Kutia (kutya) is a traditional Ukrainian dish, a sweet grain pudding that is served on Christmas Eve dinner (also known as Svyata Vecherya). Kutia symbolizes fertility and abundance, and it is believed that good luck will come to every home where it is served. The richer in taste kutia is, the more successful and prosperous will be the coming year for the whole family.
The main ingredients of kutia are wheat berries, nuts, poppy seeds, and honey. Each of these components has its own symbolic meaning.
- Wheat berries symbolize eternity, resurrection, and wealth.
- Honey is a symbol of heavenly bliss, wellness, and thriving life.
- Poppy seeds and nuts stand for prosperity and good fortune.
Of course, the recipes and secrets of cooking kutia vary depending on the region of Ukraine. Here is one of the variations. Today we’re going to make kutia with a perfect balance of raisins, walnuts, and poppy seeds, sweetened with honey. The recipe is very easy yet the result is a soft, juicy, and luscious berry pudding that makes mouth watery at a glance.
I’m sure your guests will enjoy this awesome Ukrainian Christmas dish.
- 100 g (3,5 oz) poppy seeds
- 255 g (9 oz) wheat berries
- 100 g (3,5 oz) nuts
- 100 g (3,5 oz) raisins
- 1,5 – 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sugar
Wash wheat berries under cold running water several times (until water runs clear). Transfer the wheat corns to a colander. To boil wheat corns we need a specific amount of water and that’s why excessive water should drain. Then transfer the wheat kernels to a pan and pour 500 ml of water above. Cover the pan with a lid and bring it to boil. Cook for 10 minutes and then add a pinch of salt. Boil about 20 minutes more (the berries should stay crunchy, do not overcook them). Transfer the wheat berries to a colander and let water drain.
Put poppy seeds in another pan and add 70 ml of water. Simmer poppy seeds over low heat for half an hour (don’t boil), stirring the mass from time to time. When the water soaks in poppy seeds, add 125 ml of water more. Continue to cook until poppy seeds soak water completely.
Chop walnuts and transfer them to a dry frying pan. Brown the nuts slightly for a couple of minutes.
Put raisins in a separate bowl and pour boiling water above. Set aside for 30 minutes and then drain water.
Put 1 tbsp of sugar in a mortar. Add half of the poppy seeds and grind with a pestle. Then add second half of the poppy seeds and continue to grind.
Transfer the wheat corns to a serving bowl and stir in the poppy seeds. Then add raisins and walnuts. Mix to combine. At the end, stir in honey. Decorate the dish with some whole walnuts.
If you wish, you can also add some dried fruits. The kutia is done and ready to be eaten. This Ukrainian Christmas food can be served both warm and chilled. But remember that the longer a wheat berry pudding sits, the more flavor it has, so it is best when cooked a day ahead.
One more advantage of kutia is that it can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Enjoy your meal!
Have you liked the recipe for a sweet grain pudding with honey and walnuts?
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