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Draniki (Deruny) Potato Pancakes Recipe that Will Keep You Coming Back For More

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Our draniki (deruny) recipe gives you everything you need to bring this Eastern European favorite to life in your home kitchen. These flavorful potato pancakes are starchy and crispy, and will have you saying ‘just one more’ over and over again!

Draniki potato pancakes topped with sour cream.

Draniki or Deruny Recipe

Eastern Europe is renowned for its filling, comforting dishes, and draniki is no different. You’ve got crispiness and softness, warmth and crunch, starchy potato and tangy onion, all in the same mouthful.

This Eastern European staple is incredibly diverse and can be served and enjoyed in so many ways. It’s stomach-filling, heartwarming food at its purest!

Draniki potato pancakes topped with sour cream.

What is Draniki?

Put simply, draniki is a dish of wholesome potato pancakes. Potato pancakes are found in many different European cuisines, in various forms. Be it bulviniai blynai in Lithuanian cuisine in the north, to German cuisine‘s kartoffelpuffer in Central Europe, all the way down to Ukrainian cuisine‘s deruny in Eastern Europe, potato pancakes are hugely influential across the continent.

In Belarus, draniki is the national dish, hence the food takes on even greater significance. This simple recipe of fried pancakes made from grated potato, flour, egg, and onion, among other ingredients, is a great way to feed a group of people, no matter how many you’re hosting.

Belarusians traditionally serve sizeable portions of draniki in a large crockery dish, with plenty of sour cream on the side. But however you enjoy our draniki recipe, one thing is for sure: they are very simple to make!

Ingredients

To make draniki, you’ll first need to assemble the following ingredients:

Potato pancake ingredients.
  • Potatoes – 6 medium (700 grams total)
  • Egg – 1 medium
  • Flour – 3 heaped tablespoons
  • Onion – 1 medium white onion
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Sunflower Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Garlic, 2-3 cloves, optional
  • Fresh Herbs (dill and parsley) – handful, optional

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Grate the potatoes and add them to a bowl. In the bowl, add 1 tsp of salt, mixing it in. Leave the mixture for around 5-7 minutes.

Grated potato for the potato pancakes.

Step 2 – Squeeze the liquid out of the potatoes with your hands or using a cheesecloth, depending on preference.

Step 3 – With your potato prepared, grate the onion and add it to the drained potatoes.

Step 4 – Crack open the egg into a separate bowl, beat the egg, and finally add it to the potato-onion mixture.

Step 5 – Next, add the black pepper and any additional ingredients you’re using, such as minced garlic, dill, and parsley.

Potato pancakes recipe ingredients.

Step 6 – Add the flour to the mixture, and mix everything together thoroughly. Once mixed, you should have a batter similar to pancake batter.

Step 7 – On a pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of oil. When the oil is shimmering, turn the heat down to medium, and add a scoop of batter at a time, forming little potato pancakes. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side until it’s brown on the bottom.

Step 8 – After about 3 minutes, once the draniki are brown on the bottom, flip them to cook on the other side. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan with a lid, if possible, so that the potato will cook better on the inside. You’ll be cooking them for another 3-4 minutes until the potato is cooked inside.

Once the potato pancakes are ready, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate or in a bowl to rest. As mentioned above, if you want to want to do as the Belarusians do, use a crockery dish. We, however, have opted to assemble our draniki on a large plate, as shown below.

Potato pancakes with sour cream.

Sour cream and draniki are a match made in heaven. Belarusians also enjoy this wholesome dish with a side of meat. The beauty, however, of draniki is that one pancake alone is packed with goodness and flavor, and is very filling all by itself.

However, as this is a potato dish, if you want to get creative your serving options are endless. We’ve stayed true to Belarusian and Ukrainian cuisine by serving with a side of sour cream, as shown below, but feel free to try pairing a few of these starchy pancakes with a wide range of meats, seafood, and vegetables, depending on your personal preferences.

Potato pancakes with sour cream.

Draniki Recipe Card

Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes (about 700 grams or 1.5 lb)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 3 heaped tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, optional
  • handful of fresh herbs (dill and parsley), optional

Instructions

    1. Grate the potatoes and add them to a bowl. In the bowl, add 1 tsp of salt, mixing it in. Leave the mixture for around 5-7 minutes.
    2. Squeeze the liquid out of the potatoes with your hands or using a cheesecloth, depending on preference.
    3. With your potato prepared, grate the onion and add it to the drained potatoes.
    4. Crack open the egg into a separate bowl, beat the egg, and finally add it to the potato-onion mixture.
    5. Next, add the black pepper and any additional ingredients you’re using, such as minced garlic, dill, and parsley.
    6. Add the flour to the mixture, and mix everything together thoroughly. Once mixed, you should have a batter similar to pancake batter.
    7. On a pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of oil. When the oil is shimmering, turn the heat down to medium, and add a scoop of batter at a time, forming little potato pancakes. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side until it’s brown on the bottom.
    8. After about 3 minutes, once the draniki are brown on the bottom, flip them to cook on the other side. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan with a lid, if possible, so that the potato will cook better on the inside. You’ll be cooking them for another 3-4 minutes until the potato is cooked inside.
    9. Once the potato pancakes are ready, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate or in a bowl to rest. Serve with plenty of sour cream.

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    Contributor: Efimia is a Moldovan teacher and passionate home cook, well-versed in Eastern European cuisine, who has been feeding loved ones with her honest and delicious home cooking for the best part of 40 years and counting.

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