Polish Ćwikła Recipe

Ćwikła and chrzan with Polish sausage

Barbara Rolek

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 3 cups (3 portions)

This no-cook condiment recipe for grated horseradish with beets is known as ćwikła (CHEEK-wah) in Polish.

Horseradish root is native to the warmer climes of Eastern Europe, and some say Asia, and it appears in recipes worldwide.

Plain grated horseradish in Polish is known as chrzan (ZAHN). Grated beets are often added for color and a touch of sweetness.

Ćwikła is the perfect accompaniment for Polish sausage and ham and is an indispensable condiment at Easter time.


  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups homemade (or purchased horseradish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound beets (cooked, peeled, cooled, and grated) or 1 14-ounce can prepared beets (drained and grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, brown sugar, horseradish, and salt until well combined.

  2. Add beets and mix thoroughly.

  3. Pack into clean sterilized jars and store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

  4. Serve warm or cold, although cold is more traditional.

So what exactly is a condiment?

Most people know that mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, relish, salt, and pepper are condiments.

Typically condiments are not eaten on their own. Their purpose is to add increased flavor or even to introduce a new contrasting flavor to foods. Sometimes they are incorporated into the ingredients of a dish and sometimes they are served alongside a cooked dish.

There are as many different types of condiments as there are foods and they are often connected to certain types of cuisines.

A well-stocked pantry would include, at the very least, barbecue sauce, capers, chili paste or powder, chutney, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, horseradish, ketchup, maple syrup, marmalades, molasses, mustards, oils, olives, pickles, salsa, vinegars, and Worcestershire sauce.