Belyashi (meat pies)

Belyashi is a fried dough stuffed with minced meat. It’s a traditional food from Tajikistan and very popular in former Soviet countries. The dough is light and fluffy and you can stuff with cooked mushrooms, mashed potatoes or meat like those pies are.  They are absolutely delicious.

For the dough


  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 5-4 cups flour, sifted + flour for dusting

For the filling


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 big onion, finely grated
  • Few sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt, black pepper


  1. Warm up milk in a pot until lukewarm. Mix yeast in 1/4 cup of milk, add 1/2 tsp sugar and put aside to rise and foam.
  2. Beat eggs, add to the milk. Add oil, salt, sugar, and yeast mixture when it is foamy.
  3. Add 3 cups of flour, mix with wooden spoon until incorporated. Transfer to the board dusted with flour and knead with your hands, turning and pressing, until you get a ball that doesn’t stick to your hands.
  4. Toss the dough into the plastic bag, tie loosely,  and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5.  Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Mix meats with grated onion, parsley, salt and pepper.
  6.  Take the dough out of the fridge. Cut small pieces of dough, spread them on floured surface. Work in batches of 5-10 pieces. Form dough balls between your palms, put them on floured surface to rise (leave enough space between them – about the size of 1 or even 2 balls).
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until balls double in size. It will take different time depending on the quality of yeast, flour, and the temperature in the room.
  8. When dough balls double in size and feel tender to the touch, form rounds, about 4 inches each, using a roller or fingers. Put about 1.5-2 Tbsp filling in the middle of each round and pinch together the sides.  Leave a little hole in the middle.
  9. Heat the frying pan on medium heat, add oil. Ideally you need so much oil that belyashi are half deep in it. Place a few belyashi in the pan leaving some space between them. Fry on one side until golden, flip over and finish the other side.
  10. Remove ready belyashi in a dish layered with paper towels.



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