Mákos guba - poppy seed bread pudding

Mákos guba (Hungarian poppy seed bread pudding)

This is our Mákos Guba. I don’t know exactly how to say it in english, maybe the “Poppy Seed Bread Pudding” is the translated name.
Mákos Guba is a special Hungarian dessert, made of crescent rolls, poppy seed and milk. Before, I didn’t like this dish. Until one day, Márti (one of my friends) made me her version of Mákos Guba. It was unspeakably delicious, hence I asked her for her ’secret’ recipe and since then I prepare Mákos Guba more often :)
Before sharing the recipe, I would like to say a few words about the poppy. I'm sure there are many people in the world, who are afraid of poppy, because ’Poppy’ is always associated with the opium. I don't understand their worry, because in Hungary we have several national dish with poppy seeds and all of them are absolutely delicious :) Right after eating poppy seeds, my children fall asleep quickly and they sleep so well :) ...but it's not true, I'm just kidding :)
OK, I'll try to continue this post seriously. Well, the truth is, the amount of opiate content in the poppy seeds is not enough to produce a narcotic effect in cooking or consumption.
You may read more information about poppy seed here

Mákos guba or Hungarian poppy seed bread pudding

15 dkg ground poppyseed
15 dkg icing sugar
1 liter milk
4 egg whites and yolks
1 vanilla sugar
10 piece crescent rolls

1. Slice up the dry crescent rolls and place the slices into the baking dish, like how I used to prepare it :)

így készül a mákos guba

2. Put the milk and the poppy seeds in a pot and cook about ten minutes. Add vanilla sugar and icing sugar and mix well.
3. If the milk is lukewarm, add the yolks to the pot and mix carefully. Beat up the egg whites until they are stiff and mix with the other ingredients.
4. Pour the entire mass into the baking dish (cover the crescent roll slices with the mass) and bake over medium flame for about twenty minutes. I like it mostly when it’s already cool down.


Have a nice weekend and Bon Apetit!


Calendars hate me. Everytime, with every single day I’m really in trouble with dates. I can realize that today is Friday and I also know that Santa brings all that chocolate stuff for Hungarian children on the 6th of December, but hey, that’s all. Let me explain. My next exam will be on Tuesday, I have to buy new season ticket next Thursday and I have to write about the Ladánybene’s Tosh meets Marley project happening on this Sunday (27th, January) evening, well... two weeks ago.

The end of January and the front of February is about Bob Marley’s birthday in the whole world, or just should be. Tell me one person, who doesn’t know him (at least from Will Smith’s I am legend, that movie can give a new generation of reggea fans to the world). The King of the reggae, the Father of the reggae. Tell me one single person who cannot feel that tropical heat during listening Three little birds or any other songs from Marley. He was a real genious.
In our country, in Central Europe in January, the wheather is not as tropical as in Jamaica, and the color grey is much more than that wellknown yellow, red or green.

And in this term of the year, the band called Ladánybene 27 sets up a concert to tribute Marley. Every year.
Ladánybene 27 is a Hungarian band plays reggae, actually they’re the most popular reggae band in here since 1985. Nobody played reggae in Hungary before them, maybe that’s why were they so successful with their first album in 1991 with some reggae songs by the ska.
Because people need that kind of music. The music about peace and love, the end of the wars and the equality of people, the equaliy of anyone. That’s what Marley’s and that’s what Ladánybene’s music about. Not that „just smoking your joint” thing.
The Tosh meets Marley project is an international production, be on tour right now, and this Sunday evening, completed with the Ladánybene, will have a show on the A38.

Peter Tosh is one of the people whom Marley started to work with. He, Marley and Bunny Wailer (from the latter Marley and the Wailers) gave such perfect songs to a world like Get Up, Stand Up; One love or Buffalo Soldier, I just can’t enumerate all of their world-famous genious songs.
And the Ladánybene is a genious band, also in their way. Because they started to do something new, something strange, they have a million of fans now, their annual reggae camp is always full and now, they can play with the Tosh meets Marley, have an all night long concert tribute with the biggest names and most talented musicians from their own musical style. It’s a real honor, and I’m sure they’re good enough, they really deserve it.
At least I’d like to share two videos with you. One new song from the Ladánybene and my favourite of Marley. And I’m really sorry because I’m late with this information. See you next week.

For more information about Ladánybene 27 click here: http://www.lb27.hu/main.php?lang_set=m

Heaven Street Seven

Life is just unfair sometimes. Or people just born into wrong places. Sometimes I think those endlessly creative, talented guys who are doing their own music at home, could be much more better in an other country with more professional possibilities, with a larger audience. And to be honest, Hungary can’t offer a world-wide fame, dinner with Britney Spears in a brand-new-house-on-an-episode-of-Cribs-career, because our beloved country is too small to do all these things. It’s ok, Hungary will give the world more Nobel prize-winner scientist - anyway we’re so good at that, and what about that desired fame? Well, why do you think I am writing about those bands?:)

Heaven Street Seven (a name which i don’t have to explain at last!) has a very-very long story, and has very-very much obtained prizes and tribute.
They started to play together in 1995, at this first year made them a record in english, recorded in Stuttgart called Tick Tock No Fear. Then came the album Goal, still in english in 1996, recorded in Germany too, and songs of the first hungarian disc were also taken there. Until now we have 4 hungarian Heaven Street Seven recordings, near the others. Are they copious? Definitely. (in the meantime they played before the REM or the Fun Lovin Criminals and got international awards like Border Breakers Award’s European Breakthrough). Absolute creative, an indie-rock-alternative-anything mixture band.

For today I chose two videos, both are in hungarian, nevertheless I told you about their english songs but this post is absolutely dedicated for simple gorgeous hungarian music.

And well, this second one is my secret favourite, simply perfect:)

Once upon a time, there was a band. Its members were born into a right country, they put their first album out with the assistance of one of the greatest studios, than it became a real world hit, and after a concert they had a dinner with Britney Spears. OK, I don’t think they want a dinner with that chick, I just think they’d deserve all the fame that every band get from any other countries. Because they can do great music, as every other hungarian musicans can, but maybe they were born into a wrong place. But this is just my final lesson.
And the well known click: http://www.hs7.hu/english.php

Rác Carp

I baked a pancake yesterday and it was the first time that I used a measuring cup to make a pancake dough. It was not perfect but I can say the pancakes were successful. I began to realize how rarely I use the measuring cup or scale for cooking! My eyes seemed to be the best scales :) So now, I understand why it is so difficult to share my recipes, because I'm always having trouble when I need to write down the ingredients' quantities :)

I chose the Rác Carp (Rácponty in Hungarian) for today’s recommendation. Despite this being a typical Christmas food, I like it very much and I would love to eat every day :)
Rác Ponty
originally uploaded by ider
Cook 1 kilo (or more) potatoes in their jackets in salty water, peel and slice them. Put them into a greased pan add salt and place on the top 800 gr salted carp, larded with bacon. (Be careful with the salt, because the bacon is salty already.) Add finely chopped onion, sprinkle with red paprika powder. Cover with sliced green peppers, tomatoes and onion circles. Add 2 deci liters of sour cream, a little water and oil. Bake in the oven until the fish is tender.
I usually bake rác fish from sliced tuna fillet, and my family loves it too.
rácponty (rác carp)
Anyway Rác is a name formerly used in Hungary to designate South Slavic peoples (Serbs, Bunjevci, Šokci) who lived in the Pannonian plain during Hungarian, Ottoman, and Habsburg administration. Because many of them originated from the medieval Serbian state of Rascia (Raska), they were named after this state. Since the mid-nineteenth century the name was used almost exclusively for the Serbs. A lot of Hungarian towns and villages keep this name, for example Rácalmás, Ráckeresztúr and Ráckeve.

This is view of Ráckeve. I really love this town and its surroundings along River Danube. I'm sure you like it too :) So try my Rác fish recipe, and if you travel to my country don't forget to visit this wonderful part of Hungary too!
Reedy, Szigetbecse


Have a nice day!

Ubierno from Spain

-Why did you choose Hungary for this trip?
Just to take a break from work and to spend new years eve in another way. Also influenced which is an economic destination.

Budapest, originally uploaded by ubierno.

- What was your first impression of the country? What is the greatest difference of Hungary from Spain?
The first impression is about a country that is working hard to get out of a still recent past. The greatest difference from Spain is the weather, as europeans we have many things in common.

-Which part of Hungary did you visit?
Budapest, Esztergom, Visegrád, and Szentendre.

- Did you try any Hungarian food? How did you find food and drinks here?
When friends asking me about our trip, the first answer was: food was excelent!!!! We really enjoyed every restaurant and cafe that we visited.

- How did you find Hungarian people? Did you have any chance to meet new friends during your travel?
Very charming people. We meet in the hotel with a couple from Argentina that were born in Hungary and come back to their country. It was a very nice experience.

Visegrád - Hungary, originally uploaded by ubierno.

- At touristic places such as museums etc, did they speak English?
Yes, they speak english everywhere.

-How much time did you take to plan for this trip to Hungary?
A couple of days.

- Did you rent private apartments or book a hotel/hostel for this trip?
We book a hotel (Marryot).

-How did you managed it from Spain? Did you plan it online or you have friends/relatives living here?
We planned online (Expedia.com... as always do, I recommend)

- How long was the flight from your city?
3 hours.

Budapest, originally uploaded by ubierno.

- Which are the places you want to visit again?
We loved Pest, its boulevards, theaters, restaurants, atmosphere....

Vendégváró Photo competition

The www.vendegvaro.hu portal is organizing a photo competition for photos taken in the area of Pécs (Hungary). As the admin of the Flickr's Hungary Starts Here group I encouraged people to post their photos to a thread. Until the 10th of January quite a number of photos arrived to the thread which I display here for you beside sending them to the editorial of the www.vendegvaro.hu portal.

Péterfy Bori

There are people in the world who are good at one thing. And there are people who are good at two or more things at the same time and I really envy and of coure respect them (watching the first season of the Baywatch, drinking beer and rubbing your belly is not what I’m talking about) Today I wanna introduce you a girl, who sings, acts and has a band at the same time, and she does it well. She’s Péterfy Bori.

I know that I am not used to be extremly informative about the bands, about singers and all this music stuff. And when I read the other columns of this site I always make a resolution like I will do like the other girls do next time, come on, I’m pretty sure I can. (I need a T-shirt with this sign) But music is completely different. You need to feel it and very hard to discribe. But hey, I ate up the half of the characters I got here right away :). Let’s try.

I use the hungarian form to use her name because this whole blog is about Hungary. So Bori is an actress of the Krétakör Theatre, a little circle of talented young people. You can find them in Budapest, for any other information click here: http://www.kretakor.hu .
Her actual band is called Love Band, made of her last band called Amorf Ördögök. An other click: http://www.amorfordogok.hu/

And at least I share her newest video with you and sorry, but I’m having exams next week. I have to go.

Next week I’ll tell you more about her. An other reason to come to Hungary:). See you.

Cottage cheese dumplings

The Hungarian cottage cheese or "túró" as we call it in Hungarian, has a special slightly sour flavour and a grainy consistency.
Some years ago I was in Sweden with my Hungarian friends in Göteborg. On the last day, we wanted to surprise our Swedish hosts with pancakes stuffed with cottage. So we went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients. We found everything except cottage cheese, and we wanted the same type of cheese like the Hungarian "túró". So sadly, our plan was unsuccessful. We realized that this food is not known in Sweden. They also have cottage, but it is different from ours.
Few years later, I spent a month with a scholarship in Belgium. My experience was the same. The Belgian cottage cheese (quark) is somewhere in between the Hungarian túró and our sour cream and very delicious, but of course I like mostly the Hungarian version :)
Here you can see the Hungarian cottage cheese dumplings (túrógombóc) :)

(photo: Norci)

The cottage cheese dumpling is one of my favorite desserts. I guess you would like to know the recipe. So, here you go :)
500 gram cottage cheese
1 egg
9 tbs grits
salt to taste
bread crumbs
1 liter water for cooking
oil for toasting the bread crumbs
1. Mix well the main ingredients (cottage, grits and egg). Add little salt to taste.
2. Create dumpling forms.
3. Let rest the dumplings for at least 30 minutes.
4. Cook a few dumplings at a time in salted boiling water for about 10 minutes. After cooking put them in toasted bread crumbs.
5. Finally sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with sour cream.


If you wanna make a little excursion from Budapest one of the perfect destination is Zsámbék for a short trip. Actually its about 35km from the capital, you can approach it by car on the highway M1 or on the road No1 but I rather recommend the direction through Budakeszi, crossing the hills of Buda.

Zsámbék 011-1

Zsámbék is an old little village with 4700 inhabitants. The settle is famous of the ruins of a basilica and monsatery from the XIII. Century. First a church was built there aound 1050 but following 1200 the Premonstratensian Order built the Romanesque-style church which, after 1475, was used by the Hermits of St Paul, a then recently-founded order in Hungary. The remains that can be seen today are the walls of a nave 38 metres in length and 24 metres in width. The Romanesque western front with its two towers has remained nearly complete, the interior is Gothic. Between the massive twin towers fracgments of a giant rosette windows can be seen.

Zsámbék 017-1

The octagonal main sanctuary is enclosed on three sides, the side sanctuaries are semi-circular. Surviving Romanesque and Gothic stone carvings from the central nave and the southern side nave belong to the esteemed heritage of Hungarian sacred art. One carving depicts the same dragon motive as one of two gold-plated bronze bridle-bits dating from the 12th-13th century that were discovered next to the basilica. These valuable bridle-bits are exhibited in the Hungarian National Museum.

Besides the basilica are the remains of a Gothic monastery.

Zsámbék 044-1

We went there a couple of weeks ago, and fresh snow has covered the whole area. You do not expect a lot of services there, its a small, peaceful village not a center of the industry of tourism. I think this is the advantage of the place. If you organize an excursion to Tata it is worth to stop at Zsámbék, too.

Zsámbék 019-1


Обещала я одному человеку церковь показать венгерскую. В Венгрии церкви, в основном, католические. Надеюсь все знают.)) Почему-то многие называют их костелами. Хотя это в Польше.
Так вот. Про церковь-то. Есть недалеко от Будапешта маленький городок Ráckeve. Кто венгерский знает сразу поймет, что это за городок. Потому что rác – серб по-венгерски. Сюда, в 12 веке переселялись бежавшие от турок сербы. Строили здесь себе жилье и, конечно, церкви.
С 14 века сохранилась в этом городке крошечная готическая православная церковь.

Иногда говорят про что-то – «жемчужина». Точно про эту церквушку можно так сказать. Внутри она вся покрыта росписями. Там нет ни одного см, на котором не было бы какого-нибудь рисунка. Не могу сказать, чтобы это были какие-нибудь выдающиеся по замыслу фрески, но это - чудо.

Я не люблю церквей. Но из этой никогда не хочу уходить. Там очень положительная энергетика. И не только в церкви, но и на территории вокруг. Она уже давно недействующая, служба бывает только раз в году в какой-то большой праздник. Но работает как музей. Редко доводится там бывать, но, но... это нужно смотреть!!!!

Но не об этой церкви я хотела рассказать.... :) А вот о какой. В этом же городке есть и католическая церковь. Ну, самая типичная католическая венгерская церковь.

Но и эта церковь вся расписана. Патай Ласло (Patay László) – венгерский художник расписал ее в 1994 году.

Долго думала, как можно назвать эти фрески. Живые. Первый раз, пожалуй, увидела летящие, живые изображения. Интересно, что когда художник работал, церковь была закрыта для службы. А службы велись, (от наши бы священики щас бы..) да, да, службы шли в маленькой православной сербской церкви, про которую рассказала выше. И в благодарность за это, на одной из фресок в католическом храме, эта маленькая православная церковь запечатлена.

К сожалению, почти не было возможности сделать фотографии. Темновато в церкви. Обычно, она открыта как музей, но в этот день была закрыта, и только после службы можно было очень-очень быстро что-то захватить. Даже не успела сделать общий вид. Вот нашла, как это смотрится издалека:

Но это тоже только часть. А фрески – вот они. Замечательный художник!


Anima Sound System

Hey, all of you dear readers, I hope you got a great last week and last year also. I am sitting at home right now, listening Colbie Caillat, I love her songs, she’s so young and so old, sophisticated, cleared out and complex at the same time, and I’m so in love with her voice. Insprating and calm. I hope you have as calm evenings in this early, cold January as me, if not may I can help you. I will share with you a real stillness essence, your work is just to click on the little youtube window and let yourself float with the voices.

I’ve just had a conversation with one of my friends, and he told me why he likes Quimby (a band I’ve posted about). He said he liked them because of the lyrics, they could be poems as well. When he told me this, he didn’t know yet, that I will chose today’s band through his words. So dear musicfans, let me introduce you the Anima Sound System.

They started to work together in 1993, on that time the name of the band was just the simple word Anima, in after years got the name the other two words. Maybe it’s a rule in the world of music: Change the name of the band dudes – but just a little please- , and you’re gonna be successful:) . And they are, believe me.
The music the Anima plays is hard to determine: a little folk, a little dance, a little from this, a little from that and you get a mixture, that popular enough for the radios, and alternative enough for the customers of the artists’ pubs, you know, they must attend their image:).
I share with you a very cute, good-for-the-spirit video from their album Aquanistan, and nevertheless I know, Anima makes faster, party-compatible songs also, but this is my favourite from them for all my life.

Make children! - they’re singing, and everytime I listen to it or just hear it anywhere I get a feeling all of the sudden that I wanna have a baby. Or two, or three... :). What else can I say? Peaceful, peaceful, peaceful.
At least for the rebels or just for the scandalfans: they had a political scandal couple of years ago, because they wrote up our national anthem for one of their songs, and it was given out with a title Bujdosó, which means like the verb hidding. Does it reminds you something, the political indignation about preparing with the national anthem? Maybe Jimi Hendrix and the most famous guitar solo of the whole music world from Woodstock? He did it with the american anthem. Rock rules:).
If I had more characters here I would tell you more about the contiuous changing of the members, but I have not:).

Click here if you are in need of more information: http://www.animasoundsystem.com/new/index.html and you’ll find everything in english. See you next week. Peace.

The New Year and the Lentil

The lentil is a traditional New Year's Day food in Hungary, because it's the symbolism of ’’Richness, Safety and Money’’. According to the superstition, if we eat lentil on the first day of the year, then we will be nice and richer than last year.


The lentil originates from Asia, but it is used throughout South Asia, the Mediterranean regions and the Middle East. We read about the lentil also in the Bible. Anyone read knows the Biblical story about Esau prophet who sold his right-of-first-born for a bowl of lentil stew.

lencse (lentil)

I believe in the superstition of the lentil, therefore I always cook lentil stew (gravy, called it in Hungarian "főzelék") for every New Year's Day :)

Oh the spoon is on the left side :) because I'm left handed. Ok I'm not the best with my hands, but don't worry, I cook well :)

Ingredients for my special lentil stew:
50 dkg lentil (soaked in cold water over night)
40 dkg smoked cooked meat
1 chopped onion
bay leaf
salt (to taste)
1 tbs sugar
half tsp vinegar
1,5 dl sour cream

Ingredients for the roux:
2-3 tbs oil
2 tbs flour
1 tbs mustard
2 clove of garlic

1. Place the chopped onion. And for the lentils, pour enough water to cover it entirely. Let it simmer until lentils are half-cooked.
2. Add the (cooked) smoked meat and marjoram, bay leaf and salt to taste (but be careful because the meat is salty) and cook longer until the lentils are tender.
3. Make a roux: sauté the flour add the press garlics and the mustard. (If necessary add more oil)
4. Add the roux carefully to the pot and boil.
5. If necessary add more water and add the vinegar and sugar (to taste).
6. Before serving, add the sour cream and mix well.

Here’s my ’lentil surprise’ to all my recipe fans :
Happy New Year!

I wish you all happy and successful New Year!