Saluting a Ukrainian tradition

The siege of Ukraine is a sorrow beyond words. Here our fusion cooking columnist Rajni Menon pays tribute to a gallant people with an Indian twist on a Ukrainian standard – deruny, potato pancakes.

The siege of Ukraine is a sorrow beyond words. Like most of you, I feel for the people of Ukraine, and I’d like to dedicate this recipe to its amazing, strong people. One of the popular brunch items in Ukraine has been deruny, or potato pancakes, usually served with a dollop of sour cream. I have come up with my own Indian twist on this Ukrainian favorite. 

May the people of Ukraine one day once more enjoy deruny in peace. 

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  • 1 potato, grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup white onions, grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the spices well. Set aside.
  2. In another mixing bowl, line a sieve and grate the potatoes and onions into it. The liquid will drain into the bowl. Discard it.
  3. Squeeze the potato-onion mixture so that any remaining liquid is drained out. Add the potato-onion mixture to the spice mix and combine well, adding the rest of the ingredients — the ginger, baking soda, all-purpose flour and egg. Mix well.
  4. Heat a skillet with grapeseed oil and spoon 3 tablespoons of the mixture into the pan, cooking the pancake for 3 to 4 minutes. Once brown, flip the pancake to cook it on the other side. 
  5. Repeat for the remaining batter. Serve with a dollop of garlic mayo and scallions.
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