MAKOVÉ ŠÚĽANCE-poppy seed dumplings


• 30.04.2018 •


I travel a lot and I love it, exploring different cultures and cuisines is something I would recommend everyone to do, but there is one thing that I look forward to when I go back to Slovakia-the country where I come from, and that is Makové šúľance made by my grandma. 

It is a very traditional Slovakian food, made out of potatoes (our staple), bit of flour and lots of poppy seeds! I personally think that my grandma is the best maker of these, and she happily agreed to share her recipe here. It’s really something special for me and I hope l that you will like it as much as I do.

my grandma hand rolling the dumplings

The good thing is, it might seem like a lot of work to do, but in reality it’s not really and the making process is very easy to do. The dumplings don’t have a certain perfect shape that needs to be achieved so each little dumpling is perfect in its own way if it is covered in plenty of poppy seeds! :)

Let’s get onto making the dumplings then!

What you will need:

  • about 1 kg of potatoes-cooked, peeled, and cooled
  • about 300-400 grams of flour (each flour soaks differently, so maybe start with all purpose and then when you know how to work the dough try different varieties like wholemeal spelt/rye…)

  • 200 grams of poppy seeds-ground
  • about 100 grams of ground cane sugar/any sugar you want
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 2 big tablespoons of plum jam
  • 3 tablespoons of water

it's all about the potatoes in Slovakia!


1.The easiest way to make the dumplings is to cook the potatoes the night before and let them cool-the temperature is important for working with the dough (that’s what my grandma told me)

When you are ready to make the dumplings grate the peeled potatoes finely. 

2. Now sift in 1/2 of the flour. With your hands, start slowly incorporating the flour into the potatoes, adding in more flour as you go. Add just enough flour that the potatoes can soak, making sure to not over-knead the dough. It should be quite though and not very sticky.

3. Make it into even bread loaf kind of shape. Then slice it into even-sized slices each maybe 1 cm thick.

4. Roll each slice into long knot. Then cut the knot into even smaller slices, again each maybe 1-2 cm thick (depends how big you want them).

5.Then roll out each little slice just a bit so it resembles the shape you desire.

Repeat this with the rest of the dough. You might need to use a bit more of flour so the dumplings don’t stick to each other.

6. For the cooking process, boil water in a big pot and put about 2 teaspoons of salt into the water. When it’s boiling, throw into the water as many little dumplings as you can fit into the pot. They are ready when they float to the surface of the water (maybe 3 minutes or so..)

Take them out, put a little bit of vegan butter on them so they don’t stick to each other and repeat with the rest of the dumplings.

cooked dumplings

7. For the poppy seed sauce first grind together the poppy seeds, sugar and cloves (I do this in coffee grinder).

Then into a small sauce pan, add the vegan butter, water, plum jam, vanilla, and the poppy seed-sugary mixture. Cook it until it comes all together and becomes a delicious poppy seed sauce. (might only take a minute or two)

8. Now cover all the dumpling with the poppy seed sauce and enjoy it!

This will serve 4 hungry people.

It’s great reheated for breakfast on the second day as well.

Keep refrigerated.

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