Russian Food and Cuisine!

Easy-to-make Russian Recipes

Learn about Russia, Russian history and some very delicious and easy-to-make Russian dishes

For those of you who are familiar with current events and history, one of the largest countries in the world is Russia. Russia is a massive country which spans over two continents and eleven different time zones.

The sun never sets on Russian soil. When it is evening in Moscow, it is morning in Vladivostok on the Pacific. Most people, however, confuse Russia with what used to be the Soviet Union. Some recipes included in this article are not just from Russia, but from other republics that made up the former Soviet Union as well.

The Russian Federation

The Russian Federation is what Russia is today. The capital of the Russian Federation is Moscow and other cities in the Russian Federation include St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), Klin, Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), Perm, Smolensk, Kislievodsk, Sochi, Ekaterininburg (formerly known as Sverdlovsk), Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.

Russia is predominantly in the North but its southern borders get into continental and even subtropical climates. Sochi, for example, is on the Black Sea, near the Georgian border and is in a subtropical zone. Places like Volgograd, Samara, and the Volga are in a more continental climate which sees hot summers and very cold winters.

Siberia has a very harsh climate, being hot in the summer except up near the Arctic Circle and very cold in the winter time. In some places in Siberia, the summers may be hot, but the ground can still be frozen several feet under the top soil.

Other republics that have a similar climate to Russia include Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. These three republics have a very large Russian speaking population and also have their own national languages. In Belarus, both Belarussian and Russian are spoken. In Ukraine, Ukrainian is spoken.

Both Ukrainian and Belarussian are Slavic languages and use the Cyrillic alphabet. In fact both of those languages are very close to Russian in many ways. Furthermore, because the cultures of Belarus and Ukraine are close to Russian culture, the cuisine is also similar.

Kazakhstan, on the other hand, is different. Kazakh also uses the Cyrillic alphabet but is not a Slavic language. Kazakh is more of Central Asian origin. In Kazakhstan, there are many Russians, so there the cuisine is also the same as in Russia or very close.

Some other republics that made up the former Soviet Union have cultures and cuisine that is completely different from Russian culture and cuisine. Some of these other republics also have delicious recipes and are listed below.

Georgia borders Russia to its south and has some of the spiciest and most unique dishes in the former Soviet Union. Georgia is similar to Russia in that Georgia is predominantly Orthodox Christian. The Georgian language is completely different from Russian and even has a different alphabet that has its roots in ancient Aramaic.

Uzbekistan is a central Asian republic that is south of Kazakhstan and is predominantly Muslim. Its cuisine is best-known for plov, which is a delicious rice pilaf and liula kebabs. Uzbekistan is primarily in the desert and is very hot in the summer.

Armenia is south of Georgia and is known for its dolma which are stuffed grape leaves with ground pork or other meats.

Recipes are listed below.

1. Pelmieny

Pelmieny is a traditional Russian dish. The idea of pelmieny originated from Siberia where the winters are very cold and in the past people would make the pelmieny and then hang them outside in the winter where they would freeze naturally.

Pelmieny are frozen meat dumplings that are made from ground pork. This is a national food in Russia and a wintertime favorite. Pelmieny are best eaten with sour cream. If there are pelmieny left over, they can be fried until they are a golden brown and should be fried in butter.

For the dough  russian grocery store
Flour, depending on how many pelmieny you want to make, you should start with at least two or three cups of flour.
Salt to taste
Water, depending on how many pelmieny you want to make, 1 to 3 cups.

Mix the flour, salt and water together until there are no lumps and you can form the dough easily.

For the filling
Ground pork, about two to three pounds for 20-30 pelmieny
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to add spice to the pelmieny
One onion minced

Take the ground pork and mix together with the salt, pepper and minced onion. Onion can be minced in a typical food processor.

Once you have finished preparing both the dough and meat, take the dough and roll it out flat with a rolling pin. Take a regular round drinking glass to cut circles out of the dough and take a small gob of the meat filling and place in the middle of the meat filling. Pelmieny are traditionally small, so you want to make a large quantity of them.

After you have placed the small gobs of meat in the middle of the dough circles that you cut out with a drinking glass, fold the circle in half with the gob of meat in it. Use egg to close the seam. You can close the seam by gently depressing the two edges of the dough circle together. Use care in not puncturing the dough with the prongs of the fork.

Freeze the pelmieny for later consumption or boil them. To boil pelmieny, take a large pot of water and place it on high heat. As the water begins to boil, pour about two or three tablespoons of salt to give flavor. After water comes to a full boil, reduce the heat to medium and place the pelmieny in the water. Let pelmieny boil for a good 15-20 minutes to make sure that the meat is cooked through.

 

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