From Russia, With Love


In Russia, winter lasts more than half-a-year and so people there eat food that provides them warmth and energy to survive during those cold winters. The essential components of Russian cuisine are those that provide more carbohydrates and fat, rather than proteins.

The top five components of a Russian meal are potato, bread, eggs, meat - pork and beef chops, steaks, and butter. Russian cuisine popular and has spread widely in the world. “The main reason behind this is because the dishes are easy to cook and do not demand much skill and special ingredients,” says Dmitry Klyunchko, assistant to the ambassador, Russian embassy.

Wunjala Moskva, Newari and Russian restaurant will bring the some of the exotic dishes from the Russian kitchens to the food festival.

Unlike Nepali dishes, Russian dishes are usually bland as very less spice is used. But there must be very few us who have not tired the Russian salad and not liked it. The food is cooked very well with butter, tomato sauce and mayonnaise.

Stolichni salad, better known as Russian salad, is prepared with finely minced potatoes, carrot, meat and mixed well with mayonnaise, making a kind of appetiser in itself.

Another dish, which is very easy to prepare is Blinchiki. “These are simple pancakes cooked in little oil. If you want to be creative, then meat or vegetable can be stuffed into it making it a filling breakfast or snack,” says Klyunchko.

These are hand rolled pancakes stuffed with a choice of chicken, mushroom, cottage cheese with gherkin and cabbage. Berries accompany these pancakes, another important ingredient of the Russian food and tender cucumber marinated in vinegar adding more variety.

“Chicken shashlik is more like chicken tikkas but cooked over charcoal. The smoke lends the meat a distinct falvour making it very delicious. Boneless chicken pieces along with onions and capsicum are strung together on a wooden stick and are cooked over charcoal,” adds Klyunchko.

These are served with salad, saffron rice and baked potatoes with silver jacket making a complete meal in itself. Food is incomplete with drink. Therefore vodka along with these exotic cuisines will be sold during the festival. “Though Vodka is not a part of the daily food ritual at the Russian table, we take it only during festival,” says Klyunchko.

On your plate

• Blinchiki (Chicken/Vegetable): Rs 95

• Chicken Shashlik: Rs 175

• Stolichni salad: Rs 50 per cup

• Russian Vodka: Rs 150