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Ajdovi zganci
Quick and Simple Side Dish

Slovenian Buckwheat Porridge (Ajdovi zganci)

Slovenian Buckwheat Porridge or Ajdovi zganci is a simple 3-ingredient recipe for a traditional side dish. Serve with meat or soup.

Slovenian Buckwheat Porridge (Ajdovi zganci)
We are officially opening the first Slovenian Week here on the blog with this recipe. Every day this week, you will be able to find a brand new Slovenian recipe on the blog. We plan on covering five basic lunch or dinner dishes that were on our menu growing up, the foods that our moms used to make all the time. When we asked our friends on Instagram about the dishes we should share, this dish, Slovenian Buckwheat Porridge or Zganci, came in second. This is a prevalent dish that all Slovenes know. It’s a straightforward 3-ingredient recipe. We will need buckwheat flour, salt, and water. TO top it off, we traditionally serve them with “ocvirki” or chopped pan-fried pork cracklings with lard.

Traditional Slovenian Side Dish - Ajdovi Zganci (Slovenian Buckwheat Porridge)

As Slovenes, we are incredibly proud of our national foods. The traditional Slovenian food can come across as heavy and sometimes beige. But I can assure you; it's proper comfort food, made for working-class people. It is made with simple, affordable, accessible, and often homegrown and homemade ingredients. This Slovenian Buckwheat Porridge or Ajdovi zganci are a national treasure, and here are the top reasons why we think you're going to like them too:

  • quick, easy, and delicious recipe
  • the zganci are sticky, flavorful, and perfect as a side or main dish served with milk
  • vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free
  • a simple 3-ingredient recipe (flour, salt, water)
  • serve for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner
  • traditionally we serve them with pan-fried pork cracklings and lard, and sometimes served in a bowl with warm milk

Slovenian Buckwheat Dumplings (Ajdovi zganci)

Slovenian Buckwheat Dumplings (Ajdovi zganci)

What to serve with Slovenian Buckwheat Porridge (Ajdovi zganci)

Ajdovi zganci could be a beautiful main dish served with pan-fried pancetta or pork cracklings and milk, or we can serve it as a side to many delicious dishes like creamy soups or meat with sauces. For example:

Pan-frying buckwheat flour

Making Slovenian Buckwheat Dumplings (Ajdovi zganci) at home

Homemade Slovenian Buckwheat Dumplings (Ajdovi zganci)


Feel free to store leftover Ajdovi zganci. Place in an airtight container, seal, then place in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before serving reheat in the microwave oven or in a skillet on the stove.

How to make this buckwheat porridge or zganci at home (video)

Check this quick video to master making Buckwheat Porridge or Ajdovi Zganci at home.

Try these delicious side dish recipes too


Lets get cooking!

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  • pan-fry the buckwheat flour

    Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the buckwheat flour and pan-fry for 2 - 3 minutes or until it smells delicious. Stir regularly to prevent burning.

  • cook the Porridge

    Pour water into a saucepan and place over high heat. When the water starts to boil, drop all the flour in one motion at the center of the pot. A big dumpling will form. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon handle, make a 2 - 3 centimeters (or 1-inch) wide hole in the center of the buckwheat Porridge to make a volcano shape so that the water can pour into the center of the volcano. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 - 25 minutes.

  • Slovenian Buckwheat Porridge

    Pour the cooking water into a jug. Using a wooden spoon, stir the porridge well to get a thick mixture without any traces of flour. The zganci should be sticky and thick, with a clay-like texture. If the Porridge is too dry and doesn't stick together, add about 60ml (1/4 cup) of the cooking water. Add the water gradually until sticky and dense consistency forms (check the video.)

  • Pork cracklings (optional)

    Place a skillet over medium heat. Add the ocvirki or pork cracklings (rind) in lard or cubbed pancetta. Pan-fry for a couple of minutes until the meat is golden brown and crunchy.

  • serve

    Scoop some of the buckwheat mixture using a wooden spoon, then using a fork, scrape the porridge into a serving bowl to get small pieces of zganci. Sprinkle the cracklings or pancetta over the buckwheat porridge and serve.


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