Belarusian Kalduny – Potato Pancakes with meatCourse: Appetizers and Snacks, LunchCuisine: BelarussianDifficulty: Medium
My husband loves these. Kalduny is a very simple dish in terms of ingredients – just potatoes, meat, some egg and onion – you’re pretty much ready to go. The only part that adds a little bit of difficulty is the need to grate the potatoes for proper texture. And don’t use a blender for that. Sometimes, I’m also feeling lazy about manual labor of this kind, but here you actually need to grate them, otherwise, you might get a mixture that won’t work for getting proper results.
This dish has an interesting name. When translated “as is”, “Kalduny” mean “Sorcerers” or “Wizards” in Belarusian. Well, this is weird. Is anybody getting Harry Potter vibes? But why wizards? Even Wikipedia doesn’t know. But actually, if you go deeper into research, the work might be coming from the Latin word “Calduna” which means “warm insides (of an animal)”. That’s a little bit gross, but makes much more sense! These pancakes contain warm beef wrapped with the grated potato. It’s all coming together now. So initially, this dish was called after a Latin word, but then Slavic people in East Europe started associating it with a completely different word meaning “Wizards”, that sounds kind of cool, but doesn’t make much sense.
10-11 regular-sized potatoes (about 1 kg – 2 lb)
1 large onion or 2 small ones
1 large egg
300 g of any minced meat
3 tbsp dill
3 tbsp green onion
3 tbsp flour
Vegetable oil for frying (80 ml)
Salt/pepper to taste
- Grate the peeled potatoes on a fine grater. I do not advise you to use a blender to grind potatoes, because you will get a completely different texture in the finished product. That is why is important to use grater In the original recipe. Add salt and pepper to the grated potatoes to your taste. And mix until you get a smooth texture. Leave the mass for 5 minutes. It has to let the excess liquid out.
- Meanwhile, coarsely chop the onion, dill and green onion. Mix everything together.
- Now put the mixture in a blender and grind everything into a puree. Set aside.
- Let’s go back to grated potatoes. Squeeze the potato mixture well to remove the liquid. You can use a fine sieve, but I do it by hand. The mixture should become elastic, but not too dry.
- Take half of the chopped onion and dill mixture. Set the other half aside. You will need it later for the meat. In a large bowl, mix it with the grated potatoes.
- Add egg and flour and mix well.
- Mix the remaining mixture of onion and dill with minced meat. Also add salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. Form 4 identical pancakes from the potato mixture, put the minced meat on top of them.
- Spread the potato mass evenly over the minced meat so that it is completely covered.
- Fry Kalduny on each side for 5 minutes over medium heat, until golden brown. For best results, you can cover the pan with a lid at the end of frying each pancake batch.
- Be sure to try them with sour cream. This traditional dish will not leave anyone indifferent!