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Zeppelins are not vareniki or pelmeni (not dumplings). I would like to share with you a recipe for an unusual Lithuanian dish. In Lithuanian restaurants, visitors are fond of Zeppelins, as this dish is a specialty. Zeppelin is a very satisfying dish. The first time I tried it, when I visited friends in Vilnius, we went to a restaurant and, according to tradition, as all tourists do, I ordered.

Zeppelin or dijkukuliai (lit. didžkukuliai [didzhkukuliai] or cepelinai [zeppelinai], Belarusian zeppelins or dumplings with dushami) are a dish of Lithuanian cuisine, dumplings made from raw grated potatoes (there are also recipes with the addition of boiled potatoes) stuffed with minced meat (or cottage cheese or other ingredients). Zeppelins are served with sour cream and lard.

The name “zeppelins” in Lithuania took root during the First World War from the name of the manufacturer of German airships – Zeppelin. Lithuania was from 1915 to 1918 under German occupation, almost on the front line, and German military airships flew through it to the Eastern Front. The dish was very similar in appearance.

We need:

8-12 large potatoes
ground meat
1 egg
1 tsp starch
some flour
salt, pepper to taste
butter and sour cream for dish decoration

Cooking method:

  1. Boil potatoes (4-6 pcs) and cool a little and grate 4-6 more potatoes on a fine grater, squeeze out the juice (leave the juice to stand). Mix raw and boiled potatoes, settled starch from potato juice, add an egg, 1 teaspoon dry starch, and a little flour, salt, pepper.

From such a dough, we make balls (the size of a fist), after the cake.

P.S. At first I cooked from raw potatoes, but the zeppelins turned out to be very tough, with boiled potatoes it is much tastier.

  1. In the middle of which put 1 tsp. minced meat.
  2. Pinch the sides to form a zeppelin.
  3. Cook in salted water. Ready zeppelins first rise in boiling water, after which they sink to the bottom – this will be a sign of their readiness. It takes longer to cook than dumplings, since the dough is thicker and it needs to be boiled and the meat too.
  4. Pour on the finished zeppelins butter and sour cream.

Good to serve all kinds of garlic, mushroom gravies and sauces work well, as well as fried bacon.

The following sauce is served to the zeppelin: cut the lard 100-200 g into cubes and melt in a pan almost to the cracklings. Add sour cream 100-150 gr into the melted lard. (You can do more. I add to the skid) Mix all this well and pour hot zeppelin sauce. Salt the sauce a little. (Personally, I think, it is too fatty for me, so I do not serve with this one, but I tried before in Lithuania, specifically with this one).

18 thoughts on “Zeppelins”

    1. Thank you, I love traditional dishes too. I do not remember a name of the restaurant, it was quiet awhile I been to Vilnus, but my friend brought me there and said they it`s worth to try a specialty dish…It was with pork, I do not eat pork at all, but for understanding traditions, sometimes it is ok. Well, it was amazing)

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