Blini is made for many occasions in Russia, for breakfast, holidays, weddings, funerals, and it’s a tradition to make blini for Memorial Day. Blini can be made to look like crepes and thick to look like pancakes. However, most people like very thin blini.
The main ingredients for blini are eggs, milk, and flour; its cousin oladi–smaller and thicker, like pancakes–have the same ingredients, with the addition of yeast and buttermilk in place of milk.
I make a vegan version of blini and oladi. The basic ingredients are ground flaxseed or flaxseed powder that is used as an egg replacement, baking soda, organic spelt flour and almond milk. For oladi, I add lemon juice to baking soda, and this acts like yeast to raise the batter.
To prepare batter for blini: 2 Tbsp of faxseed powder mixed in 6 Tbsp of water, ½ of tsp of baking soda, 2 cups of spelt four and 2 cups of almond milk. After mixing all these ingredients I add more water little by little to get necessary thinness and mix again with a ladle to feel the right thickness (can be compared with heavy cream). After the batter is the right thickness 1 Tbsp of olive oil can be added to prevent stickiness to a frying pan.
For making batter for oladi I mix ½ tsp of baking soda, juice of ½ lemon, 1 Tbsp of flaxpowder, 3 Tbsp of water, 1 cup of spelt flour and ½ cup of water or almond milk.
A frying pan for making blini and oladi should be very hot, a little of coconut oil can be heated for the first blini but then no oil is needed if the frying pan is non-stick or it is really hot. However, to make oladi I add more coconut oil as oladi need more oil to rise.
The procedure of making blini is known, ladle in batter, swirl the pan to spread the batter, cook until golden brown, then flip.
Blini can be served plain with jam, for example, or they can be stuffed with mashed potato, cooked cabbage, etc.
For making oladi I use a large spoon and spoon in batter around the pan to fit in about five oladi.
Also in vegan Russian food: Shchi (Cabbage Soup)
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Photo: Larisa Tazmin