Tykovnik (pumpkin mash) in the old days was one of the most popular pumpkin dishes in Russia. By its composition it is similar to a mash.

Tykovnik is often simply referred to as “tykovnik mash.” However, by its preparation technology it is, rather, a pudding and is probably the only Russian mash, which can be cooked in a frying pan.

How Pumpkin came to Russia

Pumpkin was brought to Russia in the 16th century. Russian climate allows you to grow this vegetable in almost any region of the country. But pumpkin was most widely adopted in the southern regions. Starting in the 18thcentury, pumpkin was grown on almost any field in southern Russia. Pumpkin became so common in Russia, that many Russians still consider it a native Russian vegetable.

Pumpkin and Co.

The composition of tykovnik, except, of course pumpkin, includes millet, butter, sugar (and in the old days – honey) and milk. First you make ordinary millet porridge with milk. Separately, also in milk, you cook pumpkin which is later mashed to a consistency similar of mashed potatoes. Millet is pre-soaked and then boiled until the grains are tender. When the porridge is ready, it is mixed together with pumpkin, butter and put in a clay pot. Tykovnik is baked for not that long – about 15 minutes.

This dish used to be popular in old Russian taverns. There it was cooked in a frying pan. Pumpkin was braised in the pan until soft, and then they added porridge, butter, sugar (or honey), and baked it in an oven. Sometimes to tykovnika finely chopped boiled egg was added.

Tykovnik is typical dish on a lent table. Milk was replaced with boiling water and butter withvegetable oil.

A Healthy Dish

Tykovnik is a healthy and wholesome Russian dish. It is of particular benefit for people with cardiovascular diseases. This dish is also recommended to make for children. Millet contains many nutrients that are necessary for the growth of a young person.

Tykovnik – pumpkin mash – is a great example of traditional Russian healthy food.


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