To the Ukrainians Christmas is not Christmas without Kutya, a ritual dish and an integral part of the Holy Night Meal, is served only during the Christmas cycle of holidays which ends with the Feast of Jordan on January 19. The origin of this dish goes back to days immemorial when the early Ukrainian ancestors first cultivated wheat. A relic of customs practised three thousand years before the Christmas era. This dish should be prepared several days ahead of of time for flavour to develop. It keeps very well in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or so. Kutya is high in nutritional value and should be eaten any time.
- add 1/3 cup honey
- add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- add 2/3 cup sugar
- add 1/2 cup hot water
- add 1 cup cleaned poppy seeds
- add 3-4 quarts water
- add 2 cups cleaned wheat berries
- Wash wheat in cold water and soak overnight in the 3 to 4 quarts of water.
- The next day, bring the water to a boil then simmer for 4 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- The wheat is ready when the kernels burst open and the fluid is thick and creamy.
- Chop the poppy seed in a food processor (or coffee grinder) (or you can buy ground poppy seeds in some deli's) and set aside.
- Mix honey, sugar and hot water.
- Mix the honey mixture, poppy seeds, and chopped nuts and wheat.
- More honey can be added to taste.
- Keep in refrigerator.
- Traditional Ukrainian Cookery.