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Traditional dishes

Just as the conservative Suiti have preserved various unique features of folk culture, in the same way, many interesting dishes have been preserved here until today, handed down from generation to generation. Some of them could give us a good insight into what people in Courland ate even hundreds of years ago. Of course, some foods are older, some newer. Some of them are still used in everyday life today, but some are already a bit forgotten. However, if there is a dish that was commonly prepared in the kitchens of Suiti farmsteads, we have included it in this section. What is different in the Land of Suiti from what is usual elsewhere in Latvia? The first thing that catches the eye is that here it is not customary to eat bread with soup. Usually, soups have a piece of meat with a bone, which is served on a separate plate on the table, and when eating the soup, the meat is eaten with it instead of bread. For another, judge for yourself. Emīlija Kolna from Basi provided invaluable assistance in the creation of this section. Thank you, Emīlij! Thanks also to Skaidrīte Nagliņa for her help and advice.

Sklandrauši or Suitu rauši (potato and carrot tarts)

30 – 40 pieces (bases 10 – 12 cm in diameter).

For the dough:

2 kg of rye flour
0.5 kg wheat flour (for rolling)
1 liter of water + a tablespoon of salt
3-4 tablespoons of oil or fat
3-4 tablespoons of sour milk

For the first filling:

2 kg of potatoes
0.3 kg of cottage cheese
0.7 liters of boiled milk
10 eggs
0.5 kg of cream
0.2 kg of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon wheat flour

For the second filling:

3-4 kg of carrots
10 eggs
0.7 kg of cream
0.3 kg of sugar
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of wheat flour

Salt, fatty substances, sour milk are added to the water poured into a large bowl, mixed homogeneously with a wooden spoon. Stir in rye flour and knead a thick, homogeneous dough with your hands. Put on the table in wheat flour and roll with a dense roll. Let it mature for a while. Cut with a knife into thick slices, which are rolled out with a rolling pin into 1.5 – 2 mm thick round slabs, 10 – 12 cm in diameter. With the fingers of both hands, roll up and flatten the edge, which should be thin, neat, durable 1-1.5 cm high. Arrange on baking sheets.

The first filling is potato

Peel half of the amount of potatoes green, grate them on a potato grater, put them in a bowl pressed firmly with cheesecloth, add cumin, salt and boil with boiled milk. Boil the other half with the peel, peel it, grind it in a meat grinder, also grind the cottage cheese. Put the masses together in a bowl, add eggs, cream, sugar, wheat flour, mix until smooth.

The second filling is carrot

Boil the carrots until semi-soft, peel them, grate the size, grind the rest in a meat grinder (grated finer). Add beaten eggs, cream, sugar, wheat flour, salt, cumin. Mix everything well.

Put the filling one by one in the prepared dough forms. Sprinkle a little with cumin and fire in the oven. Bake until golden brown in a hot oven so that the cumin bursts and the edges of the rusks are crunchy. After removing from the oven, lightly sprinkle with sugar. Eat chilled, cold. Best on the second day. When cut in half, three layers are visible: rye bread, potato layer, carrot layer.

When eating, the taste should merge into one harmonious bouquet – rye bread, potatoes, carrots with a hint of cumin. The only spice is cumin. Neither cinnamon, nor vanilla, nor over-sweetened. It’s no longer a real thing.

It is served at the table in clay dishes or woven baskets. By giving cold milk. If you wish so, you can spread it with butter or honey.

Skābputra (a specific traditional soup in whole Courland)

1 liter of water
50 grams of barley groats
0.5 liters of sour milk
70 grams of sour cream
knife edge salt

Wash the rinsed grits in boiling water and cook very little – 5 minutes. Add sour milk of firm consistency with a spoon. Do not stir, lumps will form. Remove from the fire or extinguish the fire. After a while, a little stir with a ladle. Keep in heat for about ½ hour. Sour cream is added and it can be eaten warm or later cold. It is served warm in plates, cream is added, and served with a sandwich or herring, or bread smeared with white pork fat and garlic. Porridge quickly sours after a day or a few, which is scooped into cups and drunk in hot weather.

Ķīsene (oat jelly)

1 kg oat flour – coarse flour
3 liters of water
½ tablespoon of salt
a couple of bread crusts

It can also be made from oatmeal. If they are fine, cook with thickets.

Oatmeal is washed in a clay pot or bowl the day before. Pour water over. Add a few crusts of wholemeal bread (encourages acidification) and leave in a warm place to acidify overnight. When the mixture is moderately sour (not too little, not too much, it does not thicken when heated), drain it through a strainer and press the thickenings well with your hands. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil over low (slow) heat, add salt while stirring until the liquid starts to thicken. Then it is kept on the edge of the stove for a while, allowing it to ripen. Pour into plates and serve a little warm. Place an eye of bacon-onion sauce in the middle or sprinkle with sugar. Drink cold milk.

Liver pate

500 g of liver
350 g fatty pork
100 g onion
50 g of garlic
1-2 eggs
Finishing ingredients: salt, pepper, bay leaves

Boil the liver cut into large pieces separately without salt and herbs. Boil the pork separately by adding salt, spices: whole pepper, bay leaves, onions, parsley. When the meat is dry, the tougher bacon is separated and cut into small square pieces. Grind the liver and the rest of the meat 2 times in a meat grinder. Also grind chopped fried onions and garlic.

The ground mass is placed in a saucepan with a small amount of broth and the liver strands are well pressed with a wooden spoon. Then add more broth and stir and beat while heating. While heating, beat the egg one at a time. Continue to heat to set the eggs. The mass becomes light – pliable. Add the sliced bacon at the very end – so that the pieces remain whole. Taste, add salt and pepper. If necessary, also broth. The finished mass is medium thick, pliable, fatty. Pour into a wide bowl, level the surface, cool. Cut into columns, which in turn into slices. Garnish with butter balls.

Blood sausage

500 g of barley groats
1.5 – 2 liters of meat broth
1 kg of fatty pork
1 liter of blood
100 g onion
salt, spices, intestines.

Rinse the barley groats, put them in the meat broth and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add blood of a liquid consistency, if it is in pieces, it needs to be ground in a meat grinder. Excellent, continue to heat until the red color disappears. Add finely chopped onions fried in fat, garlic, fine pepper, marjoram or thyme, ground pork, bacon cut into small pieces, mix and taste. Be careful with salt, as blood is usually salted.

The mass is thick, loose. Fill about ¾ of the volume of the intestine, as groats will still be swelling. The ends of the sausage are tied to form small round rolls. Put in boiling salted water, in parts (not a full pot) and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the intestine is boiled and turns white. Take it out and put the next ones. Place in trays to cool.

Before serving, the sausages are fried in fat on the stove or in the oven in a pan. Serve with lingonberry salad and fried pork.

Blood pancakes

0.5 liters of blood
0.5 liters of water
about 200 g of wheat flour
salt as needed
fat for frying

Liquid blood, strained or ground, is poured into a pancake bowl. Add water, salt if needed and stir in wheat flour. Use a wooden spoon to form a thin pancake batter. Fry round, small pancakes in hot lard on a pan. Serve with lingonberry jam.

The first treat at a pig’s funeral with a glass of beer.


Milk soup with dumplings

0.7 liters of milk
0.2 liters of water
200 g of sour cream
salt, sugar

For dumplings:

200 g fine wheat flour
100 g of water
1 egg
salt to taste

Beat an egg with salt and water in a bowl, add flour. At first, a thick dough was kneaded with a wooden spoon, later by hand, and large sheets of dough were formed, which were laid out individually in a bowl. Let it ripen for a while.

Milk is added to water boiled in a pot, boiled and thin, small dumplings are thrown into it by hand. When they rise to the surface and are ready, scoop them dry with a strainer or a slotted spoon. Pour over sour cream and eat. After that, make the soup. It can also be eaten as a milk soup with butter added. You can also eat salted herring.

Milk soup with rubbed dumplings

0.7 liters of milk
0.2 liters of water
10 g of butter

For dumplings:

100 g coarse wheat flour
50 g of water
1 egg

Beat the egg with salt and water in a bowl. Add about ¾ of the amount of flour and work it into the dough with a wooden spoon. Then add the remaining flour and knead the dough with your hands so that small dumplings are formed during cooking.

Milk is added to the water boiled in a pot and the kneaded dough (dumplings) is added while slowly boiling. When the dumplings have risen to the surface, remove the pot from the heat to the side of the stove, add butter and a little sugar.

Allow the food to mature for a while and then serve it to the table. Coarse wheat flour can be replaced with coarse rye or barley flour.

Milk soup with potato dumplings

1 kg of potatoes
1.5 liters of water
1.5 liters of milk
50 g of butter
salt to taste

Peel the potatoes, rinse them. Grate on a potato grater. Pour the grated potato mass onto a folded 2 layers of cheesecloth and press tightly. Place the pressed mass in a bowl, add salt, knead evenly. Take small pieces of dough and use the palms of your hands to form round or long balls and place them in a flat dish.

Boil water in a pot, add a little salt and add the balls of the potato mass, slowly lifting it with a ladle. When the dumplings are ready, add milk. Not heated in parts, heated all at once. Bring to a boil. Put to the side of the stove and let it mature for a while. Add butter, taste and serve.

Garlic dumplings with meat

0.5 kg full-grown pork
1 kg fine wheat flour
spices: salt, pepper, bay leaves, herbs

Boil the meat in one piece or divided in half in salted water. Remove the foam and cook over low heat, adding spices.

For the dumplings: mix the flour into lightly salted water. At first it is worked with a wooden spoon, later it is kneaded by hand into a semi-soft dough. Divide the dough into several sheets, roll them in flour and fold them along the edge of the bowl. Allow to swell a little.

Remove the finished meat from the broth. The broth is boiled and, while boiling slowly, thin, small dumplings are thrown into it. When they have risen to the surface and are ready, scoop them dry into a bowl with a strainer or foam spoon. Serve and eat with boiled pork. Dumplings can also be topped with cream. After that, pour the broth into the plate as well.

Coal-grilled herring

1 herring, salted
300 g potatoes, boiled with skin
0.5 liters of sour milk
150 g of sour cream

Whole, ungutted salted herring is wrapped in wet paper, you can also use newspaper. Place on the coals and, turning from both sides, fry well until brown, even slightly burnt. Remove the paper that has already turned into charcoal. Put it whole on a plate at the table. Put pieces of the herring in a plate in sour milk mixed with cream. Bite peeled, whole potatoes boiled with the skin on.

A healthy and hearty meal in the countryside. Gudenieki – Alsunga Suiti usually ate this at a lunch or dinner.

Potato pancakes

1 kg of potatoes
1 egg
40 g of wheat flour
a little salt
lard or oil for frying

Peel the potatoes whole, rinse and grate them on a potato grater. Egg, salt, wheat flour are added to the mass. Mix with a wooden spoon. Place small balls of the mass in heated fat on the pan, smooth out thinly. Bake light brown pancakes on both sides.

It should be noted: small, thin pancakes should be baked quickly, in an even heat, sparing no fat. Then the pancakes are soft, juicy with crispy edges.

Serve hot with lingonberry jam, sour cream or eat with sugar. Drink milk or tea. Pancakes are not thick, saturated with cold fat.

Plunču soup

2 pig’s feet
0.5 kg of pork backbone
0.3 kg pig’s intestine (from the large end)
0.1 kg of barley groats
0.5 kg potatoes
salt, onion, garlic, greens

The large intestine of the pig has been carefully cleaned in advance, turned the inside out, rubbed with salt or in snow, rinsed several times, put in boiling water and boiled for a while. It becomes white, firm, thick and greasy. Rinse in cold water, place on a tray and rub with a little salt. Treated in this way, it can be stored for a few days.

Pig legs and a piece of the backbone are divided into smaller parts, the intestine is cut into 1-2 cm thick slices and boiled half-soft (half-cooked). Add rinsed groats and potatoes, onions, garlic cut according to the soup – add salt to taste.

When ready, wait for a while on the edge of the stove – it is maturing. Remove the meat on a plate. Ladle the soup into a bowl and sprinkle with herbs. The soup is hearty, fatty, with a slightly specific taste. It enriches the daily diet and gives strength to the bones.

Gray peas with bacon sauce

200 g of peas
60 g of smoked bacon
40 g of onions
40 g of sour cream

Wash the soaked peas in a saucepan, pour hot water over them and boil until soft. Salt is added at the end of cooking.

Bacon, cut into small rectangular pieces, is fried in a pan together with finely chopped onions, salt and cream are added.

Drain the peas dry, put them in a bowl or bowls. Pour over the bacon sauce. Served with soured milk.

Fresh bacon can be used instead of dried bacon. Beans can also be boiled instead of peas.

Pusnātnene – groat and potato porridge

80 g of barley groats
300 g of potatoes
200 g of water
200 g of milk
100 g of smoked bacon
80 g of onions
80 g of sour cream

Put rinsed groats in boiling water, cook until soft. Add finely chopped potatoes, salt, and cook until almost soft. Add boiled milk and cook on low heat or in the oven. Stir occasionally, allowing the groats to swell completely.

Serve ready with a some bacon sauce in the middle of the plate. Drink milk or soured milk with it.

Groat porridge

150 g of barley groats
300 g of water
200 g of milk
50 g of bacon
50 g of sour cream
salt, onions

Put rinsed barley groats in a pot of boiling water and cook until semi-soft. Add salt. Stirring occasionally. Then add boiled milk. Keep on the edge of the stove, stirring occasionally, let the groats swell and soften. Porridge is slightly loose, but not stretchy.

Serve on plates with some bacon sauce in the middle. Give milk or sour milk.

Milk soup with homemade noodles

700 g of milk
200 g of water
10 g of butter
salt, sugar

For the noodles:

150 g wheat flour
2 eggs
30 g of water

Prepare the noodles at least an hour in advance, allowing them to soak a little – to ripen. For the dough: beat the eggs, water, salt a little in a bowl. Add wheat flour and knead a stiff dough (first with a wooden spoon, later with your hands). On the table in a tray, make thin sheets of dough (round). Allow them to dry for a while – water them. Then, with a sharp knife, cut them into strips about 3 cm wide. Put 4-5 in a pile and deftly cut (1 mm) into fine strips (noodles) with a sharp knife. Spread them in a thin layer on a white cloth or paper – they should not stick together.

Boil water with a part of milk, pour the prepared noodles in parts, and mix them with a ladle until they are smooth. Boil for 5-7 minutes, add the rest of the milk, add salt and sugar. Heat it up, hold it for a while, add butter and serve it to the table.

Chicken-turkey broth with homemade noodles

½ chicken or ½ turkey
1 piece carrot
onion, salt, pepper, bay leaves, herbs – parsley

For the noodles:

300 g of wheat flour
4 eggs
50 g of water

The noodles are prepared in advance, allowing them to dry a little so that they do not stick together when cutting. For the dough: beat eggs, water, salt in a bowl. Add flour and with a wooden spoon, later knead a firm dough with your hands. Spread flour on the table when you make thin sheets of dough. Cut into about 3 cm wide strips, which in turn put several 4 – 5 together and with a sharp knife deftly cut as thin as possible into strips (1 mm). The finer the noodles, the prettier. When cutting, flatten the layers so that they do not stick together. When they are all cut, put them in the boiled – strained bird broth in parts. Cook for a while and ripen on the edge of the stove. Add boiled carrot, greens (parsley) and finely chopped poultry. The meat can also be ground, fried with an egg in a thin omelet, which is cut into fine strips (straws) and added to the broth.

Country barley beer with cream and sugar

1 liter of beer
30 g fresh cream
30 g of sugar

Boil beer in a pot, add sugar and cream (sweet). Pour it hot into a cup and serve it to a frozen guest. A very tasty and healthy drink.

Colostrum pudding

1000 g colostrum
300 g of water
50 g of sugar
ground cinnamon as needed

Add a little water to colostrum so that it is not too hard and dry. Pour into a suitable container, bake in the oven. When ready, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Some sugar is added to the mass before baking. Portions on plates with berry sauce or cinnamon sugar.

Colostrum dumplings

700 g of milk
300 g of water
20 g of butter
salt, sugar as needed

For dumplings:

300 g colostrum
10 g of wheat flour
salt as needed

Boil milk with water. Add salt and pour colostrum in a thin stream while boiling. Colostrum shrinks into long, stripy dumplings. If the colostrum is not the first milk (second or third), a little wheat flour is added to it.

When the dumplings are made and have risen to the surface, the pot is kept for a while on the side to ripen. Taste, add sugar, butter, and serve.

Fat-fried flounder (flat fish)

Cleaned, rinsed and cut into pieces, flounder is placed in heated fat in a pan and fried on both sides until golden brown. At the end of frying, add sliced onions and fry. Ready ones are removed. Pour a little wheat flour into the fat, brown it. Add hot water and cream. Boil it. Served with boiled potatoes.

Herring, bread, skābputra (a specific traditional soup in whole Courland)

This combination is a food that ancient Latvian rural people ate for lunch or dinner, almost every other day. There have been cases when the workers have rebelled against the owner – that there is nothing to eat! But the owner came out in front of the family and said: What do you mean there is nothing to eat: herring, bread, skābputra – eat what you want!

Insight: This ancient food is great for regulating cholesterol levels in the body. The herring eliminated the excess, the skābputra washed it away. So, there was no cholesterol problem.

Homemade sausage

When dividing the pig carcass, the scraps obtained from the ham, roast pieces, belly part, end of the neck, scraps from the bones (boning) are cut into smaller pieces that are suitable for a meat grinder. They are slightly salted and left to infuse overnight. You can add some beef to the pork if it seems too fatty. Grind in a meat grinder, adding plenty of garlic. Some of the bacon fat can be cut into small cubes and added to the ground mass during kneading. That way the sausage will look nicer. Pepper, cumin, water, marjoram or a little nutmeg are added to the mass while kneading. The mass is well worked (kneaded) by adding water part by part. You can add a pinch of sugar and a little vodka. Salt tastes good. Shouldn’t be too little. The mass should be soft and pliable. Fills or stuffs in pre-prepared intestines, not too tightly.

It is immediately dried in the smoke of alder wood, first starting slowly, then applying heat so that a drop of fat appears at the lower end of the bend of the sausage. Finish again slowly. Duration of smoking is 1-3 days.

Peasant breakfast

3 eggs
50 g of milk
75 g smoked pork
onions, salt

Smoked pork is cut into slices and fried on a pan until golden brown on both sides. At the end of frying, add sliced onions. Remove the meat with onions from the pan onto a flat plate. Pour a beaten egg with milk into the fat. Bake an omelette that is ready on both sides, whole or divided into two or four parts. When ready, add it to fried meat with onions. Serve at the breakfast table with rye bread, coffee or cumin tea. An ancient rich breakfast dish for country people. Pleasant childhood memories.

Sweet soup

50 g dried apples
30 g of prunes
10 g of raisins
10 g of cranberries
lemon, orange peels
1500 g of water
100 g of sugar
8 g of potato starch

Wash the dried fruits in the amount of water provided in the pot. Boil, add lemon or orange peels, cranberries, sugar. Cook a little. Taste the sweetness, sourness and just a little darkening with potato flour, or not at all. It is served chilled to the table in a deep bowl with a ladle, from which the guests themselves draw the desired amount on their plates.

A popular sweet dish even at large parties, it is a long-awaited lunch on the second day, which perfectly refreshes the tired guests. Then greasy creams are no longer suitable.

Sweet dumplings

a) with dried apples or plums

100 g dried apples, plums
1000 g of water
100 g of sugar
citric acid, lemon peel

For dumplings:

60 g wheat flour
30 g of water
1/2 egg

Put washed dried fruits in a pot of boiling water. Add lemon peel, some sugar and cook a little. Add dumplings separated from the dough with a spoon. If without egg, then the dough is kneaded thicker and the dumplings are picked with your fingers. When the dumplings rise to the surface, they are ready. Stir, taste. Add the rest of the sugar. Cook and serve.

b) with blueberries

Blueberries are taken as fresh berries or in compote. The difference is that they are added at the end, when the dumplings are ready – they have risen to the surface.

Pumpkin soup

150 g pumpkin
300 g of water
700 g of milk
30 g of rice or semolina
salt, sugar, butter

Split the pumpkin, cut into thick slices. Take out the seed, peel it, cut it into small cube-shaped pieces or grate it on a grater. Rinse the rice, put it in a pot, add salt and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Then add the prepared pumpkins.

If semolina is used, the pumpkins are cooked half-cooked first, adding semolina later. When ready, add cold milk in parts and heat until boiling. Stir, taste, let it cook for a while. Can also be served at the table with a sandwich. You can sweeten more or less or not at all.

Leitis butter with potatoes

You should take sour cream of medium thickness and at room temperature. Divide the intended amount of cream into approximately three equal parts. Place the first part in a clay bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until a butter-like mass begins to form, but do not separate the buttermilk. Then put the bowl in hot water, about 60 degrees, and stir while heating until the buttermilk joins the cream. After that, stop heating and add the next portion of cream, and repeat everything. Stir until almost buttermilk, stir in the buttermilk while heating, stop heating, add the remaining cream, and again almost until buttermilk, stir while heating until the buttermilk is mixed in. Add salt to taste while stirring. If you like the taste of scallions or onions, you can also add them, finely chopped.

It should be noted that it should not be heated too much, then the cream will melt. You have to have a lot of patience and the best way to heat it is in a pot in which potatoes are boiled with all the skin, which we will eat later with the leitis. If everything goes well, the leitis is ready together with the potatoes. Leitis is served on a separate plate and eaten with boiled potatoes (with skin).


1000 g crude fat (pork gut fat)
onion, salt, pepper, bay leaves
1000 g potatoes

After pouring cold water, the raw pork fat is soaked for several hours. The kidneys are cut in half and soaked separately, having been rinsed several times. Press dry and cut into small pieces. Put in a pot with a little water. Melt the fat over low heat. Kidneys are added later towards the end of melting. When the fat, melted in a spoon, boils and the dregs turn yellow-brown, then drain the fat through a strainer.

Put the dradži back in the pot, add the chopped onion, salt and spices, and let it simmer a little longer. Such fatty, hot ones are poured into a clay bowl and served to the table with boiled potatoes. Serve with skābputra, sour milk or buttermilk.

Soup from young beet leaves

200 g of young beet leaves (table or fodder)
200 g of water
700 g of milk
20 g of butter
salt, sugar

Beetroot leaves are washed in several waters, cut into small pieces, washed in a pot in a small amount of boiling water. Add salt and cook a little for 3-5 minutes. Add unboiled milk in portions and heat until boiling. Add sugar, butter and let it cook for a while. Taste, serve. You can eat it with a sandwich, herring or jam.

Poor man’s soup

200 g of rye bread
700 – 1000 g of water
100 g of sugar
cranberries, lemon zest, cinnamon or cloves

Ripe rye bread or bread ends are cut into small pieces (bites). Pour into a clay or porcelain bowl, add sugar and pour boiling water over it. Add some of the spices. Put a lid or a plate on it and let it soak in – to cook. Serve slightly cooled or completely cooled. Good for dinner after a hearty lunch. Most often during the great fast – at any meal.

Fresh fish in milk

1000 g cod or pike
300 g of water
500 – 1000 g of milk
30 g wheat flour
1000 g potatoes
onion, salt, pepper, bay leaves

The fresh fish is cleaned, washed, divided into large pieces. Put in a saucepan, in a small amount of water. Boil, skim the resulting foam. Add salt, chopped onion, bay leaves (1-2), allspice, whole (5-6 pieces). Slow cook – steam. Add (parts) fat milk and boil, or just heat until boiling. If the liquid seems too long, slightly heated wheat flour can be added. Taste it – cook it, pour it all together in a deep bowl and serve it to the table with potatoes boiled with the skin, which you peel and bite into while eating.