Try this Ukrainian cauliflower fritters recipe from Ukrainian food writer Olia Hercules. This recipe comes from Olia's book Summer Kitchens: Recipes and Reminiscences from Every Corner of Ukraine by Olia Hercules (£26, Bloomsbury).

Olia says, "A simple batter is used all over Ukraine for frying all sorts of things, from chicken or pork schnitzel to whole river fish. I love vegetables fried in this way, and cauliflower is especially good. Normally, plain white flour is used, but buckwheat flour was a popular choice in the past and I tend to use it instead of wheat flour – it is much more flavoursome. Normally the fritters are eaten just as they are, but I like them with a spoonful of dill-and-garlic-spiked mayo."

This is a recipe that Olia shared as part of her guide to Ukrainian cuisine. Check it out to learn about the diverse regional dishes and ingredients in this ferment-loving corner of eastern Europe, including sour cheese, pickled watermelons and fried sprats. Try more of Olia Hercules's eastern European recipes here.

Ukrainian cauliflower fritters recipe


  • 1 small cauliflower
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 60g buckwheat or plain flour


  • 150g mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • a handful dill, finely chopped


  • STEP 1

    Cut the cauliflower into small florets, and keep any smaller leaves. Blanch the florets and leaves in a pan of boiling salted water. Take the leaves out after 2 minutes and the florets after 5 minutes. Refresh both in cold water, then drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.

  • STEP 2

    Heat 4 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat – it should cover the base of the pan (if not add a little more).

  • STEP 3

    If you are using buckwheat flour, make the batter just before you are ready to fry as it becomes gloopier by the minute. In a bowl, whisk the egg with the milk, then add the flour and whisk until smooth. Season well with salt and pepper.

  • STEP 4

    Drop four pieces of cauliflower into the batter bowl at a time, making sure they are all thickly coated. When the oil is really hot, put the batter-coated pieces of cauliflower into the pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to fry between four and eight fritters at a time. When they are golden all over, drain on kitchen paper. You might need to wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and add more oil between batches.

  • STEP 5

    For the dill and garlic mayonnaise, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and serve alongside the fritters for dipping.


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