My Homemade Food Recipes & Tips

Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi)

August 28th, 2010 in Main Dishes, No-meat by
Total cooking time: 50min

There is more than one recipe for pancakes on this website, if you are looking for some other recipe, try here: all pancake recipes.

Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi)

Oladi, or thick pancakes prepared from kefir based batter, is traditional russian breakfast food. Batter is easy to assemble and whole dish doesn’t take much time to cook.

Kefir gives a distinguishing taste to oladi, but it probably can be replaced with buttermilk in case you are having troubles finding kefir.

Oladi can be served plain or with some kind of a topping: jam, syrop or honey, as well as fresh fruits. I love oladi with sour cream.


How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients: if you have troubles finding kefir (I usually take unsweetened kefir from Lifeway, getting it from Whole Foods) you can substitute it with unsweetened buttermilk:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 1
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 1
  2. Crack egg to deep bowl, add sugar and beat them until about tripled in volume, I advise using mixer to get results faster:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 2
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 2
  3. Carefully mix in kefir:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 3
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 3
  4. Sift and fold in all purpose flour:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 4
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 4
  5. Add baking soda:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 5
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 5
  6. Batter should be thin enough so you can ladle it with a spoon and pour, but not too thick so pancakes don’t get too thin:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 6
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 6
  7. Warm up skillet with about 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat; ladle a bit of batter with a tablespoon and pour it to the skillet; repeat for several more pancakes:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 7
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 7
  8. Let pancakes to fry on one side until light brown color then flip them over using spatula and fry from second side until ready:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 8
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi) Recipe: Step 8
  9. Repeat with the rest of batter. Serve oladi warm with your choice of topping: any kind of jam or syrop will work good as well as honey; I like oladi with sour cream:
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi)
    Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi)

20 Responses to “Russian Kefir Pancakes (Oladi)”

  1. Max says:

    Turned out very good, followed the recipe but added some salt to it.
    Any jam is perfect with it for breakfast. Thank you for recipe!

  2. Cindi says:

    Nobody was drinking the Kefir – so I made this recipe and dipped bite-sized-pieces of cooked chicken breast in it, and fried them in a good amount of oil until golden. Was the perfect batter!!! Added salt over the top which made it taste divine! Son dipped his in ranch dressing, Hubby poured Buffalo Hot Sauce on his. Both guys were happy. Thanks Julia.

  3. Lidiya says:

    Loved these!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were delish, I added raisins for more taste into the batter for better taste. Made them for breakfast and they were all gone, and later around 5pm, my husband asked me to make them again cause they were good. Thank you so much for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. wendy McMurdo says:

    I absolutely loved these pancakes, as did my whole family, they were so popular I am sure my family will ask for them again and again. I often have too much excess kefir in the fridge and this is a gorgeous way of using it . I am posting this response because I love cooking and eating and found this recipe to be lovely and recommend it .

  5. Lilac says:

    Here in America we are spoiled with already made mixture I buy in Whole Foods. But today I was out of it and made it old fashion from scratch.
    I agree you need to add salt, it’s a must in ANY cooking, even if you make a cream. Soda should be added to kefir, it will fizz a little and that would make sure you don’t have a soda taste in the pancake.
    I would of add a little more of sugar even I try to eat as less as possible. However of you plan to pour a honey(with sour cream – yum) you might use less sugar.
    I was taught by grandma always add liquid to the dry ingredients: like eggs to the flour. However this time I did as Julia suggested and it was fine.
    Everyone who does pancakes for the first time might meet the challenge with consistency.
    It comes with experience. I would suggest to fry first pancake and see how it goes – if it thick add a little more kefir, if it’s too thin add a little more flour…

    Julia, thanks so much for your recipe, great explanations, wonderful pictures.
    Glad that I click on it when googled.
    Good luck with posting more.

  6. You can see the consistency of the kefir I used on the Step #3 picture, it is pretty liquid.

  7. try says:

    along with some of the others commenting, i was skeptical of the recipe as well because there was 1/2 C more flour than liquid. maybe it worked for the original author because their kefir was more … maybe, liquidy than mine? or perhaps something with altitude or density of flour? not sure.
    my modification of the above recipe used 1C kefir to 1C bakers flour (includes baking powder and salt) and even then i thinned it just a tad to allow for better pouring using about 2 TBSP water.
    the kefir cakes turned out so tasty and great with the bakers flour (but less of it) and a touch of water the kefir pancakes were gone before i even brought the stack to the table!
    (note: i also tried this with buttermilk, but was a bit disappointed compared to using the kefir)

  8. Liena M says:

    I used buttermilk, 2.5 tbsp of sugar and 1/3 tsp of salt , and 1 cup of flower instead of 1.5. I would also recommend put a lid on a pan when cooking- oladi rise better that way 🙂

  9. Anya says:

    What makes this recipe bland is the lack of salt. I make kefir pancakes all the time, and my family loves them. My recipe is very similar, all same ingredients, but I add a pinch of salt. Also, if we are having kefir pancakes with jam, I don’t add sugar. I recommend this recipe!

  10. Anna says:

    Made this just now – followed the recipe 100% and it came out so thick, like a cake batter, I had to add about 1/2 cup milk, if not more. Plus in the end they came out very bland, nobody in my family liked them, and we’ve had many versions of oladi before

    • Sorry to hear that, maybe kefir was thick, I would rather suggest to reduce amount of flour than to add milk in this case. But if you don’t like the taste, probably it is better to go with some other recipe.

  11. P says:

    Tried making this dish this morning. It came out looking exactly as in the picture, but tasted very bland and not authentic.

    • Lidiya says:

      I added raisins into the batter, and it turned out amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! With out them it would be a little blend..

  12. Tammy says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I have kefir out the ears this morning and was looking for a way to use it.

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