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