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Ukrainian Wheat Berry and Poppyseed Recipe( Kutya, Kutia) from Victoria Frolova of Bois de Jasmin

Kutya is one of the traditional Ukrainian dishes prepared on Christmas Eve. Victoria Frolova of Bois de Jasmin, with whom we’ll be traveling to Ukraine in June wrote an article about kutya on her blog.

Below she shares with us her grandmother’s recipe with two variations.

Honey Kutya

1 cup wheat berries, soaked in water to cover overnight

1/4 cup poppyseeds

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup raisins, soaked in warm water till plump

1/4 cup honey mixed with 1/4c water, bring to boil and cool

Drain wheat and simmer on low heat till soft, 2-4h. Add additional water if necessary to keep wheat berries covered. Season with salt and cool.

Wash poppyseeds well and . grind in a blender or by using mortar and pestle. Drain excess water from the wheat berries. Stir poppyseeds, walnuts, raisins and the wheat berries. Add honey syrup to taste and serve either warm or cold.

Dried Fruit Compote Kutya

My grandmother always serves kutya with dried fruit compote (called uzvar in Ukrainian). Cover 2 cups of mixed dried fruit (apricots, prunes, cherries, apples and pears) with 4 cups water , add 1 clove, ½ star anise and a pinch of cinnamon and bring to boil. Simmer on low heat for 15-30min. Add honey or sugar to taste and then let cool. Instead of sweetening kutya with honey syrup, add liquid from the compote. Fruit can be eaten either separately or mixed with kutya.

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