The Karelian Treat: “Kalitki”


Kalitki are tiny Karelian pasties made of unfermented dough with rye flour. They are usually served with tea and baked with different filling: millet, potato, cottage cheese, oat flour, barley…

Karelians also call them “ryupittetyu” that means “puckered” as they actually look like.


The fact that they are made of unfermented dough definitely means that they were baked long before the Conversion of Russia, apparently they appeared in the IX century and maybe even earlier.


However, despite their long history, they have been actually made only in Karelia. Their recipe has never inspired Russians who believe that pastries always should be fresh, puffy, smelling sweet. And kalitki are made of plain rye flour, filled with pearl barley and after baking they become hard as iron and are to be softened again.



Karelian women has always said: “Kalittoa — kyzyy kaheksoa” – “Kalitka requires octad” – i.e. to bake kalitki eight components are needed: flour, water, sour clotted milk, salt, milk, butter, sour cream and fillling (potato, cereals, oat flour). Kalitki may have various shapes, various number of angles.


Before eating kalitki should be soaked in milk.


Dough making:
1 glass of sour clotted milk (or milk, or sour cream, or kefir)
A glass of water
Rye flour

Filling making:
Millet, milk, butter, salt. Served with sour cream or cooking butter


1. Two glasses of flour and a glass of sour clotted milk are to be mixed together
2. Let it stand for half an hour
3. Beat the flour to make it softer
3. Roll it out in the shape of “sausage”, make portions


1. Roll out the paste into squares 0,5cm thick
2. Add the filling
3. Roll up in any way you like
4. Put them on a baking tray. Add salty sour cream to an egg yolk and smear the kalitki, bake in an oven for 15 min at the temperature 250 degrees. When the kalitki get brownish, you may take them out.


With blackcurrant


With strawberry




Bon appetite!

In conclusion we offer to see a video of “Sattuma” – a folk band from Petrozavodsk.

via nnm

26 thoughts on “The Karelian Treat: “Kalitki””

  1. I thought this was English Russia, not English Finland … oh I forget, you pinkos stole Karelia from Finland.
    You should have stood up and fought us instead of running off to Germany. Cowards.

    • I like your comment. More importantly I adore the fact that the local culture has prevailed under such a long hegemony!!!!

      • I can guarantee that they did, and thats why they wanted to be part of finland when the wars started, thats why they aided finland in the war and thats why hundreds of thousands of people moved away from karelia (to finland) once the russians occupied it.

    • Hey, come on. I don’t know where you’re from, but if you had been to school in Finland, you ought to know that some half of Karelia was never a part of Finland, not even the autonomous Finnish grand duchy under Russia.

      Of course the Russians have generally not been in the area very long and could be considered to be “intruders” in the area constituting some half Russia. But that was some half a millenium ago, so I don’t quite see the point in crying about that any more.
      And if we do want to complain of the Russians appearing some 400-700 years ago to what is now considered the bulk of Russia, why not also complain about the fact that the whole Finland used to be inhabited by Sami people until the Finns came some thousands of years ago from what’s now Russian territory, kicked their asses and forced them to Lapland?
      Also, as one can hear in the attached song, karelian is already quite a bit a language and culture of its own, not just a part of Finland. “Kylyseen”?! In Finnish they would say “Kylään”, if I even guess the meaning of the word correctly.. The Karelians that resided in the old Finnish area were strongly absorbed to the mainstream Finnish culture and didn’t really speak much like these Karelians. Also many other Karelian cultural aspects were replaced by something Finnish.

      Most of the things shown in the blog entry are purely Karelian, not Finnish or Russian. It would be just as correct or incorrect calling them Finnish as it is to call them Russian. Taking into account that they do not exist and probably never did exist on the territory of Finland and do exist on the territory of Russia, it even seems to make more sense calling them Russian than Finnish, if a UN recognized state really has to be attached to the culture.

  2. I’m a Finn but my grandmother was from Sortavala which is now in the Russian side of the Karelia. And I’ve made these pies many times. And I think that a better recipe for these is:

    3 parts of water
    4 parts of rye flour
    2 parts of wheat flour

    Filling can be rice or barley porridge or mashed potatoes or something else like that. They use berries in the northern part of the Karelia and it’s also good.

    If you use 300 ml water, you should get something like 40-50 pies. If you’ve got really good and fresh rye flour (which is quite rare thing to find in Finland) you can use only rye flour and you’ll get better pies. If the dough sticks to everything and it’s impossible to handle it, you should add some wheat flour.

    Cut the dough to small pieces and use your rolling pin and make round flat pieces from the dough. They should be as thin as you’re able to do. The thinner the better and not like the ones you can buy from Finnish shops.

    Add the filling (not too much) and turn two opposite edges in to create the oval shape (it should look like women’s genitals 🙂

    Bake in a hot oven (200-250 degrees Celcius) until the pies are nicely brown. Then use a brush and coat the pies with melted butter and cover the pies with paper or folio so they’ll soften a bit.

    Cook some eggs (hard boiled), cut them to small pieces, add same amount of soft butter and mix them. Before eating put the egg/butter mix on the pie (especially pie with rice porridge, doesn’t work with the berry ones). Enjoy!

  3. My mother escaped from Vyborg/Karelia in 30,s and i have eaten this warm “riisipirakka” whit butter. Very good and still your hunger fast.
    Kenneth from Sweden


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