Tag: Traditional Foods of Romania

Legendary Dishes | Plăcintă / Platsindy / Плацинды (pies)


Traditionally made with a dough from flour, oil, water and salt, these pies are shared by the diverse peoples of the Balkans and the lands to the north and east – Moldova, Romania and Ukraine.

They also share another common tradition – the desire to use every type of filling that is indigenous. This includes apple, cabbage, cheese, cherry, poppy, potato, pumpkin, soured cabbage, walnut.

These days the dough is a trip through the myriad dough preparations now prominent in the Balkans and eastern Europe, preparations that are bread doughs, bread-cake doughs, cake doughs, pastry doughs, plain doughs and soda doughs.

The shape of the pie is also distinctive, round, rolled or square, folded or what is known as skirts-up because the thin corners of the dough are stretched and brought together over the filling and sealed like an envelope.

Here we present the various doughs, for the fillings go to the separate recipes.

Dough Basic (Plain)

  • 500 g white wheat flour
  • 275 g water
  • 30 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt. Work the oil and water into the flour to form a loose dough. Cover, rest for 2 hours.

Dough Butter

  • 500 g white wheat flour
  • 130 ml water
  • 120 g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt. Make a hole in the flour, add butter, egg, oil and water. Bring together, knead into an elastic dough. Place dough back in the bowl, cover with a damp cloth, rest for 30 minutes.

Dough Kefir

  • 500 g white wheat flour
  • 220 ml kefir
  • 1 egg
  • 30 ml sunflower oil
  • 10 g salt

Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt and mix. Add egg, kefir and oil, knead for 5 minutes into a smooth dough. Cover, rest for 2 hours.

Dough Vinegar

  • 500 g white wheat flour
  • 275 ml water
  • 15 ml vinegar
  • 15 ml sunflower oil
  • 10 g salt

Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt. Work the oil, vinegar and water into the flour to form a loose dough. Cover, rest for 1 hour.

Dough Yeast

  • 500 g white wheat flour
  • 275 ml water, warmed
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 30 g yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Put the sugar into a bowl, add the warm water, stir to dissolve the sugar, add yeast, leave to foam. Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt. Add the yeast mixture to the flour. Knead into a loose dough, add the oil in stages. Leave to rise for an hour, degas, leave for a further hour.









Soured Cabbage


Pies of

Legendary Dishes | Plăcintă cu Varza / Platsindy s Kapustoy / Плацинды с капустой (cabbage pies)

Legendary Dishes | Plăcintă cu Varza / Platsindy s Kapustoy / Плацинды с капустой (cabbage pies)


The story of these distinctive pies is told here.


  • 500 g white wheat flour
  • 220 ml kefir
  • 1 egg
  • 30 ml sunflower oil
  • 10 g salt

Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt and mix. Add egg, kefir and oil, knead for 5 minutes into a smooth dough. Cover and leave to rest for 2 hours.


  • 600 g green cabbage, stalks removed, sliced thin, blanched
  • 600 g onions, sliced thin, browned in oil
  • 2 tbsp mixed herbs, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying

Combine the blanched cabbage and browned onions in a bowl with the mixed herbs, oil and seasonings. Mix throughly to distribute onions among the cabbage.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Form each piece into a box shape with equal sides. Place each piece on a floured surface, roll out thin into a 36 centimetre x 36 centimetre square, cut into four equal squares.

Place filling across the surface of each square, bring the corners of the dough together into the middle to form an envelope shape.

Fry in shallow oil on medium heat, 5 minutes each side and 30 seconds on each of the edges, until a crust forms.

Alternatively gently push a fork into the top of the dough to create an air hole and bake for 10 minutes in a 240ºC oven, turn and reduce heat to 220ºC, and bake for 5 minutes until the pies have a golden-brown crust.

Pies of


Legendary Dishes | Ostropel de Rață cu Mămăligă (duck stew with polenta)


Tomatoes have generally provided the medium for the traditional poultry stew in Moldova and Romania. Easily bought chicken legs are preferred to duck or goose or guinea fowl (which take longer to prepare and cook), and cook quickly in a thin tomato sauce.

We are keeping with tradition, and this means making a broth with the bones, neck and wings of the duck, excluding the skin.

An assortment of berries and herbs added to two litres of water should flavour the carcass, slow-cooked for two hours and finally reduced to produce a rich broth.

  • 1 duck, breasts, legs, thighs separated
  • 500 g tomatoes
  • 25 spring onions, thin sliced / 200 g onions, chopped small
  • 60 ml duck broth
  • 30 ml wine vinegar
  • 45 g flour seasoned with black pepper and salt
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Pour the olive oil into a large heavy-based frying pan, dredge duck pieces in the seasoned flour and brown evenly over a medium heat, set aside.

Add the onions to the pan, sauté for ten minutes, add the garlic, cook for five minutes.

Deglaze with the broth, increase heat and reduce for five minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and peppercorns, bring mixture to the boil. Reduce heat, stir and simmer for ten minutes.

Place duck pieces back into the pan with the thyme, cover and simmer over lowest heat until the meat is tender, about 40 minutes, turning the pieces several times.

Ten minutes before the end of cooking, add the vinegar.

Serve with the polenta.

Indigenous Ingredients


Legendary Dishes | Vinete Umplute cu Carne (meat-filled aubergines)


This enigmatic aubergine dish is characterised by a method for pre-cooking the aubergines that brings out the full flavour of the vegetable. Instead of removing the pulp from the centre of a divided aubergine, the pulp is cut into diamonds and the aubergine halves are gently softened in the oven, left to cool and then dressed with the appropriate mixture – usually a combination of mixed minced meats, onions, red peppers and tomatoes in various guises. We have cooked the tomatoes with the meat and added red pepper paste at the second stage.

  • 4 large aubergines
  • 120 ml olive oil


  • 500 g minced beef / 250 g minced beef + 250 g minced pork
  • 400 g onions, chopped
  • 400 g red pepper paste
  • 400 g tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g cinnamon
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 allspice berry (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)


  • 400 g semi-soft cheese, cut into 8 slices

Preheat oven to 210ºC. Cut each aubergine in half along the length. Using the tip of a sharp knife cut diamonds in the pulp of each half, dress with oil. Repeat with remaining pieces. Place the aubergines on trays, bake for 15 minutes until they have taken on a red-brown colour. Leave to cool completely.

Sauté the onions and, if using, the garlic for 15 minutes until the onions are browned at the edges. Add the meat, fry for a couple of minutes, add the tomatoes and cook until they have released all their juices. Season the mixture and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 190ºC. Stir the red pepper paste and parsley into the meat mixture. Cover each aubergine half with the mixture, top each half with a slice of cheese, sprinkle with cinnamon, oregano and thyme. Bake for 20 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Salata de Fasole Boabe (bean salad)


This Romanian bean salad is ideally made with fresh beans but it is often made with reconstituted dried white beans. Cucumber and dill salad is a constant on Balkan menus, combined with beans this is a meal in itself.


  • 400 g cucumbers, peeled, sliced
  • 200 g white beans, cooked
  • 75 g red pepper, chopped large
  • 50 g scallions / spring onions, sliced
  • 15 g dill


  • 100 ml oil
  • 15ml vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 5 g black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp salt

Dissolve salt in the vinegar, stir in mustard and pepper, add to oil. Pour into a clean jar and shake vigorously.

Combine the beans with the cucumbers, onions and peppers in a large bowl, add the vinaigrette and mix thoroughly.

Serve garnished with the dill.

Legendary Dishes | Găluşcă / Galuska / Galushky / Haluška / Halušky / Kliecka / Virtinukai (dumplings)


The dumpling tradition across northern and eastern Europe is generally characterised by the simple flour and egg version. Known as galuska or haluška it is also associated with the potato dumpling tradition with mashed potatoes added to the flour and eggs. Whereas in Ukraine the flour and eggs will be married to curd cheese and sour cream. This is the original version – flour, eggs and butter – generally favoured in Hungary.

  • 200 g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g butter
  • 15 ml oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Combine flour and salt, work in eggs, oil and water to form a soft dough.
Boil a large pot of salted water.
Grate dough into the water.
When the noodles rise to the surface drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
Melt butter in a saucepan.
Dress with the butter.