Boyar Millet Kasha (Porridge)

 Millet is a tiny and round-shaped grain, that usually has a yellowish color. It is edible (and it’s not only for feeding birds) and delicious grain with mild nutty taste. Millet is a quite popular grain in Russia, though not that much as buckwheat, but still it’s widely used and served as a savory side dish or breakfast cereal; and it is also good for adding to stews and soups.
 Millet is more than just an interesting alternative to common grains, it is a good source of anti-oxidants and vitamins, especially folic acid, niacin, calcium and iron. Millet is high in fiber and contains no gluten. Moreover, it helps to regulate blood sugar level, which is helpful for diabetics and those trying to lose weight.
Have you ever tried or cooked millet? What’s you favourite way to consume it?
Sundat Breakfast: Millet Kasha
 I called today Sunday Breakfast ‘Boyar Millet Kasha (Porridge)’. Boyars were members of the highest rank of the feudal aristocracies in 9-16th centuary in old Russia. They were immensely powerful people and occupied the highest positions in the government: boyars were the major legislators of old Russia, as members of The Boyar Duma (the advisory council to Tzar). Needless to say, it was extremely wealthy class with various privileges. I guess, their everyday food was diverse too, including spices and nuts (which were expensive and not affordable to the lower class), and they could enjoy this beautiful and delicious millet porridge. :)Boyar Millet Kasha (porridge)

Russian Boyar Millet Kasha (Porridge)

  • Servings: 3
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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200g millet
400ml milk
300ml water
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
50-60g black or brown raisins
1 large apple
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla, optional
50ml warm water
30g butter
2 tbsp sour cream, optional
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp honey
  • Wash millet thoroughly under running water.
  • Warm the milk and water in a medium saucepan, add millet, salt and sugar. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until millet is ready, stirring occasionally. The millet should be creamy, so add more hot water if it’s too dry.
  • Meanwhile, soak raisins in hot water for 5-10 minutes, drain.
  • Cut the apple into small cubes. In a small pan, add apple cubes, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, water and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or until apple soft.
  • Stir in butter and sour cream, if using. Stir raisins and apple into the millet (or top). Top with nuts, raisins and drizzle the millet porridge with honey. Serve warm.
Boyar millet porridge with apple and black raisins

Radish-Cucumber salad

 Many of you already greeted the autumn season and began to bake various apple pies and cook hearty dishes. Autumn signs have been also trickling into Dubai, but slowly and it is still summer-like days here with plenty of strong sunshine during the day-time. Mornings and days, though still warm and sunny as usual, have been followed by lovely and cool evenings. Despite of all hot days, it’s a big advantage of living near the Gulf: we can enjoy the sea and sand any time over the year long. That’s what we did one afternoon – went to a beach. But before the joy of swimming in the sea, I prepared a very simple, light and fresh, and crunchy salad. It needs only few ingredients including beautiful radishes, which I found at local supermarket and just couldn’t resist picking up a huge bunch.Radishes-Cucumbers-Spring Onion

As you can see, the recipe is V-E-R-Y simple: all you need is lovefresh sliced cucumbers and bright radishes, chopped spring onions, some seasoning and sour cream!

Radish-Cucumber salad

 I like this salad. It reminds me summer holidays: staying at parents house, fun of gardening and eating lots of fresh veggies and berries. And for that reason I decided to mix up vegetable slices with traditional Russian dressing – sour cream, instead of olive oil. Simple and well-loved. Be generous with spring onion!  You may also add some chopped dill, if you wish.
Radish-Cucumber salad (with sour cream dressing)
 Don’t be sad if the summer is over in your place, I will post autumn recipes soon {more pie recipes are on the way..} Thanks for reading and Stay turned! :)

Sunday Breakfast: Zaatar fried egg

 Good morning to you my dear reader! I have an intriguing question for you this lovely Sunday morning – what time are you awake on weekends? Is it 6am or 11am? Today I had a special fitness morning. Firstly, I wake up early today: at 8am (yes, it is early for me), went to a nice and energetic pilates class, which is really made my day. Afterwards, I was so hungry and in need of something extremely tasty and healthy!Zaatar fried egg

 I fell in love with zaatar (it’s a mix of dried spices) since I moved to Dubai. I can’t remember how or when I tried it for the first time, but once I tried this incredible mixture, it remains my favourite Middle Eastern spice ever since. As my husband says: “you can eat anything with zaatar”. :-D it’s funny but true. You can prepare many dishes using zaatar, like eggplant wedges with it and pomegranate molasses or delicious roasted salmon steaks, or anything else you like.
 All you need for today is an egg and zaatar! A slice of wurzel or sourdough bread, some olives and feta could make your breakfast more complete and nourishing. Hope this bright and simple meal satisfy your taste buds! ;)Zaatar friedd egg on a slice of wurzel bread

Zaatar fried egg

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10mins
  • Difficulty: very easy
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1 or 2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp olive oil, for frying
1 tsp dry zaatar spice mix (per egg)
salt, pepper to taste
1 slice of wurzel or sourdough bread
1 tbsp olives (preferably in olive oil)
1 tbsp feta cheese
few cherry tomatoes, optional
  • Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat, crack an egg, season with salt, pepper, then sprinkle with zaatar and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toast the bread or put it under the grill for a minute.
  • Arrange bread on a serving plate, carefully transfer the fried egg on the toast. Top with olives and crumbled feta.
  • Serve immediately with fresh cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with extra zaatar, if you like.

Rigatoni with mini meatballs

 Pasta is always wanted and favourite meal in my family. One of the important thing – it shouldn’t be overcooked, then I add some sauce and voilà – super speedy and tasty dish is on the table! During this week I made these rigatoni. They look awesome and tasty, don’t they? :) I also had some minced veal in the freezer, plus a can of whole tomatoes and fresh basil. You simply can’t go wrong with these nice ingredients! This flavourful and tasty lunch or dinner can be ready in a half hour or less. Enjoy!Rigatoni with mini meatballs

Rigatoni with mini meatballs

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can also add a quail egg to the meat mixture, optional.
250g dry rigatoni
Mini meatballs
150-160g veal or beef, finely minced
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Tomato sauce
1 shallot or 1/4 medium onion
1/2 tsp dried garlic (or 1 chopped garlic clove), optional
1 can of whole tomatoes (about 250g drained)
1/3 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp dark muscovado sugar (or sub with white)
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil, for frying
some parmesan shavings
few basil leaves
  1. In a bowl, mix meat mince with onion and all spices. Shape small meatballs – about 2cm in diameter. Place them in a greased baking tin and roast in preheated 200C oven for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat, add chopped onion and garlic, saute for 5-7 minutes. Add whole tomatoes, roughly crush them with a spoon. Add oregano, sugar, salt and pepper, and simmer on a low-medium heat for 5-8 minutes until it’s thicken a bit.
  3. Transfer mini meatballs in a tomato sauce, cover and simmer for 5 minutes more. Adjust the seasoning.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Add dried rigatoni and cook according instruction on a pack. Drain, drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Put rigatoni on a serving plate, pour over the tomato sauce with mini meatballs. Top with parmesan shavings and basil leaves.


Sunday Breakfast: Syrniki with fresh blackcurrants

Syrniki are Russian cottage cheese pancakes, that are made thick and have a roundish shape.  I love having them on breakfast, topped with a sweet condensed milk and some fresh or frozen berries. I already posted the recipe once (click here), today recipe is similar to the previous one but with a delightful touch: these syrniki were prepared by my mum during my summer holidays in Russia. :) My suggestion was to add a special ingredient – fresh blackcurrants, which were picked up that day in parent’s garden. So, we mixed in lots of fresh and juicy blackcurrants. Blackcurrants have enough natural sweetness, and we didn’t put sugar at all.
If you haven’t still made syrniki you should immediately go to your kitchen and cook them! Really! They are so delicious, plus cottage cheese contains lots of calcium, which is great for bones.Syrniki with fresh blackcurrants

Syrniki with fresh blackcurrants

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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If using frozen blackcurrants do not defreeze them, add straight from the freezer.


600-700g tvorog/cottage cheese (I used 0% fat)
2 medium eggs
2-3 tbsp white sugar (or as much as you like), I didn’t put sugar this time
150-170g fresh blackcurrants
100g plain flour
icing sugar, for garnish, optional
some fresh blackcurrants, sour cream/sweet condensed milk, for serving



  • In a large mixing bowl, mix cottage cheese with a folk.  Add eggs and sugar if using, stir to combine.
  • Sift the flour into cottage cheese mixture, mix to combine. If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more flour.
  • Sprinkle fresh blackcurrants with flour, carefully fold into cottage cheese mixture.
  • Sprinkle working surface with flour. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and shape flat patties (approx 6cm diameter).
  • Arrange syrniki on a greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 200C oven for 30 minutes or until golden.
  • You can also fry them. For that, in a large frying pan heat sunflower oil, add syrniki and fry for 2 minutes on each site.
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar, if desired. Serve warm with sour cream or sweet condensed milk and berries on side.


Russian Syrniki with fresh blackcurrants