Ukraine, a large European country known for offering incredible travel experiences, is a foodie’s paradise! The robust and hearty Ukrainian food consist of traditional dishes prepared uniquely in each region of Ukraine. Ardent foodies should tantalise their taste-buds with these lip-smacking Ukrainian dishes:
Borshch (Ukrainian Beet Soup)
A sour soup popular in Eastern European nations, Borshch is a must for foodies! Its base is a meaty broth in which onions, carrots, cabbage, peppers, leeks and other vegetables are added. Fried beet root shreds and tomatoes are added to it to give it a distinct flavour. The vegetarian varieties of the soup have vegetable broth as the base. In the Carpathian Mountain region, it is slow cooked on wood fire and presented impressively to guests.
Also called as ‘Pierogi’, Vareniki is a steamed dumpling dish made with different types of fillings. The outer layer is made of flour and salt. The commonest filling is of potatoes and caramelized onions, however variations with ground meat, cabbage, mushrooms and cheese are available. This Ukrainian food is also served as a dessert with sour cream. Then, it has a filling of fruits like cherries or strawberries.
Deruny is primarily made of ground or grated potatoes. Flour, eggs, garlic, pepper and salt is added to potatoes and then shaped as pancakes. They are fried till they turn crisp. It is offered with sour cream. This garlicky treat is either eaten in breakfast or as a savoury snack at tea time.
This is an example of on-the-go Ukrainian food! Piroshki is a fried bun with a filling of ground meat, flavoured with garlic and pepper. The savoury type of Piroshki is eaten as a meal. It can be prepared as a sweet dish with fillings of fruits.
Chicken Kiev has gained worldwide popularity, and it has nothing to do with the capital Kiev. Chicken Kiev is made of pounded fillets of chicken, rolled around fingers of cold butter and herbs. The ‘trick of the trade’ lies in the frying process. The cook must ensure that the butter fills the cavity of the Chicken Kiev and does not leak out. This is an example of fine Ukrainian food and is nowadays served in all top-notch restaurants.
Holubtsi (Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage)
Holubtsi has an outer covering of fresh or pickled cabbage leaves, grape leaves or beetroot leaves. The stuffing can be of either minced meat of one’s choice and rice and spices like pepper and garlic, or of eggs and spring onions. In the vegetarian type, the stuffing can be of rice, beans, mushrooms, or of different varieties of vegetables. These stuffed cabbage rolls are then fried and served either along with a broth and tomato sauce or with sour cream.
Nalysnyky, a popular crepe dish, is made of sugar, flour, eggs and oil. It is fluffy on the inside yet crispy on the outside. The filling can be either of ground meat with caramelised onions, sautéed mushrooms, cheese, stewed cabbage, or of eggs and onions. The spices consist of salt and pepper, but can be tweaked as per one’s palate. Furthermore, the filling can be of fruits with walnuts and raisins, or of cottage cheese with raisins and honey, making it an ideal breakfast dish for everyone.
Being unique to Ukraine, Nachynka is a baked cake prepared of cornmeal, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and baking powder. The surprise ingredient of this dish is the onions. The dish tastes sweet like a cake but has a twist of saltiness because of onions.
A traditional Ukrainian food mostly cooked during Christmas or New Year, Kholodet is a broth made of meat, chicken or fish set with the addition of gelation into jelly like moulds. These moulds have centre filling of either meat or vegetables. They are moderately spiced with ginger and pepper. Kholodet is served with horseradish sauce or mustard.
This cold dish, served in summers, is influenced by the Russian cuisine to a certain extent. The base of the recipe is a soup made from Kvass. Kvass is a fermented drink prepared from black or rye bread. The roughly chopped pieces of vegetables like cucumber, spring onions, potatoes along with boiled pieces of meat like beef, chicken or fish are added to it.