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Ukrainian Christmas Traditions-Kutya Recipe

Updated on November 21, 2011

Kutya And What It Means

When it comes to Ukrainian Christmas traditions there isnt a bigger one then Kutya for dinner.

Kutya is sort of a porridge made of wheat, poppy seeds and honey. One other important ingrediant for most people is chopped walnuts. Kutya is traditionally a Christmas meal that is usually the first meal eaten on Christmas eve which is January 6th.

Also on Ukrainian Christmas morning which is January 7 the kids usually go to their Godparents homes after church. When there the kids will offer their Godparents Kutya. Ukrainian Christmas traditions still has everyone in Nativity fasting on Christmas while eating Kutya.

When it comes to the wheat in Kutya it is to stand for immortality and hope. When it comes to the honey and poppy seeds these are symbolizing success, good rest and being forever happy.

Ingredients For Ukrainian Christmas Kutya

The recipe and ingredients in this hub are suited to feed 16 people. Especially at times like Christmas it is always great to have a little extra as another Ukrainian Christmas tradition is setting plates for souls of lost family members and visitors.

Okay so lets get started.

4 cups of wheat

6-7 quarts of water

2 cups of cleaned poppy seed.

2/3 cup of honey

1-1/3 cup of sugar

1 cup of hot water

1 cup of chopped walnuts.

Directions To Make Ukrainian Christmas Kutya

1. You will need the 6-7 quarts of cold water so you can soak the wheat in it over night.

2. On the second day of preparing Kutya you will bring all the water to a boil. Once at a boil you will need to simmer for about 5 hours. Be sure to mix every once in a while just to prevent sticking.

3. After about 5 hours of simmering the wheat kernels should break open. Then they should get thick and creamy. At this time the Kutya should be ready.

4. The next step is the poppy seed. You want to use a food processor or coffee grinder to chop it. An even better option is if you look around you can buy poppy seeds already chopped. This would be a much better route if available.

5. The next step is simple. You want to mix the honey, sugar and hot water together.

6. Now you want to mix everything into the wheat. This means the honey mixture, the poppy seeds and the walnuts. At this point you can also add more honey. The only real way to know if you need more honey is through taste. More honey is a preference thing.

7. The final thing is to put it in the fridge and let it get to where it needs to be.

The best thing for Kutya is to let it sit in the fridge and age for a couple days. This will bring the flavor out to a premium taste. Not to worry about it spoiling because Kutya will very easily keep in the fridge for over two weeks. One other positive is Kutya is very high in vitamins. So Kutya is just another one of those great Ukrainian Christmas traditions that need to be there and that tase like Heaven.


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    • Global-Chica profile image


      5 years ago from New York, NY

      Kutya is delicious and healthy and I'd personally eat it all year round if I could and actually know of a Ukrainian restaurant in NYC called Veselka that serves it all year round. Thanks for the recipe and z rizdvom hristovym!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Dale Mazurek, What a delicious, nutritious, scrumptious recipe from the Ukraine's delectable cuisine! In particular, you do a great job of explaining the cultural context and the symbolic meaning of the ingredients and their serving. Your instructions are so clear that there's no reason for kutya to be anything but traditionally tasty for even the newest of cooks.

      Thank you for sharing, etc. (always = voted up + all),


    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      I love tasting other cultures food and therefore I got to try it. Bookmark this one. Thank you.

    • laurathegentleman profile image


      6 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      A very interesting read and a cool look into celebrations of a different culture.


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