Old-Fashioned Russian Dill Pickles – No Canning

6 Aug

Homemade dill pickles

Homemade Dill Pickles / Домашние Малосольные Огурчики

This Russian classic recipe for малосольные огурчики (malosol’nuye ogurchiki) is a breeze to make and oh-so-tasty.  The combined smell of cucumbers, fresh dill, and garlic is taking me right back to my mom’s kitchen when I was helping to make these.  My job was to line up the jars on the counter and fill them with cucumbers.

One of my favourite summer dinners was a meal of pan-fried potatoes with malosol’nuye ogurchiki and fresh black bread (чёрный хлеб).

BTW, don’t throw out that pickle juice which is full of natural healing salts and minerals.  According to the popular Russian remedy it cures the worst hangover!

  • cucumbers, whole or slices
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 sprigs of fresh dill (ideally – the flowered heads if you can find them)
  • 1 tsp pickling spices (mixtures of coriander seeds, mustard seeds, crushed bay leaves & pepper flakes)
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp salt

Optional (to make your dill pickles crispy & extra flavourful):

  • Fresh grape, raspberry, black currant, or cherry leaves or 2-3 pieces fresh horse radish root.  I didn’t have any this time.


  1. Bring water to a boil, add salt and let it simmer.
  2. Wash cucumbers in cold water and cut the ends off (about ¼ inch)
  3. Add pickling spice, peppercorn, bay leaves, 2 sprigs of dill and some garlic to a clean jar.
  4. Pack the cucumbers and pour the simmering water over and top it with the remaining dill sprigs. Leave about an inch of space between the water and the top of the jar
  5. Put a top on your jar and leave it on the counter.  Wait at least 24 hours; for best flavor – 1 week.
  6. Test a pickle on day 3. If it is to your liking, put the jar in the fridge to stop the fermentation process.
  7. They can keep in the fridge for up to 6 months.  Garlic may turn blue or green in the jar but don’t get  alarmed  –  it is only the effect of fermentation.

21 Responses to “Old-Fashioned Russian Dill Pickles – No Canning”

  1. Darya August 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    My (Russian) mom makes a very similar pickle! I absolutely LOVE it!!! And have never even tried making it myself! Thank you for the recipe and the nostalgia!

    • The Kat and The Falling Leaves August 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      You are welcome! I am sharing your nostalgia 🙂
      Even though these can be made all year round I only like them during hot summer months.

  2. abrooke65 August 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Great recipe. I always wanted to learn how to make these like they do near my grandma’s house.

  3. Arlen Shahverdyan August 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    😀 😀 My Mom was doing this today! Thanks for the sweet smile.


  4. ChgoJohn August 6, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a good dill pickle recipe and I think I just may have found it. I will definitely give it a go sometime before the season ends. Thanks for sharing your family recipe. 🙂

  5. Boomdeeadda August 7, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    I’ve made dills in the past and gobble them down as fast as I can make them. I’ll have to try the horseradish thing. There was some nice produce at the farmers market this weekend, I didn’t have room in the fridge to shop though. I like the flavour.

    • The Kat and The Falling Leaves August 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      I can eat them in one day, lol.
      The horseradish gives it a little “kick” and ensures crispiness.

      • sassysweetbren August 9, 2013 at 1:05 am #

        You makes these sound delicious to a woman who can’t eat a pickle to save my life. Not sure why.

        When I was young, my parents had a big garden each year. I spend many hours shelling peas and breaking beans underneath a shade tree in our yard. When I think of those times now, it makes me want t see my wonderful mother again.

        I am the woman that I am today because of her. She taught me most of what I know. I could cook an entire meal by age twelve, do the laundry using a wringer washer and hang the clothes to dry, In fact, I could do just about everything my mom did, Why? Because I stayed close to her and she loved me dearly for helping her so much.

      • The Kat and The Falling Leaves August 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

        Very true!

  6. tbottaro August 10, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Love your recipes. I’m also a big fan of dill pickles, so will definitely try this one. And thanks for the likes on my blog 🙂

  7. russianmartini August 13, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I’m gonna have to do this. Will also have to find my grandmother’s “red pickled cabbage” recipe… pickles are such a big part of Russian cooking!

  8. patinaandcompany August 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    Wow, my grandmother used to make these!

  9. archecotech August 22, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    I’ve been watching my wife doing this for the last week. Thanks. Reblogged this one.

  10. archecotech August 22, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Reblogged this on Life in Russia.

  11. russianmartini November 1, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    I actually had a dream that I was making these the other night!! who dreams about pickles?? haha. now I really have to make them!


  1. Archive of Comments | Arlen Shahverdyan. Author's Blog - August 7, 2013

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