Category: Lithuanian Traditional Foods


Potato pancakes

Today we present you one of our favorite Lithuanian dishes – Potato pancakes or Bulviniai blynai in Lithuanian. There are many different variations of this dish in different countries but this is how we make it. It’s simple but very tasty.

They are very good with mushroom or minced meat  filling as well 😉

You will need:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • we like to use ‘All purpose seasoning’ here or in Lithuania we have ‘Potato seasoning’ that we use (it contains: salt, garlic, paprika, mustard, sugar, onion, turmeric, celery root, black pepper, parsley)
  • oil for frying

To start peel the potatoes

Grate them, watch your fingers 🙂

Add the seasoning, eggs and salt  Mix well. Heat the oil in the pan, spoon the mixture and fry the pancakes on medium heat until cooked throughout.

After one pan is cooked put it in the oven set on low heat  (around 60C) just to keep the pancakes hot while you cook the rest.

Serve with sour cream and enjoy!!!!

Hello everybody!!!

The other day we cooked a Lithuanian dish that we both love and want to introduce you to – Cepelinai or Zeppelins. Oh it takes me right back to my mummy’s house. Hopefully she’ll make us some when we go there in three weeks.

 For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 kg raw potatoes
  • 4 medium size cooked potatoes
  • 300 g minced meat (half beef, half pork)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • some mixed spices for meat
  • salt and pepper
  • fatty bacon or pancetta
  • sour cream

Before you begin, boil your potatoes and let them cool, then peel the skin off. After mash them up. I used a potato masher. My mum uses a mincer and I would definitely recommend that if you have one as it makes the potatoes nice and smooth.

You can use different fillings for this recipe but today we will use minced meat. To get the meat mince ready fry half of your finely chopped onion and put it in the mince together with salt and pepper and mixture of spices. In Lithuania we use a combination of vegetables and seasoning herbs, it’s like a basic seasoning for all the dishes. Blend well. Get it all in to little balls around 25 g each and put aside.

It is best to get it all ready before you grate the potatoes as they tend to go dark quickly.

Finely grate the potatoes.

Put potato gratings in a double cheese cloth and squeeze dry. We just used a clean dish cloth as that’s the only cloth I could find.

At around this point you can put a big pot of water on so it’s boiling when you need it (you will need quite a big pot).

Remember to keep the liquid. Let the potato starch settle on the bottom.

Decant the liquid, mix the starch with dry raw potato and add the boiled potato. Season and blend well.
To start shaping the zeppelins form balls from around 1/2 a cup of the mix. If the mix get sticky, use a little water to wet your palms.

Flatten into round shape like a pancake.

Add the mince balls that you prepared earlier in the middle.

Fold over, seal seam and make a shape of the zeppelin.

So carry on till they are all ready.

 When they are put them into boiling water and simmer for around 30 minutes. We used to always try one to see if the meat is cooked inside (mostly because we couldn’t wait to try one 😉  )

While you are waiting, you can fry the rest of the onion and the bacon for the topping.

When the zeppelins are ready top them up with sour cream and bacon and enjoy! ‘Skanaus’ as we say in Lithuania 🙂

Easter Eggs

Hello everybody!!!! As promised here is our easter themed blog!

In Lithuania we paint eggs in different colours and use a few different techniques. Today we experimented using natural ingredients to get the colors that you would normally get through using dye. Not all of it worked out but the result is great 🙂 And this is how we got there…

The colors that we tried to get were: green – using spinach, blue – blueberries, yellow – turmeric, orange – paprika, brown – instant coffee. To get the colors we obtained we blanched the spinach for 15 mins (even though this one didn’t really work), boiled the blueberries for 15 minute, the paprika and turmeric you pretty much have to just bring to the boil and the instant coffee is a really strong coffee blend. Add the teaspoon of vinegar to make the colors deeper. It all depends on how a strong colour you wish to have, we didn’t want bright un-natural colours, more relaxed colours. So if you want stronger colours you will just have to adjust quantities. When our green didn’t work out we put our eggs in yellow first and then in to the blue. Also it is better to use eggs that are paler in colour. The lighter the shell the easier the colour takes.

When Gaila was back home her mum used old tight, cut them into squares. They will be used to wrap the egg.

 Collect a few small plants from your garden.

The idea here is to transfer the print of the plant onto the egg.

Secure it with a thread and make sure it’s very tight all around.

  

  

 

 

 

 

To get things rolling we hard-boiled 4 eggs. These would be the ones you will see later that we use wax on. All the other eggs are raw! Put the cooked ones to the side to cool down, we will use these later.

Now as we were making the dyes we cooked the eggs in the dye as we went, and as there is only 2 of us we only cooked 2 of each colour

We boiled for 10 minutes then placed the eggs into jars (or pint glasses, we don’t have a great deal of jars as you can see).

Leave in the dye, the stronger the colour on the egg the longer you have to leave it inside the dye. Now boys and girls, for the next part, you will need to melt some wax, we used a simple candle shaved onto a jar lid and heated on our stove.

We used a pin stuck into the end of a pencil (we are very flash in our house!) to draw the wax onto the egg. This was Trevs first time doing this. Using this method you can layer the colours and design.

When layering draw your first design of wax, then soak in the dye (which is now cold) for 20 minutes depending on the strength of colour, pat dry with kitchen roll, apply next layer of wax, soak in different colour dye. You can go on as much as you want really, but just be aware which colours your mixing together. When you finished scrape the wax of with a little knife (be careful not to scrape the dye). Put some oil on a kitchen roll and rub your eggs to make them all shiny.

Happy Easter Everybody!

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