8 delicious recipes for kutia (sweet grain pudding)

Kutia or kutya is a special sweet grain dish that is first served at the Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper (Sviata Vecheria or Svyata Vecherya in Ukrainian).

Kutia is not only a delicious dish loved by many but also a symbol of good harvest and abundance for the whole next year.

Ukrainian ancestors believed that the tastier and richer Christmas kutia is, the better the harvest and the bigger the family's wealth will be.

Depending on what holiday the kutia is prepared for, it can be of three kinds: rich, generous, and “hungry.”

Rich kutia is cooked on Christmas Eve – it is lean but enriched with various components like poppy seeds, honey, nuts, raisins, dried fruits, jam, and many other ingredients.

How kutia was cooked earlier?

Firstly, kutia was made with honey or “syta” (diluted honey).

Later, Ukrainians started to add poppy seed milk (steamed and ground poppy seeds), raisins, as well as ground nuts and sugar syrup.

The main components of kutia were grain, honey and poppy seeds. They have a symbolic meaning. The grain is a symbol of the resurrected life. Honey is a symbol of health and prosperous life (sweet life). Poppy seeds symbolize wealth in the family.

How to serve

Kutia should be served in clayware. A clay pot with kutia is put on a table together with the number of spoons equal to the number of family members.

Before the family starts a festive dinner, it is necessary to read the prayer and light a Christmas candle.

When the householder blesses the meal, each family member should eat three tablespoons of kutia before starting to eat the other 12 dishes. All should eat the pudding from one pot – only then kutia will bring wealth and unity.

Recipes

There are many ways to cook kutia and today we are sharing with you 8 delicious recipes. It’s all up to you – which one to try.

1. Classic kutia with honey

Ingredients: 320 g (11 oz) wheat grains, 200 ml honey.

Wash wheat kernels in a sieve under running lukewarm water. Place in a bowl, cover with water at about 1 inch above the grain level and let stand overnight. The next day, drain off water and transfer wheat grains to a pot, covering them with water until 1 inch above the grain. Bring the water to a boil, salt it, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook grains until tender, stirring occasionally,  for 2  to 3 hours (add water if needed – it should always be above the grain level). Drain and rinse wheat grains with cold water. Set them aside to cool.

Dissolve honey with warm water and pour the mixture above the grains. Mix everything carefully to combine.

2. Kutia with jam

Ingredients: 400 g (14 oz) wheat grains, 250 ml berry or fruit jam.

Wash wheat kernels in a sieve under running lukewarm water. Place in a bowl, cover with water at about 1 inch above the grain level and let stand overnight. The next day, drain off water and transfer wheat grains to a pot, covering them with water until 1 inch above the grain. Bring the water to a boil, salt it, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook grains until tender, stirring occasionally,  for 2  to 3 hours (add water if needed – it should always be above the grain level). Drain and rinse wheat grains with cold water. Set them aside to cool.

Mix the prepared kutia with jam thoroughly. If kutia is too dense, then you can add some warm water with sugar or honey.

3. Kutia with poppy seeds

Ingredients: 400 g (14 oz) wheat grains, 150 g (5 oz) poppy seeds, 200 g (7 oz) sugar or 320 ml honey.

Wash wheat kernels in a sieve under running lukewarm water. Place in a bowl, cover with water at about 1 inch above the grain level and let stand overnight. The next day, drain off water and transfer wheat grains to a pot, covering them with water until 1 inch above the grain. Bring the water to a boil, salt it, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook grains until tender, stirring occasionally,  for 2  to 3 hours (add water if needed – it should always be above the grain level). Drain and rinse wheat grains with cold water. Set them aside to cool.

Wash poppy seeds and pour boiling water above. Grind them in a mortar or whisk in a blender. Combine the grains, seeds, sugar, and honey in a bowl.

4. Wheat grains with honey, raisins, and nuts

Ingredients: 200 g (7 oz) wheat grains, 100 g (3,5 oz) raisins, 100 ml honey, 60 g (2 oz) peeled walnuts.

Wash wheat kernels in a sieve under running lukewarm water. Place in a bowl, cover with water at about 1 inch above the grain level and let stand overnight. The next day, drain off water and transfer wheat grains to a pot, covering them with water until 1 inch above the grain. Bring the water to a boil, salt it, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook grains until tender, stirring occasionally,  for 2  to 3 hours (add water if needed – it should always be above the grain level). Drain and rinse wheat grains with cold water. Set them aside to cool.

Put raisins into a separate bowl. Pour boiling water above and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain off water.

Transfer wheat grains to a bowl. Combine them with raisins, honey diluted with a small amount of water, and ground walnuts.

5. Kutia with raisins and dried apricots

Ingredients: 260 g (9 oz) wheat grains, 150 g (5 oz) raisins, 150 g (5 oz) dried apricots, 100 ml honey.

Wash wheat kernels in a sieve under running lukewarm water. Place in a bowl, cover with water at about 1 inch above the grain level and let stand overnight. The next day, drain off water and transfer wheat grains to a pot, covering them with water until 1 inch above the grain. Bring the water to a boil, salt it, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook grains until tender, stirring occasionally,  for 2  to 3 hours (add water if needed – it should always be above the grain level). Drain and rinse wheat grains with cold water. Set them aside to cool.

Rinse dried apricots and raisins thoroughly. Pour cold boiled water above and let the ingredients to swell. Then transfer dried apricots and raisins to a bowl. Add wheat grains and honey. Mix to combine.

6. Kutia with 3 types of cereals

Ingredients: 200 g (7 oz) pearl barley, 200 g (7 oz) wheat berries, 200 g (7 oz) millet, 5 prunes, 5 dried apricots, 1 tbsp raisins,  90 g (3 oz) poppy seeds, 1 tbsp honey, 5 walnuts, 2 tbsp candied fruits

Wash wheat kernels in a sieve under running lukewarm water. Place in a bowl, cover with water at about 1 inch above the grain level and let stand overnight. The next day, drain off water and transfer wheat grains to a pot, covering them with water until 1 inch above the grain. Bring the water to a boil, salt it, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook grains until tender, stirring occasionally,  for 2  to 3 hours (add water if needed – it should always be above the grain level). Drain and rinse wheat grains with cold water. Set them aside to cool.

Soak the cereals overnight. Cook them over low heat until done. Scald dried fruits, candied fruits, poppy seeds, and walnuts and add them to the cereals in half an hour before the end of cooking. Add honey after turning off the heat. Keep the pan warm to allow the cereals to infuse the flavor of fruits and nuts.

7. Kutia “Panska”

Ingredients: 500 g (17,5 oz) wheat grains, 150 g (5 oz) golden raisins, 60 g (2 oz) dried apricots, 200 g (7 oz) walnuts, 100 g (3,5 oz) almonds, 200 g (7 oz) poppy seeds, 150 ml honey

Wash wheat kernels in a sieve under running lukewarm water. Place in a bowl, cover with water at about 1 inch above the grain level and let stand overnight. The next day, drain off water and transfer wheat grains to a pot, covering them with water until 1 inch above the grain. Bring the water to a boil, salt it, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook grains until tender, stirring occasionally,  for 2  to 3 hours (add water if needed – it should always be above the grain level). Drain and rinse wheat grains with cold water. Set them aside to cool.

Soak raisins, cut dried apricots, and nuts in a small amount of slightly hot water for 5-10 minutes (then drain water and mix all ingredients).

Next, stir in the wheat grains. Pour warm water above poppy seeds and grind them in a mortar. Mix everything with poppy seeds.

In the end, add in honey.

8. Kutia with dried fruits

Ingredients: 500 g (17,5 oz) wheat grains, 300 g (10,5 oz) poppy seeds, 400 g (14 oz) walnuts, 300 g (10,5 oz) dried fruits, 150 ml honey

Wash wheat kernels in a sieve under running lukewarm water. Place in a bowl, cover with water at about 1 inch above the grain level and let stand overnight. The next day, drain off water and transfer wheat grains to a pot, covering them with water until 1 inch above the grain. Bring the water to a boil, salt it, reduce heat to a very low simmer, and cook grains until tender, stirring occasionally,  for 2  to 3 hours (add water if needed – it should always be above the grain level). Drain and rinse wheat grains with cold water. Set them aside to cool.

Pour boiling water above poppy seeds and wait for 30 minutes. Then grind poppy seeds to get a white mass (you can use a blender or mortar).

Scald raisins and leave them for half an hour.

Dry nuts in the oven or on a frying pan for easier cleaning and grinding.

Combine wheat grains, poppy seeds, dried fruits, nuts, and honey. Stir to combine. If kutia is too thick, slightly dilute it with boiled water or uzvar (dried fruit drink).