Merle Kastner <merlek@...>
I had lots of Mamaliga as a child, almost always with
shoulder steak & gravy (remember that?). But in my
adulthood, I discovered something delicious - Malai.
I was a guest at a brunch recently, and the hostess
called it "cheese pie" (she's not Romanian). When I tasted
it, I recognized it right away as Malai. Everyone loved it!
Here's the recipe below:
MALAI (Romanian Johnnycake):
¾-pound (375g)/1½ Cups Ricotta (low fat) or Old-Fashioned Dry Cottage
4-5 Tbsp. (25 ml) Granulated White Sugar
1 Cup (250 ml) All-purpose Flour
1 Cup (250 ml) Cornmeal
½ Cup (100 ml) Granulated Sugar
2 Tsp. (10 ml) Baking Powder
¼ Tsp. Salt (optional)
3 Tbsp. (50 ml) Vegetable Oil
6 Tbsp. (50 ml) Light Yogurt or Sour Cream
1 Cup (250 ml) Milk
FILLING: In bowl, combine cottage cheese with egg, sugar and salt until well
or place in food processor until combined.
BATTER: In mixing bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder,
soda and salt; make a well in centre.
In another bowl, whisk egg with oil and sour cream: stir in milk. Stir into
to make a smooth batter. Pour half the batter into a greased 7" x 11" (2-L)
Spread cheese mixture evenly over batter, then top with remaining batter.
Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees F (180C) for 40 minutes (test for
Serve hot with sour cream or thick yogurt.
Sheila's note: 1½ Qt. PYREX is okay; reduce heat to 325 degrees, may need
than 40 minutes. Sheila describes Malai as being "comfort food".
Merle's note: If a larger pan is used (for a crowd), add several minutes to
(not too much, and test), being careful not to dry it out.
KASTNER & OSTFELD (Radauti, Fratauti, Bukovina)
NATHANSON & MENDELSSOHN (Piatra Neamt, Falticeni, Negulesti, Romania)
GARBARSKI & DENENBERG/DYNABURSKI (Sejny/Suwalki gubernia area, Poland)
KUSSNER (Bendery/Tighina, Moldova; Philadelphia, PA)
SCZUCZYNSKI & MILLER (Lida & Vilnius, Lithuania/Belarus; Philadelphia, PA.)
ALTMAN (USA, Belchatow, Poland)
LEVITT & KISHELEVETZ (New York, Lodz, Poland)
FUCHS/FOX (Dubno, Poland)
SINGER ("Zitrisk"/Starry Chartoriysk, Ukraine)