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Potato or Meat Pies a.k.a Pirojki

Potato Pirojki

This is a hands down winner in our family. Pirojki. They are believed to have originated from Russia, but have well blended into the cuisine of Azerbaijan and are popular both among the grownups and children alike. These dough pockets, stuffed with savory fillings such as cabbage, mashed green peas, potato or meat, can be either deep fried or baked in the oven. Usually deep fried “pirojki” is sold as fast food in bakeries, cafeterias and by street vendors.

I am posting the recipe for the baked pirojki with 2 fillings to choose from – one is a vegetarian delight and the other is sure to satisfy meat lovers. Follow this recipe to make potato OR meat pockets, and enjoy them with a cup of hot sweet tea or just plain! I know one thing for sure, once ready, these golden delights go fast! So… don’t miss your share! The recipe for the dough comes from Deniz, our family friend in Turkiye (this dough is very similar to the Russian pirojki dough).

PIROJKI

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 1 ½ hours dough rising time
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes 22-25 pies

For the Dough
½ cup (4fl oz / 125ml) lukewarm water
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 oz / 7g)
3 cups (15oz / 470g) all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
½ cup (4fl oz / 125ml) milk
1 egg + 1 egg white (reserve the yolk for glazing)
½ cup oil (4fl oz / 125ml)

For the Filling

Potato filling:
3 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander), or parsley or dill
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Meat filling:
3 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, chopped
13 oz (375g) ground beef
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

For Glazing
1 egg yolk

VARIATION: Another delicious variation would be to stuff the pockets with crumbled white cheese, such as feta, mixed with chopped fresh parsley.

COOK’S TIP: For the yeast to work best, all ingredients should be at room temperature. Remove the eggs from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to adding them to the dough.

COOK’S TIP: If you used up all of the filling and still have some dough left, you can make small dinner rolls. Brush the remaining dough ball with egg yolk, sprinkle with some poppy, nigella or sesame seeds and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until golden.

1. Prepare the dough. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and let stand for about 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and mix. Add the yeast mixture, milk, eggs and oil and stir using your hands until a rough ball forms. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. Put the dough into a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or a plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in bulk. The dough should look puffy and be soft when poked with a finger.

Dough Ball

2. In the meantime, prepare the filling. To prepare the potato filling, in a medium non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until lightly brown. In a mixing bowl, mash the boiled potatoes (I like to leave it slightly coarse). Add the fried onion, fresh herbs, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.

To prepare the meat filling, in a medium non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the meat and stir-fry together for about 10 minutes, or until the meat is brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer a smoother filling, grind the mixture in a food processor until you obtain a desired consistency. (That’s what I usually do and I love the result).

3. Gentry press down on the dough to release the gases that have built up during the rising. The dough should not be sticky. Divide the dough into small balls about 1 ½ inches (3.8 cm) in diameter You should be able to make 22-25 balls.

Risen Dough

Small Balls

4. At this stage you can use either method to shape your pirojki- whichever you are comfortable with. Method A: Using a wooden rolling pin, roll out each ball into a circle about 4 inches (10cm) in diameter. Place a tablespoonful of filling on the circle, lift the edges towards the center and press to seal. Gently pat the pocket to flatten it slightly. Continue with the rest of the dough. Method B: Since the dough is very elastic, it is easy to handle with hands. You can flatten, stretch, fill and seal the dough, holding it in your palm and using your other hand. Just like in the pictures below. I use this method. It’s quick and easy.
Stretching

Filling

Steps

5. Place the dough pockets on a baking sheet seam side down, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

6. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350F (180C).7. Brush the pockets with egg yolk and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden. NUSH OLSUN! ENJOY!

Glazing

 

98 Comments
  1. Oh my gosh, those look fantastic! And they look easier than I’d have ever thought, too. Filing this one to try…

  2. Those look very yummy! Just like Indian Potato or meat Samosas, but a little different. Thnx for sharing the recipe!

  3. Great photo! That bread is perfectly golden brown and looks really good.

  4. Not hard at all, great directions! Thanks, now I am hungry, and I am IN BED!!! :)))
    Mouthwatering photo!

  5. Those look delicious!!! What great color they have!

  6. A potato pie please :]

    I defiantly am going to try these. They look so good!

  7. The Pirojki look great, perfect finger food for a party. I have to bookmark this for my next get together. Thank you!

  8. Hi Farida,
    thanks for stopping by yesterday on my blog…this looks wonderful and I adore different ethnic dishes, i’ve read about you looking for others to test recipes from your new cookbook-i’ll have to write you an email during the week (if i forget, please do get in touch!)
    pix
    oh, shall add you to my google reader

  9. Elle: They are really not that hard to make. Enjoy!

    Mona: Welcome to my blog! Yes, these remind Indian samosas which I hope to make one day.

    Kevin: Thank you! Egg yolk works wonders on baked goods:)

    Medena: Welcome to my blog! These are not hard at all to make you are right.

    Katie: Thanks for visiting! Enjoy!

    Tarah: I wish you lived closer:) Thanks for visiting!

    Chuck: Welcome to my blog! Glad you like the recipe!

    Pixie: It’s great to meet people who explore ethnic cuisines! I emailed you already before you forget:)

  10. Wow, they look beautiful! I’ve always loved Potato Pirojki, but never had the opportunity to eat that dish too many times! I guess that I’ll have to remediate to that sad situation ;-P…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  11. I love how beautifully you explain everything accompanied by the perfect photo. You are too clever. Thank you for posting this – I’m going to try is this week.

    xoxox Amy

  12. Great photos and looks like a very good recipe! It’s particularly good that the photos really show how to do the recipe step by step. Will be trying it out.

  13. Farida!
    They are amazing!
    mmm, like samosas? I love to try this, so tempting..
    Photo is very beautiful!!

  14. Rosa: Thank you! Let me know how your pirojki turns if you make it.

    Amy: Thank you. Enjoy your pirojki:)

    Momatlarge: Thanks for visiting my blog. I am glad you like the recipe. Enjoy!

    Seena: Thank you. I have yet to try your samosas:)

  15. Those look delicious!

  16. Farida:

    These adorable pastries reminds me curry puffs and curry buns that are wildly popular in Malaysia.
    Yours look absolutely picture perfect!

  17. This is a recipe that I will definitely be trying! Thanks for sharing it.

  18. AHHHHH one of the best Latvian foods ever!

    My Oma used to make these all the time, and even when I was a vegetarian I would still eat the bacon ones as they’re too good to resist.

  19. amazing! they remind me of Cornish Pasties…look so good.

  20. These look so similar to empanadas. I am sure they would go over big here. I will try to make these sometime soon and see!

  21. Brilynn: thank you for coming back! Enjoy!

    Maya: glad you like my recipe! I would love to try Malaysian version one day, too!

    Cynthia: thank you! Enjoy!

    Paige: looks like pirojki is popular in the entire ex-Soviet hemisphere:)

    Diva: than you for stopping by! Enjoy!

    Gretchen: yes, they do remind empanadas. Let me know how your pirojki turns out:) Have fun baking!

  22. Frida, thanks for dropping by my blog….you’ve got a wonderful space here.

    A few days ago, I posted something similar to your pirojkis, which was just a spur of the moment idea…after looking at those beauties of your’s, it does seem that I’m on the right track :-D

  23. LEZZET! i’m eating this DILLICIOUS pirochki, and writing a comment @ the same time-it’s awsome! haven’t seen any better – just awsome! the one i’m eating right now just came out of oven, and is burning hot1 it’s so good! well thanks A LOT, MERCI BEACOUPE for the resipy!

  24. Farida, men mejbur oldum ve extra un tokdum. Menim agilli, geshenk qizim, he he he, mene komek etdi, ve chox yaxshi alindi
    ( menim mamam dedi, ve men yaziram, ona gore ozumu oggeder tarifledim) he he he! chox datdiyidi! chox sagol!

  25. This looks absolutely incredible! My kind of food.
    Well done!

  26. Those peroshki are a real show stopper. I think I’m going to make them absolutely as soon as possible – like today. Thank you for the really terrific directions.

  27. Sunita: Welcome and thank you for your nice words! You have a great blog, too. There is a lot to learn from you!

    Gullu & Sevinj: Mommy and her wonderful daughter:) I am glad you enjoyed making and eating pirojki!

    Zenchef: Thanks for stopping by! And for your encouraging words!

    Molly: Thanks for visiting! Please let me know how your pirojki turns out. Always great to receive a feedback:)

  28. Hi Farida

    These look lovely all of my family love pies.

    Btw I’m making your zebra cake tomorrow.

    Vi xx

  29. Oh, Farida … these are beautiful! They remind me of a Russian pastry I had a few months ago, but yours look so much better :-) I planned to make something sweet this weekend, but you may have just changed my mind.

  30. Interesting! My wife makes something so similar called Pierogi – she’s Polish.

    Amazing how food travels the globe!

  31. Im always looking for something that is different, delicous and is easy for someone with my limited cooking abilities to cook, this fits the bill and the instructions are easy to follow.

  32. Vi: Glad you like it! Just saw your Zebra cake on you blog. Good job! Thank you for your flattering words about my blog, too:)

    Allen: There is another recipe for this pirojki, where you make a sponge first and then mix it with the the rest of the ingredients, but this one is easy and saves time. plus, the taste is great! Let me know how it turns out!

    Scott: Welcome to my blog! Pirojki is small Pirogi. I think the variations of it are pretty popular in Eastern Europe and in ex-Soviet Union countries. You are right, food travels the globe:) there are no borders for it:)

    Garry: Thanks for visiting! Glad you like my recipe! Please visit again for more.

  33. Farida, you’ve done it again. They look truly amazing. I’m going to make Pirojki, and I have a feeling they will also be a winner at our house.
    Thank you for sharing this one!

  34. hey farida so sweet of you to write such nice lines for me…infact i added you in my blogroll today as i found your recipes amazing.here in moscow i have been tasting azerbaijani food in restaurants and have fallen in love with the food.Thanx for subscribing…even I am subscribing to yours too…can’t afford to miss a single recipe from now on:) I have had these pirojkis here so many times and now i know how to make them too…they look awesome.

  35. well, i like its…

    I´ll be back!

  36. Marysol: Please let me know how your pirojki turns out if you make it.

    Saswati: Than you! IInteresting to hear that you have tried Azerbaijani food in Russia:) Was there anything in particular you liked? I am curious. Please visit again!

    Carlinhos: Thank you for stopping by. Yes, please , do come back:)

  37. Farida,
    those yummy looking pirojki’s make me run to kitchen and cook it right away. I love pirojki so much ! it is not only dish but a wonderful childhood memories. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us!

  38. Hi Farida,
    I could not resist the idea of making pirojki :) I did it today. They turned out just great. Austin was impressed by the dough itself. We have the big batch of pirojkis with potato, meet and feta cheese, so come join us :). Actually i experimented and added some oregano to cheese and Austin suggested some shredded mozzarella. So it turned out very tasty ( i think it reminded me the taste of pizza tiny bit).
    Thanks again for this wonderful recipe!

  39. Emel, I am so glad you tried the recipe and it is great that it turned out delicious! I think by the time we arrive at your house no pirojki will be left:)) so we decided postponing visiting you now:)) Enjoy!

  40. I just finished making these and they are amazing :). So light and fluffy, and the potato filling is a wonderful complement to the bread.
    I’ll be making these again with different fillings.
    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and making it so easy to follow!

  41. Lily: I am so flattered that you tried my recipe! Glad they turned out yummy!

    Barbara: I am happy that your home was filled with the nice smell from the freshly baked Pirojki:) I love the smell of baked goods!

  42. Farida..Am trying this reipe today..And the pirojki s are now getting baked inside the oven..Thanks for sharing ur recipe

  43. Divya: I am so glad you are trying the recipe! Your house must be smelling good now:) Let me know how they turn out please.

  44. Farida..The pirojkis turned wonderful..We had it with hot tea..My husband liked it a lot..Thanks for ur recipe

  45. Nearly every culture has some sort of bread pocket or dumpling. Yours look heavenly, Farida. Thanks for all the detailed photos; they make it much easier to recreate the recipe successfully. Next rainy day, I shalll make them.

  46. I remember these as a child. WOW Delicious!

  47. Farida – that looks amazing. Thank you. Definitely bookmarked.

  48. Farida, These are beautiful! and so are your step by step photo’s!

  49. They look lovely!

  50. I love piroshkis. They look delicious.

  51. These look wonderful! Do you think they would freeze well unbaked?

  52. thank you for this wonderful recipe, i cooked for a frat house in seattle,and a guys mother made them and sent them to the frat house and they were fantastic, thank you so much for the recipe….and when i lived in san francisco there was a small piroshkis shop and there was a line a block long.i never passed that shop without at least 1-2,yummmmm, densol

  53. Hi Farida
    I just tried this recipe and it came out GREAT!!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Christin

  54. Hi, just stumbled on your blog, following the link of your zebra cake, will definitely try it this weekend. I browsed more recipes and found this one. Another addition to my to do list. By the way, is there a way i can print your recipes, if its ok? thanks…

    jinky

  55. Hi Farida,

    At last i was able to made this yesterday. I dont have any fresh parsley at hand so i used the dried ones and added some green spring onions. It turned out fine but i would definitely try using the fresh herbs, coz i know the taste will really be different. I was also able to made some rolls to the leftover dough and topped it with sesame seeds. The good thing about this dough is that the bread doesn’t get hard the following day. Its still soft to the bite! A big thanks to you for sharing this recipe and others. Speaking of which I also made the Zebra cake last Christmas. Will post my comment there.

    So glad you made pirojki. Yes, go with fresh herbs next time. It will make all the difference. If you like cilantro, it works great too. Thanks for trying. Enjoy:) Off to read your zebra cake comment.

  56. they look delicious!!!

  57. I really love your blog. We make these as well in Turkey and also my husbands country does as well Saudi Arabia. I love any kind of pie like this. I can get there here filled with lots of things. Again love the site, glad I found it…

  58. Oh my goodness!!!!!!! These look so yummy. I just wanted to pick one up and try them. Tomorrow I am going to try this recipe.

    Thanks a bunch for such a fantastic recipe.

  59. the numbers of comments you have got proves how is hit it is. your recipe is HIT AND FIT. i wud like to one thing that is it posssible to deep fry in case of nonavailitity of oven? this is just ot know. please. may i ask you about ramadan – sowms in azerbaijan? thanks

  60. Salam Farida Xanim!. Thank you for recipies…i just made a dough and waiting for it rise…just wondering if i did something wrong because dough was very soft…i even added more flour than recipie said..but it still was very very soft…i hardly could pick it up to put to large ball..:-(..should i wait how it will come out in 1 hour..or i have to try to do dough again?…thank you your time.

  61. SEVIL: You are very welcome. I don’t know how soft your dough it, but it should be hard but not to tight and soft to touch. meaning, you should be able to shape it without having it stick to your hands. If it is too sticky, add more flour. If after one hour it has risen, but is till too soft, add some flour. Let me know how it turned out. I hope delicious. Enjoy!

  62. From one farida to another:
    Hi,
    My name is Farida as well and I’m from India. Your cooking blog/site is lovely. I love the pictures that you add detailing every step. Several of your Azerbaijani dishes are similar to Indian dishes, but with a slight Azerbaijini twist of course.

    I made the pirojki as per your recipe and they turned out absolutely delicious. These are going to be a regular brunch item in my house from now on.
    For the fillings, I did:
    1. The cheese & herbs filling that you suggested: crumbled feta + mozarella + mint + basil + cilantro (I threw in all the herbs that I had) + pepper.
    2. I made your potato filling with Indian spices – like in Indian samosas.

  63. Hi Farida, great recipe!
    I’d like to make it as soon as I can, but I have a question about oil which you mension many times for dough and for fillings. What kind of oil do you use? Olive, canola or clarified butter oil?
    Thanks

  64. Yummy… We always fry ours but I really like that you bake them. Can this recipe be made the same way if I am going to fry them?

  65. I forgot to add that a nice variation for filling is diced hard boiled eggs with chopped green onions….

  66. ALLA: I haven’t tried this dough for fried. Not sure how it would work. I have a different one for fried pirojki. Will post it when I try it.

  67. WOW! I have made these about 5 times now. The bread is wonderful! Anything you can think to put inside works! My family really like cooked hamburger and cheddar cheese ….makes little cheese burgers. Spinich and Patatoes was good also. Wow, just cant say enough…… this is wonderful!

  68. I made the vegetarian version of the dish… and my husband asked me if i had bought it from the bakery.
    This is the first time i have baked any kind of bread, but following your recipe, the bread was very soft and the dish was an instant hit at home. As suggest by you, i used the remaining dough to make dinner rolls for dinner.
    Thank you.

  69. Today I cooked.its amazing it’s become same as photo.
    thanks

  70. ill be cooking this for my baby brothers baby shower =) next week i have been making them for a while now and they are a HIT……ppl cant get enough of them =D thanks so much for sharing

  71. Salam Feride xanim. Perojkileri bisirdim. Supe alindi. Men kelemli iclikden de istifade etdim. By the way. I want it ask long time before. Something made me, little uneasy to write about. I am useing Facebook and i favorited 1 page call Azerbaycan metbexi. I really thought that it is belongs to u. But i was reading old posts there and came across one post, that says actually it belongs to Nermin and Nezrin sisters. But pictures and resipes are from your site. Did not understand really? But, i would get really upset if someone uses my work and says that belong to anyother one.

  72. Thanks so much. These are wonderful. I just felt like eating some and thought I would try making them. They were easy to follow and looked as well as tasted good in the end!

  73. Made these a fortnight ago and received some positive feedback:) I used parsley in stuffing, I guess dill would be the most appropriate and delicious green to use. And the recipe was quite an easy one!
    P.S. I’m becoming addicted to your ws:)

  74. Hi Farida,
    i’ve made these last week and its awesome, i managed to make 30 rolls and they are gone at the end of the day!
    im making more this week and bring over to my aunt’s place to break fast together.
    this time, my family has requested for corned beef with onion and chillies as the filling!

  75. Ben yuzsuzluk yapacagim ,bu pogacalar cok guzel gorunuyor…Elanin birthdayi icin istersem ,sana cok mu is cikarmis olurum….cok guzel gorunuyor…

  76. Can you prepare these ahead and freeze them? Do you freeze before or after baking them?

  77. RACHEL: You can bake then freeze them.

  78. I made these yesterday and we loved it! Thank you for the wonderful recipe :)

    I

  79. we made it today scrunsious yum ;)

  80. I stumbled across this word while I was playing Scrabble and had to know what it meant. Now I am going to try to make pirojki! Thank you for the recipe.

  81. Super, ya kak raz iskala etot recept, ogromnoe spasibo.

  82. Feridochka, about dry yeast how many teaspoons? I can’t manage by oz or gr….. Thx honey

  83. JENAN – 2 + 1/4 teaspoon. I use measuring spoons.

  84. I searching english lesson.

  85. The dough for this *is* sticky and difficult to work with at first, but keep at it – the pies are soft and very tasty when served warm. I made both the potato and coriander and fetta and parsley versions, and my guests loved them.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    :-)

    In order to get the dough into a large ball you will most likely need extra flour on your bench (or hands), but once you’ve let it rise you can roll it into smaller balls without much trouble

  86. Hello Farida,

    I tried your recipe yesterday. Very tasty and its super easy to make. It came out pretty good. I put mashed potatoes (onions, pepper jack, salt, pepper, sour cream, milk, butter) as a filling. I ll try meat next time. My mom used to make these with potatoes, beef, cabbage, eggs (+green onions), or fruits (like fresh cherries).

    Thanks again,
    Diana

  87. Hello, Farida,

    I have made these with the potato filling and they were inhaled before getting a chance to get totally cold. I will be hosting some company for Thanksgiving weekend and already have a request to have these in dozens. However, I would like to make them with whole wheat flour and dairy free. I know you have ‘experience’ with the whole wheat flour (your no-knead bread is practically a staple in my house). What would you advise about the whole wheat flour and dairy-free substitutions.

    Thank you very much.

    AILUY

  88. AILUY – So glad you like these! Whole wheat flour should be fine. Use the ration of 1 cup whole wheat to every 2 cups of all-purpose flour. For milk, I would try soy milk. Honestly, I have never made pirojki this way, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work.

    • Feride,

      Finally , I got around to replying about pirojki. It was a very VERY busy and hectic day when I was making these, so I decided to get ‘help’. I made the dough in the bread machine, on ‘dough’ cycle. I did 50-50 whole wheat – AP flour and used soy milk instead of regular. l?zz?tli to the power of infinity would be an understatement. I have made them this way many times already with all kinds of fillings. Also, they stay fresh much longer than any other dough I have tried, if only they last.

      Once again,

      çox t???kkür edir?m

      • Ailuy, so glad you tried it! Enjoy!

        • Hello, Faride,

          I am so glad that your cookbook will be available soon. I have been ‘hinted’ that I will get it as a present, CAN’T WAIT!
          A question about pirojki if you don’t mind and have a minute to spare. Can I freeze these? Would I bake them first or freeze them raw? Also, which filling would survive the freezer?

          Thank you so much for you time.
          Good luck with the book.

          • Thank you for your order. You can par-bake them and free them, then bake them until golden. Or you can bake them completely and freeze them. Both fillings will survive the freezer.

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