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Recipe of Belyashi. Russian Recipe with Pictures

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Cuisine Heritage

This is true that when you grow up, you cook the same foods what you saw your mother and grandmother cooking. In countries like Israel and America, that are immigrants’ countries, there are all kinds of cuisines, brought in and adapted to everyday life. I was born Jewish in Kazakhstan (one of the 15 republics in former Soviet Union). My aunt was cooking yiddisher food (of European Jews), my mother used to cook mostly Russian recipes, I enjoyed Kazakh food at my friends’ houses. As a result, I cook all this, when I am in a right mood. My son’s friends love when they happen to be in our house at those times. Very often I just tell my son to call them and invite for a dinner. Then my son calls a friend and says, “Hey, my mom is cooking Russian food, come over.” Nobody ever refused yet.

Mediterranean food is always healthy, balanced and nutrient. You don’t have to worry about extra calories there. When I cook Russian food, I don’t think about calories, I just go to a swimming pool for an extra time, or go for a long walk after it, but I never refuse myself the pleasure of eating it. I like to make pirozhki and belyashi.




So, to make a long story short, this is one of my favorites, one of Russian basics- belyashi. This a plural of belyash, a kind of round donut from dough with meat inside, fried on a pan.

A real Russian cook will make the dough from scratch (flower, sugar, butter, eggs, water or milk, pack of yeast, salt. Kneading it is the most hassle). It’s too much of a job for me; that’s why I’m using a lazy version of it- just buying a couple of bags of dinner rolls dough. The effect is the same, so why not to go the easier way?



  • Put 24 pieces of dinner roll dough on a plate and let them thaw until they are soft and fluffy. Cover the plate with a lightweight clean piece of cloth, it will keep the dough from drying and building a dry crust. I was told a "Russian secret"- you should cover the dough with a white cloth. Maybe it has something to do with harmful colors that might have been used in fabrics.
  • Make meat filling. Put 1.5 Lb of ground meet into a bowl (I use beef, but it may be pork, or half beef-half pork). Finely chop two big onions, salt them a little bit and fry them in olive oil until they are slightly brown. Don’t over fry them. Mix fried onion with meat, put salt and pepper according to taste, garlic powder, add dill weed (I put a lot, I love the flavor that dill weed gives to food), add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a little water(just a table spoon). Mix the mass thoroughly with your hands. It should be soft.
  • Flatten each piece of the dinner roll dough with a rolling-pin. Use flower to dust it so that the dough won’t stick to a roller.
  • Put a spoon of meat in the middle of a dough circle.
  • Fold dough edges around the meat, pinching and sticking it with fingers. There should be an open area on the top of a belyash.
  • Slightly flatten the raw belyash with a palm of your hand. It will spread meat inside and let excess air out.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. The oil should not be too hot, as belyashi will burn before meat is fried through. Pure vegetable oil is better for frying this stuff than any other oil. Don't use olive oil for frying belyashi or pirozhki. Olive oil is good for salads, not for frying.
  • Put belyashi in the pan, with the open side of the belaysh down and slightly press belyash, so that meat will touch the bottom. Oil should reach half of belyash. After the open side of belyash is brown, turn it over with the help of a spatula and fry the bottom. Belyash will have juice inside and if it runs out, it will make the oil sprinkle.
  • If you want, you may cover the pan when you turn belyashi over, this way meat will cook better.
  • Put belyashi on a paper towel to dry excess oil, and then put them on an oven sheet, cover with foil and place in a warmed oven for 10-20 minutes. The oven should be preheated to 300-325F.
  • Then pile belyashi in a bowl (or a pot) and cover. When they cool this way, they will become soft.

The Best Part

Eat belyashi cool or heated, with ketchup or mayonnaise, as they are or as an addition to mashed potatoes. They are very good with vegetable soup too.

In short, enjoy!

P.S. Making belyashi is not as complicated as it seems.

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ReuVera (author) from USA on January 17, 2012:

MapleLeaf, this is the link to "pirozhki" recipe:

Oh, Belorussian people make the best belyashi! The self-made dough is too much hassle for me, I am using the dinner buns dough, it is simple and the result is the same.

MapleLeaf on January 16, 2012:

I had discovered your hub a little late, my furure mother-in-law will be leaving soon and I want to see how to make most of these goodies you have mentioned. Your hub will be surely booked marked!!!

MapleLeaf on January 16, 2012:

Thanks ReuVera!

My future mother-in-law is from Belarus and she is visitins us and made these for my mom and brother. They are tasty! And suprisinly simple to make once you mastered the dough; which I am not good at making. But she says she only makes them on special occassions.

I look forwad in checking out the recipe for pirozhki :)

ReuVera (author) from USA on January 16, 2012:

Hi MapleLeaf, "belyashi" as far as I know are made only with ground meat. However, you can use cabbage as filling when you make "pirozhki"- you can find the recipe if you follow the link from this hub.

MapleLeaf on January 16, 2012:

Can you put some cabbage in with the gound meat and garlic?

ReuVera (author) from USA on December 03, 2011:

Olga, thank you for stopping by! I am glad you found my recipe! I wish you good luck! You'll make great belyashi! The trick is to press the dough well while forming it around the meat to keep the meat inside, so that the piece would not open wider during frying. But even if it does open (which sometimes happen), don't worry- you can press it tighter when you take it off the pan.

Olga on December 02, 2011:

I am from the former Soviet Union too! We were one of the migrating Russian Jews from Kiev in 1979. My mom has made these my whole life and they have always been one of my favorites. My husband, who is American, loves them as well. I always meant to get the recipe from her since she cooks from memory. Sadly, my mom now has Alzheimer's and has forgotten how to cook. I am so happy to find this recipe! I will be trying it, next weekend, for my dad's 75th birthday. Thank you so much for posting it.

ReuVera (author) from USA on December 22, 2010:

cdnmom, I am glad I can help you with this recipe. This recipe is not a big secret, it is a traditional dish in many Slavic families. I always share my Russian and Jewish family recipes, I am happy when people like them.

cdnmom on December 22, 2010:

I just tried these today, they were made by a Russian friend. My friend wouldn't give me the recipes since its been in her family for a long time. I'm so glad I found your page, I can't wait to make these.

ReuVera (author) from USA on November 05, 2010:

moncrief, I am very glad the recipe worked for you. Your girl will be better and better every time she makes belyashi, because the perfectness comes with experience.

Also, check my recipe for pirozhki! You'll love them too.

moncrieff on November 05, 2010:

This is absolutely amazing! First of all, belyashi is my favorite meal of all. Secondly, I thought it was impossible for someone to make belyashi as good as my mom did em. And yet my girl followed your recipe and made decent belyashi; so good they were, I ate five of them at one sitting. Thank you for your great work.

ReuVera (author) from USA on September 13, 2010:

ladyjane, thank you for visiting. Thanks for a great question. I added clarification to the hub.

I usually preheat the oven up to 300-325 F, and put the tray with belyashi there approximately for 15 min. But I watch, so not to make belyashi too "tanned".

ReuVera (author) from USA on September 13, 2010:

Greg, isn't it so sad that Soviet era made most everything "equal"? It made "equal" not only people (equally poor), but also wiped out the diversity of cuisine, as you rightly noted. Thanks for visiting.

ladyjane1 from Texas on September 13, 2010:

sounds great but when you put them in warm oven what should the temp be? I dont want to burn them?

Greg on May 29, 2010:

The cuisine of Belarus and Russia only became similar under Soviet rule, due to strict control of what could be grown and what could be imported. Most people today don't realize the previous diversity of cuisine that was almost completely wiped out during the Soviet era.

ReuVera (author) from USA on December 02, 2009:

Maria, thank you for your comment. I've never heard that "belyashi" are pure Belorussian receipt. But you know that Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian cultures are so close that no doubt that all these nations have lots of common in food and not only in food. It's funny that a Belorussian is called "belyash" in Russia, like a nick name?....

Thanks for stopping.

Maria on December 02, 2009:

Mmm. It's not a Russian receipt, but Belorussian. Belarus is famous for belyashi and draniki.

Moreover, man came from Belarus to Russia called Belyash. :)

Maria on December 02, 2009:

Mmm. It's not a Russian receipt, but Belorussian. Belarus is famous for belyashi and draniki.

Moreover, man came from Belarus to Russia called Belyash. :)

sendflowers2009 on November 01, 2009:

Hi Vera,

nice Hub, I like belyashi, you choose really good topic. :)

Take a look at my hub about russian soups - hope you'll like it too. :)

ReuVera (author) from USA on May 27, 2009:

chicamom, those taste really good too. It doesn't take much time to make them, either. Recently I'm cooking Belyashi with turkey ground meet and we love it!

chicamom85 on May 26, 2009:

Wow those look really good and surprisingly not that hard to make. Thanks

ReuVera (author) from USA on May 11, 2009:

Bdudoyono, I am a Russian-Israeli-American Jew, and I was born and grew up in Kazakhstan, so I still have many friends among Muslim Kazakhs. It's not what you are, it's how you live. I am looking forward to become friends with you. Thank you.

Bbudoyono on May 10, 2009:

Looks yummy! Hey are you Russian Jewish ? I am an Indonesian muslim but let's make friend.

sjk6101983 from Milwaukee, WI on April 15, 2009:

Very interesting! I'm always up for trying new food! :)

ReuVera (author) from USA on February 16, 2009:

Dame, thank you for visiting. Funny, but couple of times I also trigged fire sensors in the house while cooking :-)

Gin G from Canada on February 16, 2009:

I love learning to cook :) cuz I mostly send out smoke signals for the fire dept to be on standby :P ... I love the info and thank you for sharing!

ReuVera (author) from USA on January 13, 2009:

Again you are right, livelonger. You seem familiar with this kind of cuisine. Pirozhki (or "pieroshki") are usually closed from all sides. You can put different fillings inside, meat, eggs and herbs, or rice and eggs, liver, cabbage, mushrooms. Practically anything. The filling should be finely chopped, mixed well, seasoned and it will make it juicier if you add some olive oil and fried chopped onion into it.

Thank you for visiting my hubs.

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on January 13, 2009:

This looks similar in its general composition to what Armenians call "pieroshki" (which is obviously a Russian word). They usually mix meat & boiled eggs in dough, and fry it or bake it.

ReuVera (author) from USA on December 31, 2008:

Lgali, thank you. Happy New Year to you too. BTW, I'm going to try your garlic almond dip recipe today. :)

Lgali on December 31, 2008:

very nice recipe,wish you all a Happy Hubbing New Year

ReuVera (author) from USA on December 31, 2008:


Thanks for visiting. You have a natural feeling for Russian recipes.  That stuff is, yes, made with cottage cheese, but then you don’t fry it in a pan (as the filling will just flow out), but bake it in an oven. Brush a raw egg on the top; it will make those things beautiful. When made this way with cottage cheese in an oven, it is called “Vatrushki”.

Mashed potato mixed with fried chopped onion will make a perfect filling too. Also should be baked in an oven. In this case you don’t make them with an opening on the top, but close the dough completely, like a pocket. It is called in Russian “pirozhki”

I should write a separate hub about it, probably. Thanks for inspiration. :-)

anjalichugh from New York on December 30, 2008:

Wow! It looks so mouth watering. I was thinking of using cottage cheese or mashed vegetable filling instead of meat. Would it work? I would love to see some recipes coming from you. Great!

Thx for visiting my hub.

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