Carusel Tours
20 July 2022

Traditional Draniki or Potato Pancakes Recipe – Fast, Simple and Crispy

Traditional Draniki or Potato Pancakes Recipe Fast and Crispy
My mother's family is from Belarus and the main (and only) Belorussian dish that we traditionally cook at home is draniki! It is very easy and fast to prepare, and it is delicious, especially when you eat it hot, straight from the pan.

In this post, you will find our family recipe of draniki, tested by many generations. Draniki are the perfect plate to accompany lightly salted salmon or trout – and here you will also find a simple recipe on how to cure salmon if you can't find it in your local shops.
Belorussian and Russian potato crepes or potato pancakes
Draniki – Meaning and Other Names

Draniki is the plural form, just like vareniki, pirozhki, bliny or pelmeni. One piece of draniki is dranik. The word derives from the word "drat'", that means tear apart in that case – it indicates the way you cook draniki – you tear apart or grate potatoes for it!

It is a traditional dish not only in Belarus, you will find it under different names in Latvia and Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic… In the Eastern European Jewish cuisine, it is known as latkes.

2 big potatoes

half onion or one small onion

wheat flour

1 egg

salt and black pepper

sunflower oil for frying (or alternatives)
Cooking Steps

Grate potatoes on the coarse grater. I use the one with smaller and sharper holes. Do it carefully, because you could cut your fingers easily! Place them in a bowl.

Grate half big onion or a small one on the same coarse grater. At this point I start crying, because I am sensitive to raw onion, but if I wash it in water before and grate it wet, it helps a little! Place it in the same bowl.

Squeeze the mixture of grated potatoes and onion with the spoon on top and remove any excess liquid, but do not squeeze too much, the mixture should not be dry.

Add one egg, several spoons of wheat flour, salt and a little bit of ground black pepper to the bowl, mix everything with the fork until smooth. The mixture should be as thick as whole cream or sour cream, but not too thick. You should be able to put it in spoon onto the pan later.

Place the pan onto the fire and pour sunflower oil for frying in it, so that it would cover its bottom completely and in a rather thick layer – around 0,5 cm more or less. Leave it to heat.

Instead of sunflower oil you can use grapeseed oil - it is a more expensive and healthier option. Any variety of oil that you are going to use should be suitable for frying.
Once the oil is hot enough, carefully place the mixture with the large spoon onto the pan, one spoon for one dranik.

Turn around each dranik quickly when you see that its edges are golden, it will be in a minute or less. Once the draniki are golden from the other side, put them on a large dish covered with paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
The thinner your draniki are, the faster they get cooked. If you want them to be thin, you can carefully flatten them with the back of the spoon when you place them into the pan. I won't advice you to cover the pan with the lid, because the draniki will lose their crispiness!
Now you see how simple the recipe is and how easy to find ingredients for that!

Our favourite way to serve draniki is with sour cream and slightly salted salmon. If you have smoked slices of salmon, you can use them too. The best draniki are eaten when they are hot and crisp, but you can also warm them up in the oven the next day.

Here is the easy recipe to make deliciously slightly salted salmon from raw fish.
Russian Salted Salmon Recipe
Russian Cured Salmon Recipe

How to cure salmon at home? It is very easy and it will save you money. It is crucial to get fresh salmon, it can be frozen, but only once. The fresher the fish is, the better will be the result!


Salmon or Trout Fillet

Coarse Sea Salt


Brandy or cognac

Pink peppercorn (Brazilian pink pepper, baie rose)
Instructions on How to Cure Salmon

Put the salmon fillet in a flat glass container or rectangular baking dish.

In a separate bowl mix coarse sea salt with sugar in the ratio 50/50. For each half kilo of salmon you will roughly need 1 table spoon of salt and 1 table spoon of sugar.

Rub the salmon fillet with this mixture from both sides, carefully pour over 2-3 table spoon of brandy or cognac on top of the fillet and sprinkle with whole grains of pink peppercorn.

Cover the dish with the foil or lid and place it in the coldest place of your fridge overnight (not the freezer!). In the morning open the dish and turn the salmon fillet around – so that it will be equally cured from both sides. Cover the dish with the lid of foil and leave it there until the evening. By the evening it should be ready!

Consume your salmon within a few days! It cannot be stored for more than a couple of days, therefore if you cured too much salmon, it is better to cut it in slices and freeze it.

See our other traditional recipes and let us know if you have any questions!
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