Kalduny or kolduny (Belarusian: êàëäóíû, Russian: êoëäóíû,
Polish: kołduny, Lithuanian: koldūnai, used in plural only) are stuffed
dumplings made of unleavened dough in Belarusian, Lithuanian, and Polish
cuisines, akin to the Russian
pelmeni and the Ukrainian
Kalduny, dumplings of unleavened dough filled with meat,
mushrooms, or other stuffings, are related to similar dishes in the West and in
the East alike, from Italian
to Central Asian
manti. The origin of kalduny is uncertain: they
may have originated with equal likelihood in the West (Germany or Czech lands)
or in the East (brought by the Tatar-Mongols across Siberia and the Urals).
with a stuffing of smoked ham and mushrooms (Kalduny Count Tyshkevich, named
after a Belarusian noble family) were long considered Belarus’s “visiting card”,
although decades of Soviet rule almost erased their trace from public memory and
now they are only served in a few local restaurants.
The simplest dough for kalduny is made of flour mixed with tepid water, eggs,
and some salt. In some recipes the dough for kalduny is mixed with onion
juice, not water. Kalduny dough should be soft but elastic, easy to stretch
and to seal into a pocket around a dollop of filling. Like other pastry doughs
it has to be allowed to rest, covered with a dish towel or a cloth so as not to
Left: Ready-made kalduny
produced in Lithuania.
Kalduny are usually boiled in a big shallow casserole at low heat, in
well-salted water. Instead of boiling in water, kalduny may be boiled directly
in a soup, in which they are then served. Some varieties are baked or fried.
Kalduny Polesie style, with a stuffing of boiled river fish and
hard-boiled eggs, are fried.
Kalduny may be served as a main course or a dessert, depending on the stuffing.
For the former, meat, mushrooms, farmer cheese, or fish is used; for the latter,
fresh berries or sometimes dried fruits may be used. The sauce or topping for
kalduny also depends on the stuffing. Kalduny with Vilnius stuffing (mushrooms
and smoked pork, as in Kalduny Count Tyshkevich) are topped with melted butter,
while the Russian stuffing (farmer cheese or mashed potatoes) requires thick
sour cream. Dessert kalduny are powdered with cinnamon or topped with fruit
syrups. Kalduny are often served in a soup (beef broth or
kreplach. The numerous combinations of dough, stuffing, and sauce
provide a great potential for variation.
Large kalduny (manti) are prepared for the major Muslim feasts, which are
celebrated by the Tatar population that has lived continuously in Belarus since
the end of the 14th century. This variety of kalduny are made with spiced
mutton or veal stuffing and are eaten by spoon, so that the dough wrapping
doesn't tear and the juice from inside is not lost.
Kalduny come with a variety of either savory or sweet
Meat (ground or chopped)
Mushrooms (fresh or dried)
Mushrooms and smoked pork, mixed in equal proportions (Vilnius stuffing, Kalduny
White rice and hard-boiled eggs
sauerkraut with mushrooms
Fish (sweet-water fish, such as pike or pike-perch, boned and chopped, mixed
with hard-boiled or fried eggs)