Kutia or Kutya

This pudding-like dessert is one of the oldest recipes. Probably, being made in one form or another into prehistory. Possibly, predating agriculture being made with collected dried seeds, grains and wild honey. As usual, I will try to update it, speed it up and make it a little more convenient.

I found this dish looking for traditional Christmas eve recipes. This is based off of an Ukrainian recipe I found. I modified it to be made with ingredients I could actually find in my super market. The big changes are barley instead of wheat. You can usually find barley with the dried beans. You could probably substitute any whole dried grain, like oats. Even rice would probably work, but then it would be more like rice pudding and you would loose that whole grain texture. The other big difference is the supermarket did not have bulk poppy seeds. So I substituted Solo canned poppy seed filling. This is already processed and is about half sugars, so I cut the amount of sugar or honey from the original recipe.

Ingredients

Procedure

  1. Soak barley in water overnight. I'd just use the pot I'm going to make it in.

  2. The next day, Bring the mixture to a boil.

  3. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley has exploded and the liquid has thickened. (1-4 hours)

  4. Allow the porridge to cool.(~1/2 hour)

  5. Mix in pie filling and nuts.

  6. Refrigerate.

  7. Serve chilled with whipped cream.

An immediate improvement that comes to mind is that this could be made less labor intensive by making the porridge in a crock-pot. I also wonder if the pie filling and nuts could be mixed into the warm porridge, removing another step.

Some additional sweetness or pizazz could be in future versions. Being that this is a very classic dish it has a very subtle sweetness and simple flavor. The flavor could be nicely enhanced with a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, or a little cinnamon or nutmeg. If it isn't sweet enough your could add the entire can of pie filling or mix sugar into the porridge before it cools. If you wanted a more classic sweetener the original recipe uses honey, instead of sweetened pie filling, so that would add sweetness as well as a more authentic flavor. A popular flavor in these classic desserts is always dried fruit, such as raisins or apricots, which could add sweetness and a more complicated flavor as well.