Traditional Romanian Mucenici recipe – what are they and how you can easily make them yourself!

Mucenici – a special Romanian dish that you simply have to try. And if you are not in Romania today, don’t worry: you can easily make them yourself. They are great, really tasteful, I guarantee.

Traditional Romanian Mucenici
Traditional Romanian Mucenici

Their origin is religious as, on March 9th, in Romania we celebrate the “Mucenici” – aka the 40 martyrs of Sebaste, Roman soldiers in the Legio XII Fulminata who were tortured and executed in Sebaste (present-day Sivas in Turkey) because they didn’t gave up their Christian belief.

On this occasion we prepare these mucenici – and there are two types of Mucenici: the Moldavian ones (baked in the oven) and the ones from the Southern part of the country, smaller and boiled.

I like the latter more – as I grew up with them, but the first ones aren’t bad at all! I know that these mucenici are also made in Moldavia.

First, the mucenici (or “sfintisori” – translated as little saints) from Muntenia

These are served as some sort of a sweet soup – I’m trying to compare it with something familiar to many. They are small, shaped in the form of the number 8. We can make them – or buy them from a supermarket.

To make the dough, you need:
– 1 + ½ cups all purpose flour
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 pinch of salt

You mix these ingredients until you get a dough that’s easily to mold into small 8 shaped forms. In our country there is a device that can help you shape them in this form, but you can do it by yourself as well – my grandmother and I used to make them as i was growing up.

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You leave these 8 shapes to dry for 24 hours – or even one day and a half.

Traditional Romanian Mucenici - a bag bought from a local hypermarket + walnuts
Traditional Romanian Mucenici – a bag bought from a local hypermarket + walnuts

To make the „soup”, you boil 2 l of water with a pinch of salt. You also add 150 gr sugar (or 200 gr, depending on how sweet you like them). Don’t add too much – you can add more at the end if required.

When it boils, you add the mucenici and let them boil for 10-15 minutes.

Stir often to prevent them stick from the bottom of the recipient. For instance, I boiled the ones I made today for 17 minutes…

After the first 5 minutes, I usually add the other ingredients – though some people prefer to add them after the dish is done. I add about 100-150 gr walnuts and the zest from with half of a big lemon, or from an entire lemon if it is small.

I also add just a little bit or rum essence and just as much vanilla essence. And, on the last minute, about a teaspoon of cinnamon. (if you want you can add more, again it’s a matter of taste).

And that’s it:). Enjoy.

Now, the Moldavian Mucenici
As I said, these are made in the oven. The recipe is different – the dough is similar to the “cozonaci” one – and you can see a complete recipe here. These are a bit more complicated to make, but you can do it, I’m sure.

As I said, both types are ok. I admit I prefer the boiled ones as I grew up with them – and are very easy to make. My son also loves them – my husband likes both mucenici types as he grew up with the Moldavian ones 😀

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Did you ever try Mucenici? Would you make them?

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On March 9th, in Romania, we eat "mucenici" Discover what are mucenici and how to make them from this Traditional Romanian Mucenici recipe. They are really easy to make and very tasteful! No baking sweets. #food #mucenici #recipe #romania #sweets #mucenicirecipe #food


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