Our Tour Leader, Taras, is not just great at making sure you have an amazing experience while on tour, he is also a Ukrainian food specialist and master chef in the kitchen!
Discover Ukrainian cuisine, try Taras’ mouthwatering recipes and check out his two best-selling cookbooks! Read more about Taras here.
Today, after many requests, Taras shows us how to cook two of the most traditional Ukrainian dishes – borshch and cabbage rolls!
Discover the secret to making the perfect Ukrainian Borshch, a hearty red soup that is known worldwide for its uniqueness and flavor.
Secondly we’ll be making potato filled cabbage rolls. You can fill cabbage rolls with anything from buckwheat or rice with friend onions, and even pork mixed in. Taras chose potato because, well, in Ukraine they have a lot of potato!
Though traditionally eaten at Christmastime, these wholesome recipes can be eaten all year round.
Keep reading for our recipes for:
2) Potato Pancakes
See the full cooking class video for both recipes here.
Scroll further down for the recipes!
Exclusive! This recipe is not in Taras’ cookbook, we shared it here, just for you!
- 1 large red beet
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- End of a cabbage
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Additional Salt pepper to taste
- Bake or boil your beet to soften it. You can bake in the oven at 300f for 1 hour, or boil in a pan for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, peel & dice your potatoes into 1 inch pieces, and boil in a pan of salted hot water for 20 mins.
- Dice your onion. Add sunflower/canola/vegetable oil to a frying pan and let heat.
- Once your beet has boiled, drop into some cold water to cool. This will make it easier to peel.
- Fry your onions for 2 mins at medium heat.
- Once cool enough to handle, grate your beet on a grater. Add the beets to the frying pan with the onions.
TIP: you can even add some grated carrots to this mix for a different look/flavour – to your preference.
- Stir the vegetables and fry for 5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste to the pan. If you prefer, you can use a full tomato, peeled and chopped before adding.
- Add the sugar and stir well. Reduce heat and let it cook down for about 15 mins.
- Slice your cabbage into thin strips, add to the potato pan, and simmer for about 15 mins.
TIP: Taras prefers a meatless borshch, but you can add any kind of meat to your taste.
- Add the fried beet mix to the water with potatoes and cabbage and allow to simmer.
- Peel garlic cloves and add to the borshch broth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste! And your borshch is ready!
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Potato Cabbage Rolls Recipe
You can find this recipe in Taras’ Book “Ukrainian Cooking in Taras’ Kitchen” on page 72.
- 1 head cabbage (white)
- 12 medium potatoes
- 2 sweet onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 100 ml
- 1 medium carrot (optional)
- Peel all potatoes.
- Boil half of the potatoes in a pan of boiling water until par-boiled/almost cooked.
- Peel the onion, finely cube and cook in oil in a frying pan for 5-7 minutes.
- Grate the remaining raw potatoes on a grater into a bowl.
- Peel and chop the garlic cloves and add to frying onions.
- You can also grate carrot into the filling at this stage if you prefer.
- To prepare your cabbage, turn upside down and cut out the base/core of the cabbage.
- Parboil the cabbage in a shallow pot of water, bottom down, with the water only half covering the cabbage.
- One the leaves begin to separate, drain the cabbage and collect all leaves.
- Drain the water from your potatoes.
- Slice off any ‘ribs’ from the cabbage leaves to facilitate easier rolling.
- Once your potatoes have cooled enough to handle, grate your par-cooked potatoes. Mix in a bow with the grated raw potatoes.
- Add a dash of salt and pepper. Then add fried onion mix. And your filling is ready to go!
- Proceed to roll the cabbage rolls. Place a heaped spoon of filling onto a leaf and roll tightly. Place the rolls as you make them into a deep oven-proof pot or pyrex dish.
- Add some butter to the top of the dish. Add 100ml of water, and bake in the oven for 1 hours at 150 C (300 Fahrenheit).
- Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!
Ukrainian cuisine is a delicious combination of traditions, history, and the abundance of our land’s natural wealth. Historically, Ukrainian cuisine and all the dishes we cook day-to-day combine many cultural and culinary influences from various European countries, whilst also being unique in themselves.
“Ukrainian Cooking in Taras’ Kitchen” provides a variety of recipes from across Ukraine to satisfy everyone’s appetite!
Christmas & Easter are beloved celebrations not only in Ukraine, but all around the world. These days are special, as they bring entire families together. Christmas Eve dinner usually consists of 12 traditional dishes – Taras lays out his favourite 12 Christmas dishes in this holiday cookbook, followed by a guide for the essential elements for your Easter basket. Enjoy traditions, holiday recipes, and time spent with family – cooking with Taras’ Kitchen!