Recipe Russian Buckwheat Pancakes Bliny (Oladi)

Pancake recipe of the famous Russian restaurant The Russian Tea Room in New York.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup water (lukewarm)
1.5 cups kefir (lukewarm)
2 egg whites
1 tsp honey
  Pinch of salt
  Pinch of baking soda
  Oil for the grill/pan


These cooking instructions are based on the comments given by Gary Robins, the Chef Executive of the Russian Tea Room in New York. Watch the video for exact instructions.

These bliny are in their structure actually more oladi. Real bliny are very thin, like crepes. At the Russian Tea Room oladi - smaller and thicker pancakes - are served with caviar.


  1. To do buckwheat bliny /oladi take a combination of organic buckwheat and white flour. Only with buckwheat flour bliny /oladi would come out a little bit gummy. Regular white flour lightens them up.
  2. Stir a little bit of backing soda into the flour. This makes bliny/ oladi rise and keeps them lighter and fluffier instead of getting thin.
  3. Add salt for seasoning. Stir everything together.
  4. Mix water and kefir - a yogurt-like cultured milk drink. Add in a little bit of honey just to sweeten it. Don’t take too much honey as it’s not a dessert. Stir it all together. Put the mixture into the flour and make a nice and creamy batter.
  5. Separate egg yolks from their whites. Make sure there is no egg yolk in the egg whites! Save the egg whites and whip them up very well until they sort of have a little peak. It’s like making a meringue or a soufflé. Whipped egg whites give blinies /oladies a better rise.
  6. Stir whipped egg whites into the batter.
  7. Preheat the grill (or a pan). Don’t let the grill get too hot as it might burn. Add some oil to the grill or to a pan to prevent sticking. Pour a little bit – a couple of ounces - of bliny /oladi batter on the grill. As soon as bliny /oladi start to bubble on the top, turn them over and cook the other side. Bliny /oladi should rise up, getting nice and light.
  8. Serve with caviar.

TIP: In Russia bliny and oladi are often served with sour cream.

Recipe for Russian pancakes with lots of pictures:
Blini dough and two fillings

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