely unwilling to approach the PC. This also meant I didn’t really have any cooking sessions with my Mum. However, being ill and staying at home gave me the time to do some relaxed cooking in the mornings, which was so good! During those three weeks I cooked record-breaking quantities of French toasts and omelets!

Alright, but we do have some Eastern European recipes in stock, and I’d like to start with a very simple one: Draniki. This Belorussian method of making potato pancakes is also very typical for Russian and Ukrainian cuisine. Actually, I guess you can find these in nearly every European cuisine (starting with German) and beyond, because everybody loves crispy golden potatoes!

Draniki are usually served with smetana (sour cream) or with garlic sauce, which can be made with minced garlic and herbs stirred into smetana or vegetable oil.

Draniki, Potato Pancakes


5 medium-sized potatoes
1 egg
½ cup kefir (which you might find in an Eastern Europe food store near you, or replace with a sour yoghurt)
½ cup wheat flour
½ tsp salt
Vegetable oil
3/4 cup smetana/sour cream

Serves 2 as a main course, 3 as a side dish


Peel the potatoes and grate them on a medium grater (don’t use blender; you can do it with a good old hand grater, just 5 potatoes, that’s nothing!). Leave the potatoes to drain in a fine sieve for a couple of minutes (we don’t want any excess liquid).

Grated potatoes

In a bowl, mix grated potatoes, egg, and kefir. Stir well and add the flour. Season with salt.
We were making twice as many pancakes, that’s why we added two eggs, as you might have noticed

Draniki Batter

Take a large frying pan (the larger the pan, the more pancakes you can cook at a time, that’s why), pour two tablespoons oil, and bring to heat. Fry the pancakes over a medium heat until golden-brown on both sides.

Frying Draniki

Make sure you add some oil every time you place a new batch of pancakes on the pan. And it is much faster to cook the pancakes on two pans at a time!


You should absolutely serve Draniki with smetana/sour cream or, if you’re not going out after meals, make a cup of garlic sauce to them!

Draniki with Smetana

Draniki, Potato Pancakes

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13 Responses

  1. I’ve had potato pancakes in my to-do list for some time already… glad that you’re back!

  2. Sunny P says:

    Oh yum! It’s fun to see how different cultures have different takes on potato pancakes, hehe. I just wrote a recipe on Korean potato pancakes last week. :)

    I’m glad you’re feeling better…i was wondering where you were!

  3. bb says:

    abortive attempt..

  4. Found your recipe after just returning from Belarus and Ukraine.

    Had Dranikki lots over there so was glad to find out how it is made ! Thanks

  5. Aco says:

    How many does this recipe make?

    • Aque says:

      dear Mark,I have accessibility ieusss with he last Firefox update 3.6.10. With the previous version, (3.6.3), everything was okay. But with this new update, some sites like or a myspace page take for ever to open and sometimes don’t open at all. It seems like jaws is getting in Firefox’s way somehow.If a sighted person looks at what I’m doing, she tells me that these pages will open normally with jaws closed.This happens with jaws 10 and 11.I know this is not exactly the right place to report ieusss, but I hope you can tell me what to do or who to report to.All the best,JPR

  6. Fake Oakleys says:

    Fake Oakleys…

    Draniki (Potato Pancakes Belorussian style) - Russian Season: Russian and Eastern European Cuisine…

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