Kutia in a glass container
|Main ingredient(s)||Wheatberries, poppy seeds, honey or sugar, various nuts and sometimes raisins; milk or cream|
Kutia is a sweet grain pudding, traditionally served in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and some parts of Poland. Sochivo, a dish similar to kutia, is very popular in Russia. Kutia is often the first dish in the traditional twelve-dish Christmas Eve supper (also known as Svyatah Vecherya). It is rarely served at other times of the year.
Kutia was also part of a common Eastern Orthodox tradition in the Russian Empire, which had waned in popularity as a result of the official atheism of the former Soviet Union, but has had a subsequent resurgence in Ukraine, Belarus and other former Soviet Republics. Radonitsa is one such holiday during which it is served. To this day kutia is served at funerals across Russia as a dish of remembrance.
Traditionally it was made of wheatberries, poppy seeds, honey, various nuts, dried fruit and raisins. In many recipes milk or cream is also used. In some Slavic countries, rice is the main ingredient.
As a tradition, Ukrainians tossed kutia upwards to the ceiling. The amount that attached to the ceiling indicated how successful next year harvest was. Alternatively, another interpretation was if it did stick to the ceiling, the household would have a lot of luck that year.
Nowadays, other ingredients (which were unavailable or just too expensive in earlier centuries) like almonds and pieces of oranges are added. In some places (like Poland, Ukraine, and western Canada), unprocessed wheat grain for kutia is easily available in stores. In others, where it is harder to find, it can be replaced by other similar grains like barley.
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