EasternEurope entertaining Lunch

Haruľa – Slovakian Potato Pancake

I met Alena in the Farmers market about half of an year ago – she had just moved to Australia and didn’t know anyone in Brisbane.  We exchange phone numbers and in very short time we became really good friends.

Alena was born in Czechoslovakia during the communism period and before the country was divided in Slovakia and Czech Republic.   She has a big heart and was helping me with the Nanas Lunch in the community centre – she was the ANGEL that was doing the dishes after the lunch.  

She is also a “funny bunny” and a we make a great Waltz pair :-))   Yesterday she went back to her country and I am missing my friend already.

Before she left I asked her if she could teach me a traditional dish from her country and she taught me how to make Harul’a, a pretty delish potato pancake.

The dish that is called Harul’a in Slovakia is called Bramboracky in Czech Republic and is also popular in other Eastern Europe countries, Austria and Russia.     I does looks like Latke and Alena told me that in the 17th Century the Jewish changed the recipe to actually create this popular Hanukkah food.

Alena told me that it is generally eaten while drinking sour milk with Kefir but is also to also find it topped or rolled with beef liver steak with onions, chicken breast, sour cabbage or simply with sour cream.    The recipe she shared with me and today I am sharing with you, came from a Slovakian recipe book and she changed a couple of things so it would be closer to what her mother Eva makes for her at home.

You can add more or less spices to your liking and the potatos can be roughly grated like you do for a Rosti potato or almost mashed (raw mashed) like is done here.    The thinner the pancakes the better and although you can fry them in vegetable oil it does taste even better done in the old fashion way with Pork Lard (believe me, I tried both).

I thought it was awesome beer food!  And it is actually sold in stalls on the streets and washed down with the marvelous beer that can be found in that part of the world.  It would make a great option as finger food if made in small pancakes.

Today Alena will be having Harul’a in her country with her family and I will be missing her and hoping that one day our paths cross again.

Yields: about 10 (depends on the size you choose)  Cost:$ | Difficulty:  Medium |Time: 1h
Author:  Alena Moravcikova


  • 1Kg Potatoes
  • 150ml Lukewarm milk
  • About 200g-250g “00” flour
  • 6 Garlic cloves crushed and chopped
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 Teaspoon crushed caraway seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Peel and grind the potatoes almost to a mashed raw potato (see photos)
  2. Put the potato mash in a sift / colander to drain the water, drain as much water as you can by pressing the mixture with the back of a spoon.
  3. Put the potato in a large bowl and stir in the milk, eggs. marjoram, caraway, salt, black pepper and garlic.   Stir to combine.
  4. Slowly add the flour, mixing well after each addition.   The batter should have a consistence of a cake batter, if necessary add a bit more flour.
  5. Melt  the lard (or heat the vegetable oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. – you should have about 2 cm of fat as the pancakes are to be shallow fried.
  6. Drop two generous tablespoons of the mixture in the hot fat/oil and with the back of the spoon spread the mixture forming long pancakes about 1/2 cm thick. 
  7. Fry it, turning it occasionally until all sides are golden brown
  8. Remove it from the fat/oil and drain in on a paper towel for some minutes
  9. Repeat the procedure until you finish with all batter.
  10. Serve warm.

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