Category Archives: Lithuanian dishes

“Kibinai” – National dish of Karaimai



For the dough:

  • 1kg of plain flour.
  • 380g creme fraiche (at least 30% fat, but more is better).
  • 250 grams unsalted and chilled butter.
  • 2 eggs.
  • salt
  • pepper

For the filling:

  • 500g unsmoked pork loin joint
  • 500g smoked pork loin joint
  • 2 big onions
  • salt and pepper

First of all a little bit of history of this dish which is very popular in Lithuania. It was brought to Lithuania with ethnic group of people which is mostly based in Trakai nowadays. Kibinai became very popular in Lithuania as they are very delicious and very easy to eat , perfect when you need to pack your lunch or when you want to feed a large group of people. You do not need cutlery to be able to eat which makes them good for picknics too.

Lets get started with the dough first, as it will need to rest in the fridge for about 30 min once finished. Take 1kg of plain flour and run through the sift , put some salt and pepper so the dough wasn’t bland. Grate in butter, mix it with the flour thoroughly, you should not have any big butter pieces left and flour will become a bit yellowish and wet grainy crumble (You can spread this process up by using food processor). Now make a well in the centre and put all wet ingredients which is 2 eggs and creme fraiche. Kneed the dough while no flour is left on a work table, everything is well combined and not sticking to the hands. Wrap the dough into a cling film and put into the fridge for about 30 min.

Second step would be to prepare the filing. Dice the meat in 1cm cubes, mix with diced onions, season it with salt and pepper (Do not use minsed meat instead as it will change the texture completely). Kibinai supposed to have a bit of heat so don’t be afraid to put a bit more pepper. The quantity of the salt used in the filling depends on the saltiness of the meat. I normally mix 500 gr. of raw pork loin with 500 gr. of lightly smoked pork loin therefore I put less salt.

When dough is relaxed and filling is made, take the dough out of the fridge and divide into 4 equal pieces.

Roll each piece as shown in the picture below (Roughly 30 cm length rolls). Divide each piece into half and each half into half again and you should end up with 16 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into circles as per pictures below. I find it best to roll all of the pieces first and then spread the filling evenly. To make the proper form of Kibinai follow pictures below. If the edges of the dough became too dry you may want to brush it with some egg wash. Stick the sides of the dough together and then to make a nice looking pattern on top, twist the top part of the dough towards yourself and press lightly (See the pictures below).  When finished with the pattern, line up your baking trays with some baking paper and transfer Kibinai leaving some space in between as shown in pictures below. Brush with an egg wash and bake in preheated to 200deg C oven for 30 min or until golden brown.

Traditionally it goes with chicken broth (bouillon) but it is very nice with the fresh salad or beer. Bon appetite!


Lithuanian potato pie “Kugelis”

INGREDIENTS (4-6 people):

2.5kg of potatoes.

6 chicken thighs (de-boned with no skin)

150 ml of milk

1 large onion (or 2 small)

salt & pepper & olive oil


Smoked pancetta or bacon

1 onion (chopped)

3 tbs of creme fraiche

handful of parsley (chopped)



Heat the pan with the olive oil. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Cook them on medium heat for 2-3 min on each side or until almost cooked and move them to the baking dish and place evenly.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Peel potatoes & onions and grate them with a fine grater or use food processor with the grater attached to it (or you can use juicer to separate potato juice from the potato itself. Mix them together afterwards. This way you can avoid long and tiring grating procedure). Add some salt & pepper to the potato mixture then some lemon juice which will stop your potato mixture to become brown . Heat a small pot with milk until its almost boiling and add to the potatoes. It helps to keep the potato pie soft when cooked. Mix well and transfer mixture into the baking dish with the chicken. Just pour over the chicken and put the dish into the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour in the oven start checking if  mixture is fully cooked. Take the toothpick and if toothpick comes out clean that means it’s done and the crust has to be dark brown colour.Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 min. Then slice into portions.

While potatoes are cooking and almost done , prepare the sauce to go with it. Chop some pancetta or bacon slices in cubes. The same has to be done with the onion. Add pancetta to the pan on medium heat and let all the fat to come out, add onions and cook it on low to medium heat for about 10 min or until onions are transparent and pancetta is crispy. Take the pan off the stove and add creme fraiche and chopped parsley.

Add a portion of “Kugelis” to the plate and pour over the sauce.

Bon appetit.:)