Varenyky is a traditional Ukrainian dish. It can be made either sweet or savoury. I made a sweet version, but it has a caveat. It’s not exactly too sweet because sugar is not used to sweeten it. I used strawberries in syrup for the filling, as I couldn’t find cherries which are more traditional on the day I did my shopping. To serve it, yoghurt is used. An Ukrainian told me that sugar can be added in the filling or sprinkled over them, but more often honey is mixed with yoghurt. As this is a vegan version, I used flavoured vegan yoghurt that has some sugar. Alternatively, I would suggest using maple syrup instead of honey. Also jam is an option when serving.
Varenyky are the Ukrainian equivalent of the Polish pierogi. It’s natural that neighbouring countries have similar dishes. My mother made something similar when I was young, a few times, but it was a dish regularly made in Romania.
Ingredients for Varenyky:
– 120 ml soya milk
– 1 tsp oil
– 250 g plain flour
– strawberries (canned, strawberries in syrup)
– rose water (optional)
– flavoured yoghurt to serve
Make the dough using a mixer that has the hook attachment on. Mix all the ingredients for the dough. Leave the dough and prepare the filling. Drain the strawberries (or cherries) with a colander. Cut the bigger fruits in half. If they are small, you can add two to each varenyky.
Roll the dough thinly. I suggest using a rolling pin with the 2 mm adjustment put on. This way all the varenyky will be similar. Cut the dough using a 7 cm pastry cutter. Put the filling in the middle, fold the dough to cover the filling, and start pinching the rims together. You can, alternatively, use a fork to press the rims together. They need to stick nicely or the varenyky might come undone during cooking.
Bring water to boil in a pan. Add the rose water if you fancy, a spoon is enough. It adds an extra flavour. Drop the varenyky in the water and cook for 5 minutes. They should float to the top when cooked, like all pasta. Remove the cooked ones and proceed to cook the remaining ones.
Place the varenyky on a plate to serve and put a dollop of flavoured yoghurt on top.
They are very easy to make. They can be frozen if needed later. I haven’t frozen any, but I will do that next time I’m making these.