Estonian Food: Kama

Famous Estonian food: Kama
Famous Estonian food: Kama with yoghurt mousse and wild berries

Jump to delicious Estonian Kama recipe!

What is the Estonian dish Kama?

Indulge in the hearty flavors of Estonia with their beloved classic dish, kama. A harmonious blend of roasted and finely milled flour types, including oat, rye, barley, and pea flour, dance together in a delightful symphony of flavors. Each bite brings a unique texture to the palate, a crunchy sensation that leaves the taste buds yearning for more.

Kama’s complex flavors come to life when mixed with dairy products such as buttermilk, kefir, or sour milk. The creamy mixture creates a luscious dish, similar to a porridge, that envelops your senses in a warm, comforting embrace. A thinner variation, often enjoyed as a drink, still boasts a rich and satisfying taste that invigorates the soul.

As a nutritious breakfast or healthy dessert, kama satisfies both the body and the mind. A perfect way to start your day, kama is sweetened to perfection and complemented by juicy, ripe fruits that burst with flavor in your mouth. It’s a treat for the senses, a gastronomic adventure that transports you to a world of flavor.

The production of kama flour is a labor of love, one that requires time, dedication, and a deep understanding of the ingredients. Although kama is traditionally homemade, today, it is mainly factory-produced, and packaged in boxes for convenience.

In Finland, a similar and equally beloved dish goes by the name talkkuna. However, nothing compares to the taste of kama, a dish that embodies the essence of Estonia’s culture and heritage. It’s a must-try for anyone looking to experience the country’s unique flavors and traditions.

What are the origins and history of the Estonian dish Kama?

Kama, a beloved Estonian dish, has a long and storied history that dates back centuries. Its origins can be traced to the Baltic tribes who lived in the region that is now Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. These tribes would use a similar mixture of roasted and ground grains to make a hearty and nutritious meal that could be stored for long periods of time.

Over time, the recipe evolved, and new ingredients were added, such as pea flour, which became a staple in Estonian cuisine. Kama was traditionally prepared by hand, with the grains roasted and then ground using a mortar and pestle. The resulting flour was then mixed with sour milk or buttermilk to create a thick, creamy porridge-like dish.

Kama quickly became a favorite among Estonians, and it was often served as a breakfast food or a healthy dessert. It was also a popular snack for farmers and laborers who needed a filling and nutritious meal to sustain them throughout the day.

In modern times, the production of kama has shifted from traditional homemade methods to factory production. This has made kama more widely available and accessible, but it has also led to changes in the recipe and production methods.

Despite these changes, kama remains an important part of Estonian cuisine and culture. It is still enjoyed by people of all ages and is often served during festivals and special occasions. With its unique flavor and rich history, kama continues to be a beloved dish in Estonia and beyond.

What are some dishes from other countries that are similar to the Estonian dish Kama?

While kama is a unique dish that is closely associated with Estonian cuisine, there are several dishes from other countries that share some similarities with it.

  • In Finland, a similar dish known as talkkuna is enjoyed. It is made by grinding roasted grains, such as barley, rye, and oat, into a fine powder, which is then mixed with water or milk to create a thick, porridge-like dish.
  • In Russia, there is a dish called muesli, which is made by mixing various grains, such as oats, barley, and rye, with dried fruits and nuts. The mixture is often served with milk or yogurt and can be eaten as a breakfast food or a snack.
  • In India, a dish called kheer is similar to kama in that it is made by cooking grains, such as rice or wheat, in milk or cream until it becomes a thick, creamy pudding. The dish is often flavored with spices, such as cinnamon or cardamom, and can be served hot or cold.
  • In the United States, a similar dish called grits is popular in the southern region of the country. It is made by boiling ground cornmeal in water or milk until it becomes a creamy porridge-like dish, which is often served with butter or cheese.

While these dishes share some similarities with kama, each one has its own unique flavor and texture. Nonetheless, if you enjoy kama, you may want to try these other dishes from around the world and experience the different flavors and textures they offer.

Vegetarian & Vegan options

Is the Estonian dish Kama vegetarian / vegan? If not, can it be made vegetarian / vegan?

Kama is traditionally a vegetarian dish, as it is made from a combination of roasted and ground grains such as oat, rye, barley, and pea flour, along with dairy products like buttermilk, kefir, or sour milk. However, some variations of kama may contain honey or other animal-derived ingredients, which would make them not vegan.

For those who follow a vegan diet, kama can be easily modified to be vegan-friendly. Instead of using dairy products, plant-based milk such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk can be used. Additionally, vegan sweeteners like agave syrup or maple syrup can be used instead of honey.

It’s important to note that if you are purchasing kama, it’s important to check the ingredients list to ensure it is vegan-friendly. Some commercial brands may use animal-derived ingredients, such as milk powder or honey, in their kama products.

Overall, kama is a versatile dish that can be adapted to fit a variety of dietary needs, including vegetarian and vegan diets. With some modifications, it can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their dietary preferences.

Traditional Estonian Kama Recipe

Kama is a traditional Estonian dish made from roasted and ground grains, such as oat, rye, barley, and pea flour, blended with dairy products like buttermilk, kefir, or sour milk. It’s a nutritious and filling dish that is often enjoyed as a breakfast or a healthy dessert. Here is a recipe for making kama at home.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Serving: 2-4 people


  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup barley flour
  • 1 cup pea flour
  • 3 cups of dairy product (buttermilk, kefir or sour milk)
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • Fresh fruits (optional)


  1. Combine the oat flour, rye flour, barley flour, and pea flour in a bowl.
  2. Mix well until all the flours are combined evenly.
  3. Slowly add the dairy product to the flour mixture while stirring constantly.
  4. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  5. Add honey to the mixture if desired and mix well.
  6. If the mixture is too thick, add more dairy product to achieve the desired consistency.
  7. Serve the kama in bowls and top with fresh fruits if desired.

Nutritional Information: This recipe makes 2-4 servings. Per serving:

  • Calories: 315
  • Total Fat: 2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 4mg
  • Sodium: 142mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 63g
  • Dietary Fiber: 13g
  • Sugars: 14g
  • Protein: 15g

Note: Nutritional information may vary depending on the type of dairy product and other ingredients used in the recipe.

More Kama Recipes (in the Estonian language)



Kamavaht – magus ja kohev magustoit

Kama cotta

Kama FAQs:

  1. Is Kama gluten-free? No, Kama is not gluten-free as it is made from a combination of roasted and ground grains such as oat, rye, barley, and pea flour, all of which contain gluten.
  2. Can Kama be made vegan? Yes, Kama can be made vegan by using plant-based milk instead of dairy products and sweeteners like agave syrup or maple syrup instead of honey.
  3. How is Kama traditionally served? Kama is traditionally served as a creamy porridge or a thinner drink, either sweetened or unsweetened. It is often topped with fresh fruits such as berries, and sometimes served with a dollop of sour cream.
  4. What is the shelf life of Kama? Kama has a long shelf life and can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several months. However, once it is mixed with dairy products, it should be consumed within a few days and stored in the refrigerator.
  5. Can Kama be used in cooking and baking? Yes, Kama can be used as a flour substitute in cooking and baking recipes, especially in bread, pancakes, and other baked goods. It adds a nutty flavor and a nutritious boost to the dish.

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