Belarus is the first, but not the last of the countries that will feature a potato pancake dish. I love potato pancakes (hell, potatoes in general). “Why don’t I make potato pancakes more?” is one of those things I ponder until I’m 20 minutes into grating potato and remember exactly why I don’t make potato pancakes more.

Belarusian draniki are no exception to this rule – the recipe will seem similar to those who’ve made latkes or German-style potato pancakes before, but the grind is much more fine. For those wishing to skip forward, I am basing my prep off of the My Native Belarus blog.


  • 1 small onion, finely grated, liquid drained off
  • 5-6 yellow/gold potatoes, very finely grated and strained (reserve the starch from the drain-off)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-4 tablespoons of oil (higher-heat like safflower or sunflower are ideal)
  • Optional: sour cream, ketchup, etc. as desired. Applesauce or cranberry compote are less common in Belarusian prep but are also acceptable.

Prep time for me was 45 minutes (12:30 to 13:15), your time will vary.

An ideal grate is smaller than this, but my grater doesn’t have that option

Here’s what you’re going to do:

  • After letting the excess liquid drain off of the grated potato, mix the reserved starch back in with the potatoes
  • Mix the grated onion, salt, pepper, and egg into the potato
  • Heat oil in a pan, about 1 tablespoon at a time, and scoop a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture onto the hot pan, flattening into a small pancake. Depending on the size of your pan you will be able to cook a few at a time – don’t prep too many at once or you won’t be able to flip in a timely manner.
  • Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side
  • That’s it! Serve hot with sour cream, ketchup, etc to your preference.

Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes (12:30 to 14:15).