Vatruskas of Ilomantsi ‒ Ilomantsilaiset vatruskat

Vatruskas are a close relative of Karelian pasties. They're usually round and open from the top but the good people of Ilomantsi like to fold them crescent shaped. Again, you can use pretty much anything for the filling. I first thought I'd just make a simple porridge but then I ended up adding mushrooms which North Karelians so dearly love.

These didn't exactly come out right with the first or second try. I managed to make a big bucket of glue several times before understanding to ask help from a friend who happens to be a chef specialized in local and traditional food. (Thank you Päivi, once again!) The most important instruction she gave me was not to use the same potato variety you would normally use for mashed potatoes. Another one was more about relieving my mind. You see, most recipes I've seen don't mention anything about the flour amount and the ones that do tell to use it as little as 1 dl. Luckily, she didn't understand how anyone could make a rollable dough with so little flour either.

The crust:
- 1 kg waxy potatoes
- dark wheat flour (I needed 7 dl)
- salt

The filling:
- 1 dl buckwheat grains
- 1 onion
- 1 dl oat cream
- 2 dl frozen mushroom chunks (for example russulas and milk-caps)
- 1 tablespoon oil for frying
- dill
- parsley

- margarine and oat milk for buttering

Cook and mash the potatoes. Season with salt. Chop and fry the onion. Cook the buckwheat. When it starts to get soft, add the onion, the mushrooms, the cream and the herbs into the same pot.

When the potatoes have cooled down enough for you to stick your hand into them without screaming, start kneading in the flour. Little by little, add as much flour as you need for a rollable dough. For me, the easiest method is to mix only some flour straight into it, then flour my hands well and make small balls out of it. Roll the dough into small, flat circles. (This makes about 15 pieces.)

Portion a tablespoon of filling on each of the circles. (I like to make them quite chubby.) Fold and close by pressing with floured fingers. Bake 10 minutes in a 250°C oven. Butter with melted margarine and oat milk mixture, then cover with a towel.

Nutritional values / 1 vatruska:
energy 177 kcal
fat 3 g
protein 6 g
carbohydrates 32 g
fiber 3 g


  1. Awesome! I need to make something similar to these. =)

  2. I'll be waiting to see your version!

  3. Wow! looks like really good comfort food.
    Malitsu come over to Natural Selection I made Barley!

  4. This sounds so good! I would love to try this,especially that dough.

  5. Great that these inspire you all. I've found them to be really handy snacks on busy days. They're already packaged after all, almost like oranges.


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