Russian Cuisine Archives | Happy Bellyfish

Recipe Categories: Russian Cuisine

Buckwheat Pancakes (Eggless)

Buckwheat pancakes are the easiest and the healthiest breakfast you can imagine. Made without eggs, only with buckwheat flour and other healthy plant-based ingredients, it’s perfect even for a gluten-free and a vegan diet.

Buckwheat flour is one of the most nutritious flours that are available in the market, it is rich in protein, fiber and vitamins. This type of healthy pancakes is definitely the best meal with which you can start your morning energized, without wasting too much time on cooking.

Ingredients (9 pancakes):

  • buckwheat flour – 1 cup
  • milk (for vegans: can be replaced with any non-diary milk, like banana milk or almond milk) – 1 cup
  • 1 ripe banana or 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp of melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp natural baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • any nuts or seeds of choice – a handful
  • maple syrup (optional)


Step 1. First, add to the bowl all the dry ingredienets: flour, baking soda, cinnamon. Mix everything thoroughly.

Step 2. Mash a banana with a fork until only tiny chunks are left.

Step 3. Add wet ingredienets to the batter: milk, coconut oil, mashed banana and a liquid sweetener, if using. Add chopped nuts and seeds to the batter, if using, mix well.

Step 4. Fry on a non-stick or slightly greased pan, adding small portions of the batter to the pan with a spoon.

Serve with honey, maple sirup, apple or strawberry sauce! 🙂

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How to Make Cottage Cheese | Paneer | Ricotta Recipe

Cottage cheese, known as paneer in India, ricotta in Italy or tvorog in Russia, belongs to easy, delicious and extremely nutritious foods. You can eat it for breakfast or use it for different recipes of salads and main courses, or even desserts. Cottage cheese is also the best food sportsmen, as it helps to build lean and strong muscles in a healthy way.

Making cottage cheese yourself at home is much easier than you think! Our recipe will show you how to prepare it in less than 20 minutes.


  • Milk (we used 1l, the more you take the more cheese you get!)
  • Lemon (1 lemon per 1l of milk)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Cheese cloth – GET HERE
  • Pot
  • Colander
  • Press (a heavy object)
  • Mold (optional) – GET HERE


Step 1. Take a deep pot and heat the milk in it. Make sure the pot is big enough, you’ll need space when the milk starts to boil.

Step 2. While the milk is heating up, squeeze out the lemon juice.

Step 3. When the milk is starting to boil and raising up, add the lemon juice. After adding the lemon juice turn off the heat. Mix everything nicely and watch the milk starting to curdle.

Step 4. Allow your mix to settle down for some time. To increase the yield you can add some cold water or some ice cubes.

Step 5. Put the colander in a big pot and spread the cheese cloth on it. Make sure to make the cheese cloth wet with the clean water before using it. Pass the curtailed milk throw it. When the water is out, squeeze the remaining water with your hands using the cheese cloth. Press it gently, don’t squeeze it too much, otherwise you’ll get very dry cottage cheese.

Step 6. You’ll see that the cottage cheese has already taken some shape, but if you want to give it a firmer shape, put it under some heavy object for an hour. You also can use a special cheese mold if you like it.

Your fresh homemade cottage cheese or paneer is ready! To preserve it for 1 week in the fridge, put it in a bowl or container and cover with cold water.

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Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie Recipe (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Rhubarb and strawberry pie is a favourite treat during the spring and summer season! Our recipe is not just much easier than a traditional version, but also much healthier, moreover it suits for vegan and gluten-free diet.

Rhubarb is not just delicious, sweet and tangy addition for your desserts, it also has unique medical properties. It aids in digestion, strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis. The season of rhubarb is short, so make sure to enjoy as much as possible while its available! We hope our healthy pie recipe will help you to make it a regular guest in your kitchen.


For the crust: 

– 2 cups oats

– 1 cup dates

– 2 flaxseeds (to make 1 flaxseed mix 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds with 3 tbsp water and keep in the fridge for 15 minutes)

For the filling:

– 200 gm strawberries

– 200 gm rhubarb

– 1/2 cup sweetener (we used coconut sugar)



Step 1. If you are using oats make oat flour  – just process the oats in a food processor into fine powder.

Step 2. Make a smooth paste from dates: process them in a food processor together with several spoons of water. Dates paste should have a consistency of a thick, sticky puree.

Step 3. Mix all the crust ingredients and knead them into dough. Put aside until the filling is ready.

Step 4. Prepare the filling. Cur rhubarb into small pieces and heat it in a deep sauce pan. Add a sweetener and mix well. If it is too sticky, you can add a bit of water.

Step 5. Add chopped strawberries and cook together for about 5 minutes. You can make any consistency you like – we prefer to have it with whole chunks of berries.

Step 6. Roll the dough in a pie mould or fit into small cupcake moulds. Put the filling inside and cover with dough crumbles on top .

Step 7. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes.

Your delicious and healthy pie is ready, you can share it with your loved ones!

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Easy Spinach Pie with Herbs and Feta

Our recipe for an easy pie with spinach and greens is inspired by the truly international cuisine! Something similar exists in the kitchens of almost every single country, whereas fillings and precise methods of cooking may vary.

This particular pie was foremost inspired by a traditional Armenian dish, Zhingalov Hats – flat bread stuffed with herbs. It has only natural ingredients in season and can feature up to 30 different herbs! Besides, our creation was influenced by Argentinian empanadas and Indian parathas, that also use spinach and cottage cheese inside.

You can be as creative as you like – and if you skip cottage cheese, you can also create a vegan option of this dish. Add as many herbs and other greens as you wish, whatever is in season – for us, it is spinach season right now!



– 1 cup spinach

– 1 cup greens and herbs of choice (rucola, parsley, coriander etc.)

– 2 tbsp of cottage cheese / feta (optional)


– 1 cup wholewheat flour

– 1/2 – 3/4 cup lukewarm water


Step 1. Prepare the dough. Mix flour with water (adding water gradually) and knead it for a few minutes, until the dough forms a soft ball. Keep aside for about 20 minutes, we will prepare our filling meanwhile.

Step 2. Prepare the filling. Cut spinach and cook on a medium flame for about 5 minutes.

Step 3. Add finely chopped greens to the pan, mix everything nicely together.

Step 4. Add cottage cheese (if using), mix everything together and take off the flame.

Step 5. Take the dough and shape it into a long roll – it should be very soft and elastic by now. Split it into the equal portions, and form each portion into a nice smooth ball.

Step 6. Roll each ball with a rolling pin into a thin disc. Add your filling on top of the disc and shape it into a nice pie. You can choose any shape – we chose the one that resembles empanadas! The most important thing is that the filling should be completely hidden inside the pie and tightly sealed, so that no juices escape during the baking process.

Step 7. Bake the pies at 200C for about 20 minutes or until ready. Alternatively, you can cook pies on a pan, continuously flipping them to make sure that they cook equally on each side.

Your super easy and delicious pie is ready – enjoy it!



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Sauerkraut Without Salt: Low-Sodium Pickled Cabbage (Video Recipe)

Sauerkraut is one of the healthiest fermented foods, and we will show you how to make it without salt! It is an easy recipe, following a Russian tradition of fermentation.

Sauerkraut is one of the oldest fermented foods, that comes from Central and Eastern Europe. One can talk about health benefits of Sauerkraut forever – it is a fantastic aid for your gut, a plant-based source of probiotic, it’s full of fiber, Vitamin C and K, and our version is also low-sodium.

In most recipes salt is used for pickling, but some people make a choice to reduce their salt intake. To make sauerkraut low-sodium we’ll do it in a very traditional way – we will let cabbage ferment on it’s own without any help of additional ingredients, namely, we will prepare saltless sauerkraut.


  • cabbage – 1
  • carrots – 3-4
  • cumin seeds
  • chilli pepper


Step 1. First of all you should remove just a few cabbage leaves from top. Put them away, you’ll need them later.
Step 2. Cut the cabbage the way you like it. You can use a food processor for it.
Step 3. Grate the carrots or cut them in tiny pieces
Step 4. Put the cabbage and the carrots in a big bowl and mix them, while constantly pressing, with your hands. It is important to keep pressing vegetables so that the juice comes out.
Step 5. Now it’s time to add the spices. Start with chilli powder, the quantity depends on your taste but you can start with ½ tsp, it won’t make your sauerkraut hot. Then add cumin, start with 1,5 tsp and than you can increase it according to your taste.
Step 6. Now you have to keep mixing and pressing your sauerkraut for a few minutes to mix well the cabbage and carrot juice with the spices.
Step 7. The last ingredient to add to your sauerkraut is water. Take some filtered water and put it on top of your mix just to cover it completely with water. Press it a bit and cover with the cabbage leaves that we put away before. Put a plate on top of the leaves and than put something heavy on top to press it well.
Step 8. You have to wait 5-7 days and your sauerkraut is ready! Now you can transfer it into a fridge and enjoy it in salads and soups!



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Pickled Cucumber Recipe: Russian Style (Video Recipe)

Russia has a rich tradition of pickling – no wonder, the preserving techniques in a country with so many months of winter were simply necessary. This pickled cucumber recipe is a classic, and when the cucumber season in Russia starts, entire kitchens transform into pickling factories!

Not all the recipes are meant to preserve vegetables for months though. Russians developed such a passion for salty foods, that many variations were developed to foremost satisfy the craving. This easy cucumber pickle recipe can be used in two cases: to preserve the cucumbers (you need to be comfortable with canning techniques), or just to enjoy an irresistible taste of tangy pickled cucumbers, which will stay in the fridge up to 1 month without canning. This recipe is so quick and easy, that there is no reason not to try it, when first fresh young cucumbers appear in the market! For your convenience we created a short video – see it below.

  • small cucumbers – 1.5 kg
  • garlic – 1 bulb
  • dill flowers and stems – 3-4
  • whole black pepper – 2 tbsp
  • coriander seeds -2 tbsp
  • salt – 2 tbsp
  • water – app. 1l, depending on a jar (optional) 

Step 1. Wash cucumbers and soak them for about 30 mins in cold water.

Step 2 . Prepare garlic: peel it and cut it into chunks. Prepare dill flower and stems: wash them and cut to fit into the jar if necessary.

Step 3. Start filling up the jar by putting a layer of garlic, then a layer of dill, and a layer of cucumbers. Repeat the layers until the jar is full.

Step 4. Ina a big pot bring water to boil together with the bay leaf. When it starts to boil, add pepper, coriander seeds and then salt. Let it boil for 2 more minutes.

Step 5. Pour the hot water into the jar and seal the jar. Your pickled cucumbers will be ready in 3 days!


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Millet Upma (gluten-free/vegan)

Millet is one of the lesser-known ancient grains, that is just gaining popularity among health conscious people. Because of its unique properties, millet is especially attractive for those who are looking for gluten-free options. While in the Western part of the world millet is still not very common in the kitchens, in many Asian countries it’s been used for thousands of years – in fact, the oldest discovered noodles in the world were found in China, and they were made from millet flour!

Apart from its health and nutrition benefits this grain has a distinctive taste and can be used as a base for delicious and unusual dishes. We would like to share with you a recipe for one of them. Just don’t forget to soak your millet for at least 30 minutes before you cook it!

  • millet, soaked for at least 30 minutes – 1 cup
  • onion – 1 small-sized
  • ginger, chopped in small pieces – 1 tsp
  • tumeric – 1/2 tsp
  • lemon juice – from 1/2 lemon
  • tomato – 1 medium-sized
  • carrots – 2 medium-sized
  • green beans – 1/2 cup
  • green peas (optional) – 1/2 cup
  • ghee or oil for frying – 1 tsp
  • any herbs for garnishing (basil, parsley, coriander etc.) 

Step 1. Put 1 cup of millet in 2 cups of boiling water and boil for about 15 minutes – until water evaporates completely. Note that millet will increase in size when it is cooked.

Step 2. Put one spoon of ghee (or vegetable oil of choice) in a pan, then add chopped onion and ginger. Fry the mixture for about 2 minutes until onions are slightly transparent.

Step 3. Add the remaining chopped vegetables to the pan, all at once. Cook for a few minutes until carrots are slightly soft. Vegetables shouldn’t be overcooked, they should remain slightly raw.

Step 4. When vegetables are ready, add chopped tomato, salt and tumeric to the pan. Mix everything together and add millet. Mix everything together once again and cook for the last 3 minutes.

Step 5. Switch off the gas and squeeze half a lemon on top of the millet. Your dish is ready!

Before serving you can garnish your millet upma with fresh herbs of your choice – to us, parsley tastes the best!

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Cold Beetroot Soup

Beetroot is a commonly used vegetable in East European cuisine and can be found in many traditional foods. Everyone knows borsch, the most famous Russian and Ukrainian dish, but very few know that there is a cold version of a famous beetroot soup as well. It is a wonderful summer treat, when young beetroots are in season, and can be mixed with any garden herbs of your choice. Of course, as all our recipes – it is very easy to make!

  • 5 medium-sized beetroots (young and tender beetroot would taste the best)
  • 500 ml of yoghurt or kefir
  • 3 tbsp dill
  • 4 tbsp spring onions
  • 1 medium-sized cucumber, finely chopped –
  • 2 hard-boiled egg (optional)
  • salt, pepper to taste 

Step 1. Boil beetroot until soft, peel it and cool it down.

Step 2. Cut beetroot in smaller chunks and process in a blender together with yoghurt, until smooth. If you want it more watery, you can add more yoghurt/kefir,a bit of water or even freshly squeezed lemon juice, until it reaches the desired consistency.

Step 3. Transfer the mixture into the larger pot, add spring onions, dill, cut cucumber and mix your soup thoroughly.

Step 4. The soup is ready to serve! Optionally, you can add a hard-boiled egg on top and any herbs of your choice for decoration.

This cold beetroot soup (which is also called Chlodnik in Polish cuisine) is a seasonal dish, which is best enjoyed when young and tender beetroots are available.

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