Instant Pot Sviachene – Ukrainian Easter Menu

Ukrainian food at Easter is just a polar opposite of the Sviatia vecheria – Christmas Eve menu.  Christmas Eve is about meatless and largely dairy-free dishes.  Easter is the opposite:  a lot of pork plus dairy.

They’re Christian holidays but have roots in pagan traditions.  Easter is a celebration of spring and family.

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Instant Pot Ukrainian Farm Cheese – Dry Curd Cottage Cheese

It’s easy to make your own dry curd cottage cheese.  This recipe makes a cottage cheese with small curd – perfect for nalysnyky (Ukrainian cheese crepes) or Easter cheese babka.  My homemade Instant Pot dry curd cottage cheese is destined for perishke (or pyrizhky, basically a bread-based baked perohe or pyrogy)

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Baba’s best perohe-varenyky-pyrogy dough

What would make a woman who made pyrogy (peroghies, perohe, varenyky, and so on) change the recipe that she had used for over fifty years?  Here it is – the best dough recipe ever.  Or at least my baba thought so.

This is a soft dough that’s easy to roll out and shape.  It’s just the right ratio of everything – and a cup of butter or margarine can’t hurt.  The dough doesn’t use the Instant Pot but the fillings will.

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An Instant Pot Sviata Vecheria – Ukrainian Christmas Eve Menus

Christmas Eve is coming soon, as they say.  I say it’s the most important Ukrainian food holiday of the year.

Sviata vecheria is an overwhelming meal to make.  But, a lot of the cooking time can be sped up using the Instant Pot with the recipes here on Instant Ukrainian.

A small bowl of kutiaHolubtsi / Cabbage rolls ready to eatFinished mashed beans piled in a serving dishBorscht in a bowl ready to eatMushroom vushkaVarenyky - Pyrohy Dough
Instant Pot Braised Red CabbagePidpenky with gravy ready to be servedCompote - stewed fruit with almonds ready to servePampushky - Ukrainian Donuts with poppy seed and raisin filling
There are a lot of options for making a traditional or more modern version of the Sviata vecheria meal.

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Instant Pot Mashed Beans – Kolocheni Fasoli for Sviata Vecheria

Beans are a fairly pedestrian thing. This recipe made for Sviata Vecheria, the Ukrainian twelve-dish meatless Christmas Eve meal. As such, it’s made with vegetable oil and is totally vegan. With a cup of Instant Onions, you’ll save even more time on your way to Christmas Eve.

Mashed beans may not look like much but they’re tasty and garlicky.  They’re kind of the Ukrainian version of refried beans.

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Instant Pot Nachynka – Cornmeal Casserole

For one of my favourite foods, I grew up thinking that “nachynka” (also nachinka or начинка) was the word for cornmeal.  It actually means stuffing.  Also known as Bukovynska nachynka.  But, this is a basic but delicious cornmeal side dish at heart.

Nachynka starts out as a basic polenta recipe to which you add eggs and onions and bake it in the oven.  I made this an embarrassing number of times trying to get this one right for the Instant Pot – and it’s worth it.  Instead of stirring the cornmeal on the stove for 45 minutes, the Instant Pot makes that a quick 9 minutes!

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Instant Pot Buckwheat and Pork Cabbage Rolls / Holubtsi

I don’t often make cabbage rolls (or holubtsi or golubchi or whatever) with meat.  Ground meat is hard to roll.  Even if you have a small amount of rice, it just doesn’t hold together like 100% rice cabbage rolls like my traditional-Instant Pot cabbage roll recipe or even the beet leaf holubtsi recipe.

Enter buckwheat or kasha! Buckwheat filling in cabbage rolls is also great – and healthy.  But, on its own it’s not spectacular though it’s a great alternative for dairy-free and gluten-free vegetarians.  Here, I’ve combined some ground pork along with buckwheat to make a unique filling for your Instant Pot.  You could also use ground beef or a vegan ground meat product.

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Instant Pot Beet Leaf Holubtsi

Beet leaf cabbage rolls may not make a lot of sense but they’re delicious and completely unlike cabbage holubtsi (holubchi, golubchi, golubtsi, whatever).  Replacing the cabbage with beet leaves is a summer time treat.

Beet leaf holubtsi arranged in a casserole. Red veins in the leaf contrast the bright green leaves.

Like many awesome Ukrainian recipes, this one finishes with being baked in cream.  So, it needs to be finished in a regular oven because that cream totally curdles in the Instant Pot.  A little extra time but totally worth it.

After some research, there are plenty of recipes around called beet leaf holubchi but with bread dough wrapped in beet leaves.  My family always makes beet leaves filled with rice and plenty of dill.  If you’re used to the bread dough version, try this one out!
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Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls / Holubtsi

The Ukrainian word for cabbage rolls have a lot of different spellings when it’s transliterated into English. Holubtsi, holubchi, holubchy, golubchi, golubtsi. Why the h and g? Regional differences, I suppose.

In my family, holubtsi are more often meatless than meaty. This applies especially to Sviata Vechera, the meatless 12-dish Christmas Eve dinner.  In this version, they are also gluten-free and could go vegan by swapping out the butter for vegetable oil.

While you could finish the rolls in the oven, this recipe in the Instant Pot helps you save some time by speeding up the fillings and the final cooking.

This recipe saves almost 2 hours of cooking time!

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Modern Instant Pot Kutia

This is a more modern version of kutia. My baba liked the addition of the dried fruit and nuts – it’s more extravagant than her Traditional Kutia recipe.  This is my “healthier” version.

What’s kutia and how do I say it?

Kutia or Kutya (pronounced coo-tcha) is one of the most important dishes in all of Ukrainian cuisine.  It’s a big hassle to make – but not with an Instant Pot.

This is boiled wheat.  Pretty basic but wheat is the centre of Ukrainian culture and farming.  When I was younger, I was told that the yellow half of the bottom of the Ukrainian flag symbolized the wheat fields and the blue band on the top symbolized the sky.  Now, that there’s Wikipedia, I’ve learned the flag pre-dates Christianity in the Ukraine but that story developed around 1845.  To sum up, wheat’s  important.

This recipe saves you from soaking the wheat overnight and over 2 hours of cooking time!

White wheat kernels arranged in one layer Continue reading “Modern Instant Pot Kutia”