A year in Dnepropetrovsk

An American volunteer in Ukraine

Baklazhannaya Ikra

This eggplant spread is another very common Ukrainian dish served at most major gatherings. It is even easier to prepare than vinaigrette! What you need:

  • 4 eggplants (keep in mind that Ukrainian vegetables are much smaller than American roid-raging ones)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Prick the eggplants and pepper with a fork a few times and then place in the oven at 220 degrees C (425 degrees F) for 30 minutes. After they have finished baking and are very soft, peel eggplant, remove seeds from the pepper, and dice both.

Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large skillet or wok until tender. Add tomato and stir regularly until it creates a puree. Add eggplant, pepper, and parsley. Stir. Add lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 15 minutes or so and then remove from heat. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.


  Melina wrote @

Michelle! Ive been reading your blog. Come visit meeee We’ll cook together! I need company haha Take care and give me a call sometime (phone number’s on facebook)

  dianne mogilevsky wrote @

do you by any chance have a recipe for holodets’? the chicken soup kind?
also looking for babka (vermicelli with eggs)?


  Adi wrote @

I am looking for my grandfather Abraham brother Pinya (Piotr) family which lived in Donetzk Ukraine .
if you have lived there or you had relatives from there, please let me know. My grand was born in 1909/10 in Terlitza, Ukraine. He is missing since 1943 WWII – he was a soldgier in the Red (Soviet) army.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any information.
Kind regards,

  chanteuse428 wrote @

Hi Dianne,

I don’t have my own recipe, but I found a holodets recipe online that is one I would use: http://nobility.russiancuisine.us/2006/07/holodets-general-recipe.html. To make it soupier, I would try refrigerating a portion of the broth separately and then adding it to the main dish when serving.

As for the babka, I’m sorry to say that I don’t know this dish; the only babka I know is the eastern European Jewish cake (usually chocolate or coffee flavored). Good luck finding that recipe!


  dianne wrote @

Adi, what’s your last name, we have some relatives from that area. check out geni.com for finding people you might be related to. our family tree is huge on there (since all the granddaughters started it and now even our parents are joining in). 🙂

Michelle, thanks so much for that. you’re right about babka, i think i was looking for kugel but was calling it something else. 🙂

also looking for a name of a cake that was usually available at Easter time frame. its taller than most cakes and had raisins and other dried fruit in it. i guess its height was meant to symbolize the significance of the holiday, (Christ has risen, etc). any ideas?

  chanteuse428 wrote @

Dianne, the cake is called “kulich” (кулич). If you Google it, you can find pictures and recipes. Another traditional Easter food is “paskha” (пасха), which literally means “Easter.”

  Adi Mogilevsky wrote @

Hi Diane
My last name is Mogilevsky, that is why I sent you an e-mail.

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