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Estonian Cuisine

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  • Ruta
  • September 16, 2016 07:35:14 PM

A Little About Us

Estonian Food and Cuisine. This is blog created to promote and introduce Estonain Cookery. Maybe these recepies are not uniq, but these are typical. Food we are eat at home. Do You Know where Estonia is? This is the one of the smallest country in European Union. In Estonia lives only 1 235 000 people, but we have our own language, university and culture. Thanks for challenging history our food is influenced by German, Russian, Swedish… Estonian Food is real fusion. And it seems to me, that we have taken the best of everything. We eat a lot of milk products. We love sour cream (hapukoor), quark (kohupiim) and our children like for breakfast chocolate glazed curd snacks (kohuke).

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Thick Potatoes. Paksud kartulid

Very nutritious vegetable dish. Combine different vegetables for different result .

pakskartul (7)Very nutritious vegetable dish. Combine different vegetables for a different result.

And add more colour by adding more carrots or turnip or celery.

Serve with a side dish with meat or fish. Or as vegetable porridge.
Serve with sour cream or butter. And drink some sour milk, as Estonians usually do 🙂


Did you know?
Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, the bacteria discovered in 1995 by the University of Tartu research teams, led by professors Marika Mikelsaar and Mihkel Zilmer, are unique in the world because of their combination of antimicrobial and antioxidative effects. They protect human health by attacking harmful microbes and contributing to physical well-being. The ME-3 can rightfully be called the first Estonian probiotic lactic acid bacteria and the EU patent permits it to be used in the food industry in 15 European countries.

Thick Potatoes. Paksud kartulid

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A ethnic simple and delicious vegetable dish.

kartulisegu (1)


  • 5 potatoes ( ca 500 g)
  • 200 g parsnip
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 l water
  • 2 dl (ca 150 g) pearl barley
  • 50 g butter
  • –  salt, lemon or apple juice


  1. Peel and clean vegetables and cut into cubes.
  2. Stew in an oven under the cover for 1,5 hours until soft.
  3. Mash vegetables by hand with the masher. And season with salt and acid.

kartulisegu (2)

Source: Võrokõisi Köögi ja söögiraamat. T. Guerrin ja K. Karu
pakskartul (3)

Yeast Free Hand Pies with Cowberry and Cheese filling. Pärmivabad pohla- juustupirukad

This recipe is suitable for all people who do not like or have not time or skills to use and prepare yeast dough.

This recipe is suitable for all people who do not like or have not time or skills to use and prepare yeast dough.

Very easy to prepare.

I used sweet filling and combined cowberries, nuts and cheese. I love savoury-sweet and sour combination. Nuts give texture and crustiness.
You are free to change it, of course. I would suggest for example carrot filling. Find the recipe from my blog.pohlajuustupirukas (9)

Did you know
The coldest months in Estonia are January and February, where temperatures can drop down to -35C. The coldest temperature ever measured in Estonia is -43.5C, recorded in eastern Estonia on 17 January 1940.

Delicious yeast free buns

  • Servings: 12 pcs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh and light warm yeast free buns

pohlajuustupirukas (3)


  • 250 g kefir or other fermented/sour milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 75 g sugar
  • 400 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 50 g warm butter
  • Filling

  • 120 g cowberry or cranberry sauce or jam. Look for recipe
  • 50 g (grated( cheese. Better is the hard or matured cheese
  • –  hazelnuts, chopped
  • Vana Tallinn liqueur for seasoning
  • –  1 egg for coating

pohlajuustupirukas (10)


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together sour milk, sugar and salt
  2. Sift soda and flour together and add dry ingredients to the milk mixture. Mix together.
  3. Add lukewarm butter and knead the dough properly.
  4. Leave dough in a fridge for 15 minutes.
  5. Filling. Grate cheese and chop hazelnuts. season cowberry jam with liqueur.
  6. Form small pies. Unroll pie dough on floured work surface. With a glass ( I use for cutting usual glass) or round cutter, cut rounds from dough. Spoon 1 teaspoon cowberry jam, some grated cheese and nuts on half of each dough round. Fold untopped half of round over filling; press edges to seal.
  7. Place on the greased or baking paper covered oven plate. Coat buns with the beaten egg before putting into the oven
  8. Bake at 200C for 10- 15 minutes.

pohlajuustupirukas (5)

pohlajuustupirukas (7)

14 th of March is Estonian Native Langue Day.

Estonian belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic language family. Finnish and Estonian are very similar like for example Italian and Spanish.
Estonian is a secret language because only ca 1 million people speak this natively. Read more about Estonian there:


Semolina and Quark Cake. Manna-kohupiimakook naistepäevaks

This cake is my husband signature cake. This time he added cashews. Nuts made this cake even better: added structure and crispness. But you can make them as original, without nuts.

manna kohupiima (3)

Happy Woman’s Day !!
Did you know: Estonia has considerably more women than men – for every 100 females, there are 84 men; only the Northern Mariana Islands have a smaller percentage of men.

This cake is my husband signature cake. This time he added cashews. Nuts made this cake even better: added structure and crispness. But you can make them as original, without nuts.

Semolina and Quark Cake

  • Servings: 20 cm
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A delicious sweet cake


  • 80 g cold butter
  • 160 g flour
  • 65 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • little bit salt and cold water ( if needed)
  • Filling

  • 65 g semolina
  • 400 ml of milk
  • 300 g quark. Look at for recipe.
  • 3 eggs + egg white
  • 60 g sugar, NB! taste
  • vanilla and grated lemon zest

mannakohupiima (13)


  1. Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl, add the butter, sliced into small cubes, and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir in the salt, then add 2-3 tbsp water, egg yolk and mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. place the rested dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry. Set the flan tin on the baking sheet. Press the dough into the corners of the tin using your fingers, don’t trim off the edges.
  4. Heat oven to 180C. Fill the pastry case with a round of baking paper and add baking beans (see tip) to weigh it down. Bake for 15 -20 mins, then carefully remove the paper and beans and cook the pastry for 5 mins more (this is called baking blind). manna kohupiima (6)
  5. For filling. Cook semolina porridge: bring milk to boil, Add semolina slowly to the boiling milk, stirring constantly. Simmer for 4-5 minutes on low heat. Season with sugar and salt. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool. Mix in eggs, sugar and quark. Season.
  6. Pour filling on to bottom and bake at 150 C for 60 minutes.
manna kohupiima (10)

Broadbean and Tomato Stew. Oa- ja tomatihautis vastlapäevaks

A great and easy stew for dinner

oatomatihautis (3)

Vastlapäev, known as Shrove Tuesday in much of the English-speaking world, the Estonians celebrate this day a little differently.

Instead of pancakes, we eat split pea soup and the delicious Vastlakukkel cream cake.
Traditionally children will sled down any available hill of snow, to get “long linens”.  And not only children. Tomorrow, after the meeting I am going with my colleges to sled, as well.
And later we have pea soup and Vastlakukkel!
Today, of course, nobody cares about linen, this is just for fun:)

The name Vastlapaev is taken from the German word “fasten” (to fast). And after Vastlapäev started fast, because meat ran out.

This year I did broad beans stew.

I used fresh broad beans. in case you are going to use dried, let them swell overnight
To add more colors add a different color of tomatoes and peppers or zucchini

Did you know?
The longest ice road – conditions permitting – in Europe is the Rohuküla-Heltermaa ice road with a length of 26.5 kilometers (16 miles), stretching for across a frozen expanse of the Baltic Sea. The road links Estonia’s mainland port of Rohuküla on the continent with Hiiumaa island. The longest known ice road originating from Estonia was located between Saaremaa island and Lübeck (a city in Germany) in 1323.

Broadbean and Tomato Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A great and easy stew for dinner


  • 500 g broad beans
  • 4 – 6 tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • (1 zucchini)
  • 200 g – 300 g smoked pork cheek
  • salt, pepper, oregano, basil, thyme


  1. In a cooking casserole, mix together tomatoes, garlic, beans, basil, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Cut pork cheek into slices and sprinkle over beans.
  3. bake at 180 C convection for 20 -30 minutes, while beans are soft

oatomatihautis (5)

Sauerkraut and Apple Salad. Hapukapsa-õunasalat

Sauerkraut is fermented food and this is not only source of vitamin, this is the source of probiotic bacterium and this is excellent for your health.

hapukapsa6unasalat (11)Homemade Sauerkraut, Fermented Cabbage, Hapukapsas is a very important and popular dish in Estonia during the autumn-winter time and mandatory food during Christmas time.
In ancient time, Hapukapsas and cranberries were only sources of  C vitamin, during winter time.
Sauerkraut is fermented food and this is not the only source of vitamin, this is the source of the probiotic bacterium and this is excellent for your health.

One wonderful salad recipe.

Sauerkraut and Apple Salad. Hapukapsa-õunasalat

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light, vegetables salad full of vitamins .

hapukapsa6unasalat (5)


  • 200 g sauerkraut
  • 3 apples
  • 1 red onion
  • slice of toasted rye bread
  • nuts or seeds
  • cranberries
  • for dressing

  • 200 g good oil
  • honey and salt
hapukapsa6unasalat (8)


  1. Cut apples and onions into stripes. Toast bread and cut into cubes or stripes.
  2. mix together salad dressing. NB! you can serve this salad with sour cream dressing. It would be different but still very delicious
  3. Mix together.

hapukapsa6unasalat (10)

Did you know?

Estonian Celebrates Centenary with Truth and Justice

Truth and Justice / Tõde ja õigus is one of the five feature films made for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. The film is based on the pentalogy of the Estonian writer Anton Hansen Tammsaare, which is considered to be one of the major works of Estonian literature.

The story takes place in Estonia in the second half of the 19th century. A young man Andres, together with his wife Krõõt, arrive at their new farm. The household works hard battling with nature, fate and their spiteful neighbour Pearu. When life brings Andres more suffering than success, he will start searching desperately for truth and justice – in court, at the tavern and in the Bible, sacrificing his family, his friends and eventually himself.

Estonian Kama roll with Cowberries. Kama ja pohlarull

This cake is So Estonian:) Bitter-sweet taste of Kama is complemented with sweet and sour cowberries.

he secret of Estonia is Kama. Kama is Estonian traditional finely milled flour mixture.

Historically kama was a non-perishable, easy-to-carry food that could be quickly fashioned into a stomach-filling snack by rolling it into butter or lard; it didn’t require baking, as it was already roasted. Today Kama is a perfect summer dish. Just add some fresh or fermented milk and sugar or salt, mix, and ready! How to do kama, find out it here.
And what is interesting. In Estonian Kama means in slang “stuff, things” and the same time Kama means ” drugs”…:)

This cake is So Estonian:) Bitter-sweet taste of Kama is complemented with sweet and sour cowberries.
I have been studying many dictionaries to find out which is the right translation: cowberries or lingonberry. And still, I do not know the right answer.
These berries grow in a pine forest, They want and like the sunny and dry place. Usually, there are some wild blueberries and Lactarius Rufus are in neighbours.
anyway, no difference what name these berries has. Important is that cowberries are delicious, healthy and suits practically in every savoury dish and in sweet cakes.

kamarull pohlaga1 (2)

Estonian Kama Roll with Cowberries. Kama ja pohlarull

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Exotic and different sweet Kama taste complemented with tart cowberries

kamarull pohlaga1 (7)


  • 6 eggs
  • 4-5 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoon kama. Look at for recipe
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Filling

  • 100 g cowberries or jam
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 200 g quark. Look at for recipe
  • 1 dl 35% cream
kamarull pohlaga1 (6)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C
  2. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit the base of a tin
  3. Beat the eggs and caster sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk for about ten minutes. The mixture will almost triple in volume and become paler in colour. Sift in the kama mixed with baking powder, very gently folding it in until the flour is blended in completely, it is important to go slowly and not to be too vigourous or you will lose some of the air in the sponge.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly to the edges. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden and just firm to the touch.
  5. Lay out a sheet of baking paper on your work surface. Dust it with caster sugar.
  6. Loosen the sponge with a knife and then turn it out quickly onto the dusted paper (topside down).
  7. Roll. Use the paper to keep the roll tight, Leave the roll with the seam side down to cool.
  8. Unroll cooled sponge. Whisp cream and quark, season with sugar. Using a spoon, spread the jam or berries  and quark cream evenly onto the sponge,
  9. Roll. Use the paper to keep the roll tight
  10. Dust with a little caster sugar or icing sugar and serve.

kamarull pohlaga1 (8)

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