Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine & Beyond by Olia Hercules

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Yogurt drop scones (Oladky)

    • Mrs. L on October 02, 2016

      Loved this. Simple and quick. Used kefir. Nice tang.

  • Spicy Georgian beef soup (Kharcho)

    • Mrs. L on October 02, 2016

      This was just okay. It was filling but I wanted more meat. Had much leftover "soup" which I added some cooked sausage to for a second meal.

    • TrishaCP on January 14, 2016

      This definitely got better over time, but overall it was just ok for me. I was expecting a really flavorful, spicy hot and pungent soup, and I just didn't quite get there with the flavors. I've never made this before, so I don't know if this is the recipe or the dish at fault. What I liked about this was the addition at the end of a garlic and walnut paste to enrich and thicken the broth (she calls for using a mortar and pestle, which I did, but I wasn't able to get the walnuts into enough of a paste- I think a food processor is a better choice). I also liked the pomegranate molasses but overall, I wanted more of it. Finally, I used the beef short ribs, but they were pretty fatty and wouldn't be my choice next time. (Especially since the recipe doesn't specify de-fatting the soup.)

    • Melanie on January 06, 2016

      I thought that this soup was tasty but my other half wasn't a fan. The meat didn't fall apart as much as I thought it would but it was still soft. Interesting flavours and textures.

  • Berlin curd cheese biscuits (Berlins'ke pechyvo)

    • Apollonia on April 10, 2021

      I don't know what it is, but we just love these unfussy little cookies and have made them often. Not too sweet, but with a rich taste and great texture. I always use butter and a teaspoon of vanilla extract; I've also made them with ricotta when out of cottage cheese, and it works beautifully. I keep meaning to try with demerara or turbinado, but they turn out so nicely with regular old granulated, too. They are also quite nice looking and very easy, so a good addition to a round out a cookie plate.

  • Curd cheese patties in maple syrup (Syrnyky)

    • Apollonia on June 10, 2021

      Made this with twaróg cheese, and really liked it. The patties were easy and filling. Although my sour cream sauce split, it came back together with some whisking, and it was very nice with the patties. The book says this can be either a breakfast or dessert; given the restrained sweetness, it's to my mind more of a breakfast (or if you're me, a dinner)

  • Ukrainian garlic bread (Pampushky)

    • Yildiz100 on April 16, 2021

      Nice. These comments are for the book recipe which differs considerably from the one in the link. Watch out if baking by weigh though, because the conversions are off. 390 grams of flour to 1 cup of water would make a dough that is way too dry, if it would come together at all. I ended up not using nearly all of the flour. Next time I will start with 310 grams of flour, which is what my conversions for 2.5 cups would be.

    • Lepa on January 21, 2021

      These were lovely with a pot of borscht. I used regular garlic, but only half the suggested amount because I was concerned it would be too spicy for my son, who doesn't like raw garlic. It didn't taste too garlicky- maybe the hot buns or steeping it in oil mellowed the flavor?

    • Lepa on April 12, 2021

      I made these with green garlic (as suggested by the recipe) today and they were so good! I highly recommend making these when it's in season. Our family of four was fighting over the last pampushky. These and a pot of borscht are the ultimate in comfort food.

    • Frogcake on January 02, 2016

      I used regular garlic as suggested here. These pampushky are excellent - will be making these again.

  • Armenian beans with a tomato dressing (Lobi)

    • Yildiz100 on December 27, 2019

      Interesting recipe that contains no oil or added fat of any kind. Beans come out very crunchy, making the whole thing taste too virtuous for my taste. Try again with soft boiled beans.

  • Georgian kidney bean salad (Lobio)

    • dinnermints on July 15, 2018

      Make at least a double recipe, since it serves two. Even with the doubling, I cut down the oil altogether to 2 T. Also used home-cooked black runner beans. It was delicious. Next time I'd try ground blue fenugreek instead of fenugreek seeds, as I understand it would be quite a different flavor.

    • Lepa on August 25, 2021

      I was surprised that we didn't like this at all. The vinaigrette had an unpleasant taste and didn't have enough acid (even after I added more). The overall effect was somewhat muddy.

    • jenburkholder on August 17, 2020

      A very good lobio. I bumped up the vinegar and replaced sherry vinegar with champagne, but otherwise stayed true to recipe. Made me three nice lunches along with some dark bread and a vegetable-heavy salad. Will make again.

  • Beetroot & prune salad

    • dinnermints on September 24, 2017

      Delicious. Very pretty with red, orange, and candy-striped beets. I think I tossed 3 lbs beets with 1 tsp. salt (made 1.5 recipe). Didn't need as much dressing as the recipe called for. The whole recipe is worth doubling for extras....could see this making an appearance at Thanksgiving.

    • Frogcake on January 02, 2017

      A very nice, simple recipe for roasted beets. Never thought to pair prunes and beets -this works well for me. Delicious.

    • grindabod on November 15, 2021

      Same sentiment here, absolutely love the combination of the beetroot with the prunes AND of the sour cream with the balsamic vinegar. One of those things that you wouldn't have thought to combine but make so much sense when you think about it. I've made this a few times already whenever I felt the need for a beetrooty side.

    • sarahkalsbeek on November 13, 2021

      Incredible! I saw this recipe, realized I had all the ingredients, and thought, "that sounds good - the prunes are in interesting addition, let's try it." I had zero clue that a one bite of roasted beet plus juicy prune plus toasted walnut is basically, in a word, heaven. This will be a longtime favorite!

    • jenburkholder on November 28, 2021

      Quite tasty. Doesn’t hold up quite as well as leftovers, though - plan to eat the day of. Intensely garlicky. I found myself wishing for a bit more prune, though, so I would probably add more if I made it again.

  • Tartar steamed dumplings (Manty)

    • dinnermints on September 24, 2017

      Fantastic, and very filling.

  • Spring radish & tomato salad

    • dinnermints on September 24, 2017

      Refreshing and simple salad; would make again.

    • lkgrover on August 26, 2017

      A good, light summer salad or side dish. I like the extra crunch added by the radishes.

  • Honey cake (Medovyk)

    • dinnermints on September 24, 2017

      So. Good. The frosting was too Ukrainian friend called her aunt, who told her that you have to add sugar to sour cream slowly, and that there was no saving it if it turned runny. But instead we added two 8oz packages cream cheese, and that did the trick. Didn't even add any extra sugar - perfect. I love how this cake is not too sweet. Excellent flavors.

    • tges on February 01, 2021

      This makes a stickier cake layer than the standard Russian medovik biscuit layer which tastes just as good but isn't probably going to present as well as the latter, due to it's stickiness. In any case, Hercules produces a tasty honey cake with sour cream - that doesn't require days of refrigeration for the layers to soften. This medovyk may be eaten immediately!

  • Moldovan giant cheese twist (Vertuta)

    • joneshayley on October 08, 2017

      Fun to make, and quite tasty. I’ll keep experimenting with this one. Note- despite cooking for longer some spots of dough weren’t fully cooked due to the thickness- but this could be as mine came out quite thick, I’m sure if we were better at rolling and had a thinner “sausage” this would have been baked through :)

  • Chicken broth with dumplings

    • joneshayley on May 27, 2017

      Very good, pure soup. As the author says this is ideal for an ill loved one- the flavours are subtle and rich. I will make this again and again.

  • Ukrainian beetroot broth (Borshch)

    • joneshayley on January 24, 2019

      Lovely soup. I used only 300g meat for the stock and it was delicious still. I had a thought as I was making it, that perhaps, putting so much in , that I wouldn’t be able to taste the different components later. That’s not the case- it all comes together perfectly, the kidney beans are essential adding a textural aspect. The beef is melt in the mouth, the beetroot sweet and tender, the peppers delicious. I’ll make this again, hopefully with the pampushky as she recommends

    • Carol.Furness on August 07, 2016

      Tasty and different soup. Freezes well.

    • Lepa on January 21, 2021

      This was so warming and delicious! It takes a long time on the stove but isn't much work. It makes a huge pot (much more than four servings) and I cannot wait to eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

    • meginyeg on December 20, 2020

      Loved this soup. Simple but tasty and filling.

    • AKane on September 15, 2020

      I made a vegetarian version of this soup by replacing the beef stock with homemade veggie stock (with onions, mushrooms for the "meatiness" and kombu for the umami) and adding a big pat of butter to the soup (to replace the beef fat), keeping the rest of the recipe as is. It was still amazing and well worth the work of chopping, grating and matchsticking all the veggies.

  • Moldovan breads with cheese & sorrel (Plachindy z shchavelem)

    • Rradishes on April 30, 2020

      The dough is a revelation. So fast, no need to rest, comes out soft and pillowy. Will experiment with more fillings: meat, berries, etc. Great for kids too!

  • Kefir & herb barbecued chicken

    • Rradishes on February 17, 2018

      Easy and tasty marinade. Buttermilk, herbs and honey make a juicy, slightly sweet, caramelized chicken.

  • Baked quince

    • lkgrover on November 03, 2019

      Roasted/poached quince with a delicious sauce; everything smells wonderful while baking. I served with vanilla ice cream.

  • Tomatoes stuffed with cheese & herbs

    • lkgrover on August 03, 2021

      I made this with feta cheese; doubled the parsley. Terrific use of summer tomatoes.

  • Azerbaijani chicken with prunes & walnuts (Kurka levengi)

    • MmeFleiss on March 24, 2016

      Make only half the amount of stuffing.

  • Gherkin, beef & barley broth (Rassol'nyk)

    • Lepa on February 13, 2021

      I made this soup today with pork ribs and it was delicious! I was careful to get brined gherkins, as there is not supposed to be any vinegar in this soup. I used rice instead of barley (as suggested in the recipe). It needed a bit of salt at the end but it was so very good. This sounds odd and exotic but it's a delicious and solid soup. I will definitely make this again.

  • Mutton in coriander

    • tekobo on March 17, 2017

      What a fab recipe for jazzing up ribs. I used goat ribs. Recipe doesn't say when to use the onion - I added it in with the carrots and grated tomato. Served with rice. Do again.

  • Cabbage slaw with toasted sunflower seeds

    • tekobo on March 17, 2017

      The dill gives this slaw a lovely, fresh lift.

  • Mushroom broth with buckwheat

    • meginyeg on April 24, 2021

      This was decent and filling. I had only shiitaki mushrooms but it turned out fine. I added some cabbage that was going to go to waste. Would make again as a hearty cold day dish.

    • jenburkholder on January 25, 2021

      Quite tasty. Threw in a few dried shiitakes because I didn't have the whole amount of porcinis and it didn't seem to suffer for it. Also oven-roasted the topper mushrooms a day in advance because they were looking a bit peaked and I didn't think they should hang around. Served with sauteed cabbage and Estonian black bread for a satisfying lunch.

  • Piquant Russian broth (Solyanka)

    • Frenchfoodie on January 04, 2020

      Delicious. A hearty, rich and tangy soup that was a real hit with my husband too. I’ve had Solyanka before at a Russian restaurant and this compared favourably even if I used beef stock cubes, making this very quick to make.

  • Apricot & sour cherry pie

    • bcarpenter on August 06, 2017

      Delicious. I used semolina flour instead of ground almonds, and it worked fine. Pie seemed extremely soupy when it came out of the oven, but it was perfect when it had cooled down.

  • Potato cakes with goats' cheese (Deruny)

    • allisonsemele on December 06, 2021

      I've been making these every Christmas/Chanukah for three years. Chanukah 2021 notes: 1.25lbs potato, larger than small carrot, made bigger pancakes than specified. The larger pancakes needed 20 min in the oven to finish. Served with the suggested blackberry sauce and sour cream. For anybody thinking of making these: as written they are not very goat cheese-y. Use more if you want that flavor to come through. Author says serves 4 as a side; for a main I would say serves 2-3.

  • Ukrainian fried pastries with black cardamom (Verhuny)

    • AlineLorieri on February 27, 2021

      The recipe says to roll the dough as thin as you can, which in my opinion wasn't good. Not only is it much harder to shape, but it turns too crispy and crumbly when fried. I Divided the dough in half, and rolled each half big enough to make 20 4x4cm squares. that thickness was perfect! They puff up slightly and have some moisture inside which made them way more succulent.I'd also suggest to youtube the name of the biscuit to learn about the shaping as the explanation is very vague. Overall they are delicious and I will be making this again!

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Reviews about this book

  • Eater

    ...comprehensive volume, chock full of the flavors of the region, with just enough of a seasonal twist to keep very old recipes feeling surprisingly fresh.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1784720380
  • ISBN 13 9781784720384
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Jun 04 2015
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 240
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Octopus Publishing Group
  • Imprint Mitchell Beazley

Publishers Text

From Olia Hercules - Observer Rising Star of 2015 "Exotic, earthy dishes, vibrant colours, big flavours. This is real cooking, written about with so much love" Diana Henry

Mamushka is a celebration of the food and flavours of the "Wild East" - from the Black Sea to Baku and Armenia to Azerbaijan, with over 100 recipes for fresh, flavourful and unexpected dishes from across the region. From the Moldovan giant cheese twist and Ukrainian buns with potatoes & shallots to Garlicky Georgian poussins with spicy plum chutney and Armenian pickled wet garlic; to Napoleon cake, Wasp nest buns and Apricot & sour cherry pie. To top it off, why not enjoy a digestif of Winter punch or Blackcurrant vodka? Olia Hercules will entice you with evocative new flavours and ingredient combinations that will leave you asking yourself why you haven't been eating Ukrainian food all your life!

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