One of the aims of our project “Having culture as a kite, we travel European
skies” is to carry out activities that deal with our traditional food.
This recipe book is one of the final products of the partnership. Reading
this book will give you a clear picture of what food can tell you about the
history, customs and traditions of our countries. This is not a simple cook
book, it’s also an incursion through our history, ancient customs and
traditions because for us, the Romanians, all the great traditional
celebrations are linked to food rituals. In most of the regions of our country,
there is specific traditional food, whose secrets were handed down from
generation to generation. We are trying to offer to our partners in this
Comenius project and to you all, some of the secrets of cooking traditional
Romanian food as well as some of our secret ingredients. This way you will
see that our cooking tradition is based on the old peasant cuisine and that
cooking only in those ancient pots and using wood fire is the best way to
obtain delicious food.
So, accept our invitation to this adventurous and exciting journey
through the Romanian cuisine and taste some of our best recipes with us!
HOT MAIZE-PORRIDGE BALL FILLED WITH
Winter and cold came and what could be better
than a steaming hot maize-porridge ball filled with
cheese? We’ve been dreaming of it since summer!
An ancient Romanian shepherds’ food, reminding us
that we were once a country of peasants and
In order to do it, use the shepherd’s maize pudding. This is
also an authentic Romanian food.
INGREDIENTS FOR SHEPHERD’S MAIZE PUDDING
1 kilo of maize flour
3 liters of water 1 spoon of
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING SHEPHERD’S MAIZE
Put the water and the salt in a cast-iron kettle in order to
boil, scatter a handful of maize above the water;
When the water starts boiling, add the maize all of a sudden:
it will form a kind of little hill washed by the hot waves;
Now, there is enough time for the maize of flour to boil
slowly, for about an hour, in order for the maize flour to
swell up and to get very hot;
After an hour has passed, mix it with force, for a long time
(the shepherds do it the same way: one of them holds tight
the cast-iron kettle, the other one mixes the pot stick);
If the maize pudding got solid and the pot stick cannot be
moved anymore, the maize pudding is pushed towards the
bottom of the cast-iron kettle and it is leveled. Then, put the
cast-iron kettle again on a strong fire just for a little time, in
order for the composition to unstuck from the bottom of the
cast-iron kettle. (there will be some vapors, the maize
pudding will start hissing and growing).
Overthrow the maize pudding on a trencher (faceplate), it is
a perfect hemisphere.
NOW YOU CAN MAKE HOT MAIZE-PORRIDGE BALL FILLED
YOU NEED: SHEPHERD’S MAIZE PUDDING AND FAT SALTED
The pieces of maize pudding will be filled
with fat salted cheese. The pieces of maize
pudding must be stretched on a board and
greased with oil.
After rolling the maize pudding, the pieces
will look like some dumplings, that will have
no more than a half of kilo, including the
150 grams of cheese for each piece
The new obtained pieces must not have
morsels of cheese mixed with the maize
pudding. The maize pudding must cover all
The pieces will be introduced in live coals
that must not be very hot. The hot maizeporridge ball filled with cheese must be
baked almost in hot ash.
The hot maize-porridge ball filled with
cheese is ready when it has a crust.
If the cheese is too salted, it can be
served with yoghurt, sour cream, pressed
cow cheese, feta cheese or soft cow cheese.
FORCEMEAT ROLLS OF CABBAGE WITH COARSELY GROUND
Try a festive holiday atmosphere with our
traditional recipe of cabbage rolls.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners have
a special significance for everyone. We,
the Romanians, cannot even think of our
winter holidays without the
"home-made" cabbage rolls, like our
grandmothers used to cook. These special,
healing gems of pork, wrapped in a robe of
sour cabbage are a treat anytime, but on
Christmas and on New Year’s Eve are
great! When we are spoiled and our
kitchens smell like heaven!
500 grams of coarsely ground maize
500 grams of pig brisket
1 spoon of paprika
1 bunch of savory
1 pickled cabbage
500 grams of smoked-dried pig
50 milliliters of lard (or 100
milliliters of oil)
200 grams of mushrooms
Salt, pepper to taste
1 liter of cabbage pickle (or sour
bran and water)
The coarsely ground maize is made of little pieces
of maize, which once in Romania, replaced the rice.
The coarsely ground maize can be obtained at
home: the maize is smashed in a vessel.
Wash the coarsely ground maize in several cold
The cut onion is fried on slow fire.
After few minutes, add the coarsely ground maize,
the minced meat – the pig brisket, the smokeddried pig neck, the mushrooms, the paprika, the
salt, the pepper, the savory (well pounded).
Wash gently the cabbage leaves with warm water,
A part of the cabbage, the middle, is cut very
small. After a quarter of an hour of staying on fire
(while you mix continually the ingredients), the
composition is taken from the fire and the oil is
The lard or the oil is drained in the pot in which
the forcemeat rolls of cabbage will be boiled. Fill
the leaves of cabbage with meat and coarsely
ground maize, not too much because the coarsely
ground maize will swell more than the rice.
Roll the leaves or fold them in four.
On the bottom of the pot in which you
pour oil, put, first of all, a layer of
cabbage cut very small, then pieces of pig
brisket, smoked-dried pig neck and
sausage, and cabbage and so on, until you
fill the pot.
The last layer must be of cabbage.
Scatter paprika and savory on the last
Fill the pot with cabbage pickle mixed with
Cover the pot and boil the ingredients in
an oven on a slow fire.
In order to be perfect, the forcemeat
rolls of cabbage must be boiled very slowly
for about 4-5 hours.
They are served with sour cream and red
THE STEW OF THE OUTLAWS
The Dacian harsh winters forced us to eat more
meat, so what could we do if not eat this delicious
stew. This is heavy food, the foundation of peasant
cuisine in Gorj, a mountainous place with thick and
mysterious forests with the millenary tradition of
shepherds bringing their sheep up and down the
mountains. The best stew of the outlaws is made on
the stove, on the wood fire, in a peasant pot.
• 500 g mushrooms • 500 g pork
• 200 g smoked bacon • 2
• 1 cup of clear soup • 1 tablespoon
• 500 g veal (beef) • 2 kidneys any
kind you have
• 2 tablespoons lard • 1 cup sour
• 3 onions • salt
Meat, kidneys, onions are cut thin slices
with great care.
• Place onion in butter and lard on low
• When softened, add the veal (beef) for
about fifteen minutes
• Then add the pork, for another quarter
• Loosen the flour in a little hot water
•Next the kidneys and flour, for 5 minutes
• Add water or clear soup and leave to boil
for a half
• Cut thin slices of bacon, put them in
another frying pan.
• Then take care of the mushrooms and
cut them into thin slices
• When the bacon has browned and left
some gravy, put the mushrooms in, for 10
Then add the mushrooms and the bacon to
the stew, add some salt, and let it boil for
Take the stew off the heat, place the
cream, and mix it a bit longer, so this way
it will be good, with polenta and pickles.
ROMANIAN WALNUT PANETTONE, SPONGE CAKE
OR SWEET BREAD
This is a light and sweet Romanian favorite. It
is traditionally served at Christmas and Easter and
a few other celebrations. The Romanians have a
huge variety of recipes for sponge cake. Each
region of our country has a historic recipe, just as
every family has one, handed down from generation
to generation. In terms of form, this cake may be
straight or round, simple or braided. In terms of
filling, we distinguish cakes with no filling or filled
with walnuts, poppy seeds, dried fruit, or mixed.
Easter sponge cake is traditionally filled with
cheese (so-called cheese sponge cake). In Moldovia
there are specific round and tall cakes (called “old
women”), with no filling, whose composition contains
up to 20 eggs, butter, lemon peels and / or oranges
and raisins. In Transylvania they prepare especially
the cakes with poppy seeds.
• 1.200 kg of fine flour • 1 cup of honey
• 200 g raisins • 2 cups of milk
• 50 g yeast • 2 sachets of vanilla sugar
• 1 teaspoon of salt • 500 g of nuts
• 15 eggs • 2 cups of butter + 50 g to
grease the tray
• 400 g sugar • lemon peel
• 1 teaspoon of rum essence
The milk is mixed with sugar and
allowed to warm up, but only for a
little while , on the cooker.
• Put the butter in a warm place, to
• Separate the whites and the yolks
of the eggs; beat the egg whites
really well;mix the egg yolks with a
• Sift the flour on the battlefield(in
• Loosen the yeast in a little warm
• Place the milk and the eggs and
start the brutal war of kneading.
• After a while, the dough starts to
bind, so add the butter, the rum
essence,the raisins, the vanilla and
the lemon peel.
• The battle of kneading continues
a quarter of an hour, and then the
dough rests in the warm kitchen.
• Chop the nuts and mix them with
After an hour, the dough grew
enough, so we divide it in trays
and we stretch it, piece by piece.
Sprinkle the nuts on the sheets of
dough, as fits, roll.
• Grease the trays with butter
and coat with flour, place the cakes
and leave them to rise.
• Brush the cakes with egg yolks
and place them in the oven to
• Place a teaspoon of honey with a
little water to warm up.
• When the cakes have browned,
brush them with scented fluid
Christmas or Easter can start and
especially end again, and again, and
again with our Romanian sponge
- LITTLE LORD’S CLOTH DIAPERS or THE
SWEET CLOTH DIAPERS OF JESUS, THE HOLY INFANT
CAKES WITH JULFA
Ritual or festive, pelincile or cakes with julfa are
as old as Romania.
- Romanian tradition surrounding Christmas,
attesting piety,Little Lord's cloth diapers, cake
with Julfa are different names of a cake that is
prepared especially in rural areas, on Christmas
Eve. The recipe varies slightly from region to region
of the country, most are similar and have the same
ritual meaning: the pious awaiting of Child Jesus.
Pious women of old have probably felt the need to
do something special on Christmas Eve when
everybody hears carolers everywhere saying that
Mary, the Lord’s Mother "Has no diapers, / Norclothes to put on, / The Holy Virgin, for the Holy
Son "Then, symbolically, this cake, which is made
to be eaten as the only food in the house that day,
but also to be given away, is called Little Lord’s
diapers, having the shape of thinner diapers. In
Moldova, the preparation is called cake with Julfa
(Julfa the composition of hemp seed).
• 500 g flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup hot water
• Mix all and knead well, then beat until
the dough gets tired . The obtained dough
is left to rest for an hour. Break small
pieces of dough and, with a rolling pin,
stretch quite thin sheets, round-shaped,
which are baked on the stove or in a pan
(preferably thick as not to burn) on both
sides. It is good to be prepared the day
before. They are kept covered with a
towel, and on Christmas Eve, you have to
soak with syrup. The syrup is made from
warm water slightly sweetened with honey
or sugar, plus essences and flavors.
• 100 g honey
• 300 g Crushed nuts
• other spices: cinnamon, rum
Put on a round tray each dipped patty.
Over each round sheet add the crushed
nut mixture with honey or sugar to taste.
Place several layers of dipped patties or
sheets, alternating with sweetened nut
filling until you make a kind of cake (may
have ten layers). Allow an hour or two to
soak in syrup and then cut into squares or
diamonds, as desired. In Bărăgan, the
filling is made of boiled wheat mixed with
honey or sugar and flavors, without nuts.
OPEN-TOPPED FLAT PIE
Open-topped flat pies are so good that
it’s impossible not to lick your fingers
after you eat them! They are the pies of
500 grams of flour
50 grams of sugar
15 grams of yeast
500 milliliters of milk
50 grams of butter (in order to grease the
baking tin and the faceplates)
200 grams of butter
Salt (as much as it is necessary)
The yeast is put in a jug with warm water,
then it is mixed with a spoon of flour and
a tea spoon of sugar; leave it to rise for
half an hour.
Separate the yellow yolks of the eggs.
On the flour that remained pour the
yeast, the warm milk, the yellow yolks of
the eggs, the salt and the sugar; knead
for a half an hour.
Then, add the warm melted butter, little
Leave it to rise, covered, 1 or 2 hours.
500 grams of cheese (Cheese mixed
Mix the cheese with the eggs
After the dough has risen, roll it
and cut it in pieces with a
dimension of a small apple.
Grease the faceplate with butter
Put each piece of dough on the
faceplate and fill it with a spoon of
Put the dough above the cheese and
stick them; leave them there for
half an hour.
Grease a baking tin with butter, put
the pie, smear them with the egg
white and put them in an oven, on a
moderate fire, for about half an
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be
held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained