UKRAINIAN - Spring 2022 (Apr-Jun) Cuisine of the Quarter

I was chatting with @Olunia, about what Ukrainian recipes I might make over the next few months.

While I own 2 Ukrainian cookbooks, the recipes aren’t quite as exciting as the ones I see online.

I plan to make Okroshka at some point.

It’s popular in Ukraine, as well as in Russia.

I make vegetarian beet borscht year-round.

I like fruit perogies, might make these.

I also like potato pancakes of all types, might try these.

I’m a little obsessed with Kiev Torte. I plan to order one for my birthday.

For those of you on IG, this is an interesting account


Are you going to make the kvass?

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I’ve been pondering this. It could be a real rabbit hole. Does one first make the rye bread, and then make the kvass (before making the okroshka)?

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That really depends on what type of food you like and which ingredient/flavour combinations.
Also, how much time you have to prepare the meal is something to take into consideration.

For example on CH the “famous” Marcella Hazan Bolognese sauce was considered “la crème de la crème”.
However, I found it just okay.
My boys wouldn’t eat it so I had to “doctor it up” to what they were use to having as a flavour profile.

What types of foods do you like?
Do you like beets for example?
Then look at the ingredients and decide from there.
I love Borscht others can’t stand it.
If I knew you better, I’d feel more comfortable making a recommendation.
Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

I’ll watch the WFD thread and see what you are posting.
Which COTQ and DOTQ was your favourite so I can look there?

Thank you for organizing both COTQ and DOTQ.


Not to forget, useful references here:


Excited to participate and learn!

I spent two years in the Peace Corps in Poland in the early 90s, and that was my introduction to (and master class in) Eastern European cooking. After the Peace Corps, I moved to NYC, and I sought out the restaurants and bakeries where I could taste the foods I had enjoyed; one of them was Veselka, the legendary Ukrainian diner in the East Village. The borscht I had there was very different from what I’d had in Poland, but I liked it even more. I became obsessed with it, and plan to cook it (from the Veselka cookbook) this quarter for the first time. (Note: the recipe is also on Epicurious, but now there’s a paywall.)

Borscht, medovik (honey cake - I posted about this recently on here) and Kyiv cake are the things I’m most interested in making this quarter.


I’d like to mention that Olia Hercules has another book of Ukranian cooking, called “Summer Kitchens”. It might be easier to obtain (at least it was when we were considering Mamushka for COTM). I picked up a copy and it’s very appealing. I will be cooking from it for this thread.


SPLIT PEA AND BREAD SOUP (KULESHNYK) - Summer Kitchens, p. 134

My first dish from this book. It’s a soup of split peas (yellow), celery root, parsnip, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, tomato paste and thyme. My one change was to use a turnip instead of the parsnip, as I am overrun with turnips right now. Once the soup is cooked, it is thickened with pieces of sourdough or rye bread (I used a gluten-free sourdough pumpernickel). You are instructed to garnish with marjoram or oregano leaves, chile flakes, and olive oil. I gave the oregano and chile a quick fry in the oil. This is a delicious, hearty, vegetarian soup. Perfect for the dreary, rainy weather we had yesterday. Would happily repeat.


I’m trying to find some Ukrainian salmon or other seafood recipes. I have found recipes for Ukraine/ seafood soup online.
I am currently browsing Odessa cuisine online.

I have found a couple recipes for Odessa Sauce online


Ukrainian dinner rolls, topped with butter and garlic chives, parsley and flour de sel. Usually served with soup, this is from “Mamushka”. The first time I made them in March, I used yeast, this time, I substituted a sourdough starter and increased the rolls from 8 to 9 as they were very large. Even at nine , these are still quite large. The rolls are a lean type of bread without fat or eggs . I used milk rather than water this time but don’t expect too much of a change.




Thank you, we enjoyed them last time and expect to do the same this time!

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Thanks for posting about your very interesting experience in Poland.

I lived in Madrid in 1982-84 and met a fellow art history researcher from Poland at the Prado. I visited her for one week in spring 1983 in Warsaw, coinciding with the Soviet-sponsored May Workers parade through the city, which we watched on TV. In 1983 there were still many food shortages and restaurants in Warsaw with enticing-sounding dishes on the menu presented to customers, with only a few dishes on the menu actually available. My friend’s grandmother presented me with their best available fruit preserves, etc., at breakfast each morning. So I experienced the same food the locals did, not much available. I took pantry items from Spain including coffee and tea and legumes when I visited.

It was an amazing experience. My friend has visited me three times in the US since then and we’ve talked a lot about food. She’s been a vegetarian for decades so our discussions of traditional Polish foods are limited. So I’m still an eager learner about Polish food, limited somewhat because I’m mostly a vegetarian myself.

I was recently in touch with her by email and heard that the Art Museum in Warsaw is now organized around getting food, medical care, and support to Ukranian refugees.


BARLEY, BEAN, AND MUSHROOM CASSEROLE (chovlent, p. 224) with TRANSCARPATHIAN BUNS WITH MUSHROOMS (kolduny, p. 168) - Summer Kitchens

Another delicious stew from this book. Barley is a no-go for me (gluten), so I substituted whole grain sorghum. The beans called for are cannellini beans, and I cooked them in the Instant Pot instead of the stovetop, and did not bother with the soaking. Porcini mushrooms are rehydrated, and beans and barley (sorghum for me) are cooked separately. To make the stew, you cook down some onions, then add garlic, tomato paste, and paprika. Reserved mushroom soaking liquid is added, and then the beans, barley, and mushrooms. The stew is seasoned with salt and pepper and simmered for… well, the author says 10 minutes, but I found it took quite a bit longer. She suggests pan-frying some chanterelles to go on top. Having none, I rehydrated some morels, and sautéed them in butter and parsley.

The buns were more fraught. The dough for these is leavened only with baking soda, and kefir is the liquid. I had to adapt to be gluten-free, and I used a mixture of brown rice and tapioca flours, with psyllium husk added. I also had no kefir, so I thinned some plain vegan yogurt (almond-based) with some water. This came together nicely, after a little resting period, to make a dough I could knead, roll out and shape. The problem came with the shaping and cooking instructions. The dough is rolled into a rectangle, and the filling, a mix of fresh and dried mushrooms with dill, is spread over half. The dough is supposed to then be rolled into a log, and the log is cut into slices. Simple enough. To cook, the author gives two methods. One is to simple steam the buns in a steamer or colander. I did that with some of them. The other method, described in the headnote, is to put them on top of a simmering stew, and cook covered for 10 or 15 minutes. Since I was making the very stew she recommended for this, I decided to try that method with some of the buns. But the instructions called for them to be placed “cut side up.” That’s when I began to question the shaping instructions. If you cut a log of dough into sections, there are two cut sides! And I wondered if there wasn’t a step in the shaping left out. And would all my filling spill out into the stew? The only picture shows the buns in the shaping process, and they don’t exactly look as if they were just cut from a log. Google was no help here, nor was YouTube, because the other recipes for similar buns/dumplings were much different. Apparently this version is not the norm. So I just soldiered on and followed the instructions, and it was fine. The ones cooked in the stew came out a bit heavier than the ones that were simply steamed. But they held up fine and the filling did not spill out the bottom. They were all good! But I still have no idea the way I made them was right, or what these are really supposed to look like.


You really are intrepid and the meal looks great!


WOW, I’m envious of your experience of early-80s Poland. So interesting! And it’s wonderful that you’ve kept in touch with your friend. I was also a vegetarian when I lived there and found it extremely challenging. When I reverted to eating meat later, I was thrilled to finally be able to taste some of the highlights of Polish cuisine.



WHAT a word!

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Ukrainian Easter Breads, known as Paska or Kulich can be astonishingly beautiful

Some Ukrainians and other people from Central and Eastern European cultures make a Paska/ Paskha cheese spread to serve with the bread

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