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Kutia in a ceramic makitra, with a wooden makohon beside it
Kutia in a ceramic makitra, with a wooden makohon beside it

Kutia  is a sweet grain pudding, traditionally served in Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian cultures. Kutia is often the first dish in the traditional twelve-dish Christmas Eve supper. It is rarely served at other times of the year.

It resembles koliva from Serbia or Romania (used usually for funerals), but the latter is mixed only with walnuts, sugar and raisins.

Kutia was also part of a common Eastern Orthodox tradition in the Russian Empire, which has become virtually extinct in Russia as a result of the official atheism of the former Soviet Union.

Traditionally it was made of wheat, poppy seeds, honey (or sugar), various nuts and sometimes raisins. In many recipes milk or cream was also used.

Nowadays other ingredients (which were unavailable or just too expensive in earlier centuries) like almonds and pieces of oranges are added. On the other hand, the wheat grain, that is now relatively rarely available in the food stores in an unrpocessed form, is sometimes replaced with barley or other similar grains.

General recipe

Take 0.5 kg each of wheat and poppy seeds, or slightly more wheat.

The wheat grains should be simmered in hot water on low heat for 3-4 hours.

The poppy seeds should be simmered in hot water until they can be crushed between the fingertips. Then they should be ground three times in a food processor or a meat grinder. Traditionally, the poppy seeds were crushed in a mortar and pestle made specifically for this purpose (makitra and makohon, respectively).

Strain out the water from the poppy seeds and from the wheat and allow them to cool.

Mix the cooled poppy seeds and wheat, then add some liquid honey (you may need to add a little hot water to dissolve it) or dissolved sugar (0.1-0.2 kg by our sample measures) and some or all of: nuts, raisins, almonds, pieces of oranges (amount of these extra ingredients vary a lot between recipes, suggested is 0.3-0.5 kg total).

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Christmas Guide, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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