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Thick and Wholesome Kefir Pancakes (Oladyi/Oladi) Recipe

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Whip up a wholesome treat with a thick, slightly spongy texture by giving our kefir pancakes (oladyi) recipe a try, and enjoy this Eastern European favorite in so many different ways.

Oladyi (Kefir Pancakes) Recipe

Also called oladi, oladky, oladushki, or oladya, oladyi are thick, palm-sized pancakes, common in Ukrainian cuisine, Russian cuisine, Belarusian cuisine, and a number of other Eastern European cuisines such as Moldovan cuisine (where they’re called ‘blinele’).

Simple to make, the batter commonly includes kefir or some type of yogurt or soured milk. Once ready, these pancakes make for a wholesome mouthful with a delightful little bounce and are traditionally served with sour cream.

If you have plenty of mouths to feed at your dinner party or celebration, a stacked plate of these delicious kefir pancakes is a surefire way to put plenty of smiles on hungry faces!

Variations

Flour – Aside from popular wheat flour, older oladyi recipes used buckwheat flour in the batter.

Batter – While kefir, yogurt, or soured milk is commonly used in the batter, people also make these pancakes with milk. For a sweeter treat, you can also add fruit to the batter, such as raisins or chopped apples.

Toppings – Along with the traditional pairing of sour cream, you can top oladyi with jams, fruit conserves, and honey. Savory oladyi can be served with butter, tvorog (farmer’s cheese), and caviar.

Recipe Ingredients

To make our oladyi kefir pancakes recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Kefir – 2 cups
  • Flour – 3 cups
  • Eggs – 2
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  • Vegetable Oil – 1/4 cup for frying.

Note: If you can’t find kefir, you should be able to use buttermilk. If you can’t find buttermilk either, you can also use a combination of whole milk and full-fat Greek or plain yogurt.

Step-by-Step Instructions

First, make sure your kefir is not cold but at room temperature. You can do so by taking out of the fridge about 30 minutes before or putting it over a bain-marie for a few minutes while stirring.

Step 1 – Beat the egg with salt, sugar, and vanilla with a whisk.

Step 2 – Add the kefir to the egg mixture in stages while mixing.

Step 3 – In a separate bowl, sift the flour and add the baking soda to the flour and mix.

Step 4 – To the bowl with the kefir-egg liquid mixture, add the flour in stages while mixing to incorporate it without any lumps.

Step 5 – Over medium heat, heat a pan and add 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Then, pour about 1/4 cup of butter into the pan for each pancake (depending on how big you want the pancakes to be; adjust as you desire). Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden on the bottom.

Step 6 – Once golden, flip the pancakes over and put a lid on so they can cook all the way inside.

Step 7 – Once ready, remove them from the pan to a plate and cover them with foil to keep them warm while you finish making the rest of the pancakes by repeating the process.

Serving Suggestions

Step 8 – Serve with sour cream and your favorite jam (I’m partial to strawberry).

You can enjoy oladyi as you would any other type of pancake: stacked high, with plenty of sweet or savory toppings dolloped on top!

Oladyi is Eastern European comfort food at its purest. Filling, satisfying, and with a thick, slightly spongy texture, paired with a cold dollop of sour cream or a sticky, sweet jam, this is a dish to put a smile on everybody’s face!

Oladyi Recipe Card

Kefir Pancakes (Oladyi)

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Nomad Paradise

Ingredients

  • 2 cups kefir room-temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil or any neutral-tasting oil, for frying.

Instructions

  • Beat the egg with salt, sugar, and vanilla with a whisk.
  • Add the room-temperature kefir to the egg mixture in stages while mixing.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour and add the baking soda to the flour, and mix.
  • To the bowl with kefir-egg liquid mixture, add the flour in stages while mixing to incorporate it without any lumps.
  • Over medium heat, heat a pan and add 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Then, pour about 1/4 cup of butter into the pan for each pancake (depending on how big you want the pancakes to be; adjust as you desire). Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden on the bottom.
  • Once golden, flip the pancakes over and put a lid on so they can cook all the way inside, which should take about 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the pancakes.
  • Once ready, remove them from the pan to a plate and cover them with foil to keep them warm while you finish making the rest of the pancakes by repeating the process.

Recipe Notes

It's important for the kefir not to be too cold, so bring it to room temperature, either by leaving it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes or putting it over a bain-marie for a few minutes while mixing it.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nomadparadisefood or tag #nomadparadisefood!

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Keep our oladyi recipe for safekeeping, ready for a future dinner party or gathering, by saving this article to one of your Pinterest boards.

Contributor: Efimia has a wealth of experience cooking dishes from across Eastern Europe and the Balkans and has been feeding her beloved family and friends with these dishes for over forty years.

Author

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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