October 14 , 2018

Featured Recipe: Buckwheat Pie (Heljdija)

Traditional beloved dinner or snack-time treat of the Balkan region

Featured Recipe: Buckwheat Pie (Heljdija)

This recipe for a traditional beloved dinner or snack-time treat of the Balkan region comes from our friend Mrs. Sabina Ramovic in Montenegro. Did you know that buckwheat is actually not a grain, but a highly nutritious and gluten-free plant seed? It also happens to be a staple in the Montenegrin kitchen.

So what makes this recipe special? Our sources tell us it’s all about the way of preparation and the ingredients. You need to spend a lot of time baking the pancakes, then patiently filling the layers, and finally waiting for the pie to be baked in the oven. Women used to work a lot in the fields, as well as caring for the livestock, the children and the entire household! Taking all that in consideration, it is easy to understand that Buckwheat pie wasn’t made each day, but usually on special occasions, such as the celebration of the household saint.

In these earlier times, this dish was eaten during colder months, as it contains more decadent and filling ingredients. Nowadays it is still particularly satisfying on cool winter days, but luckily you can make it all year round!



Pancake Ingredients*

 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

3/4 cup white flour

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

3 cups mineral water

A little oil


 Filling Ingredients*

 2/3 cup sour cream

2/3 cup crumbled white cheese

1/2 cup milk cream (kajmak) - similar to clotted cream

1 egg



Make the pancake batter by mixing together the buckwheat flour, white flour, beaten eggs, mineral water and milk. 

In another bowl, mix the filling by adding milk cream, cheese, and sour cream. 


When finished making the pancakes, arrange them one on top of another, spreading layers of the filling in between. Repeat this process until you have used all the pancakes. 

Remember to reserve some filling for the final step – you will add one egg and mix it in to this remaining portion. 


When the pie is sorted, cut it into wedges before placing it in a baking pan. Pour the remaining filling over your pancake tower and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 


* Original measurements have been adapted from the metric system.