Syrniki, i.e. curd fritters, which are in the world’s Top 25 desserts, are among the most popular traditional dishes of Russian cuisine. These are fritters of cottage cheese mixed with a little flour, sugar, and eggs. They make a wonderful part of the menu of Russian cafes and restaurants. In everyday life, Russians often cook syrniki for breakfast. Both adults and children love them, not only for their pleasing appearance and aroma but also for their delicate soft taste. Curd fritters are served with condensed milk, sour cream, thick fruit and berry jelly (kissel') or jam.
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The History of Curd Fritters
The dish is of Slavic origin because earlier most of the families had their own farms and milk was in abundance, and then this recipe was invented. The curd is an outcome of milk fermentation. There had never been any refrigerators in the past, so thrifty hostesses decided not to throw away curd but add a little flour and fry it. Perhaps this is only one of the versions of the recipe invention, but within a short period of time curd fritters became one of the favorite Russian desserts.
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The most popular are classical syrniki and those with raisins; however, curd fritters with other additives, such as carrots, dried apricots, apples, pears, and nuts are also common. By the way, syrniki do not have to be desserts, but they can be savoury, with the addition of boiled potatoes, greens, sun-dried tomatoes, green onions or dill to the cottage cheese. Unsweetened options of curd fritters can be served with ketchup or mayonnaise.
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Traditional Curd Fritters
Syrniki can be sweet or sugarless, fried in a pan or baked in the oven, with flour and various additives to them. So, how to make traditional Russian syrniki?
Curd Fritters Recipe
350 g of cottage cheese,
5 tablespoons of wheat flour,
5 tablespoons of vegetable oil,
2 tablespoons of sugar,
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Put the cottage cheese into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add eggs and sugar to it and mix thoroughly. Then mix in flour until smooth.
Heat up the pan on the fire and pour in oil. Put some flour on a flat plate, take a lump of cottage cheese and shape a ball out of it. Dip the ball in flour and flatten it, put it on the pan.
Fry the cakes for 1-2 minutes until golden brown on each side. Serve with sour cream, jam or condensed milk.
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Tips and Tricks
In order for your Russian cheesecakes to be truly tasty, follow the simple rules of cooking them:
* Cottage cheese should not be too wet; otherwise, the fritters will fall apart. However, if the curd is very dry, it will make your syrniki kind of rubbery.
* To get your fritters spongy, rub the curd through a sieve before cooking. You can also use a blender.
* If you want to get tender syrniki, add a little less flour, and if you prefer tougher fritters, add more.
* Do not add too many eggs, as they will make the curd lose.
* You can change the amount of sugar at your discretion. But with an excess of sugar, curd fritters cannot keep their shape.
* To get the fritters well cooked, it is advisable to cover the pan with a lid when frying them.
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Author: Vera Ivanova