Kutia is a traditional sweet pudding originating in Eastern Poland and Polandâ€™s Eastern neighbours such as Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. Even though my grandparents came from the Vilnius Region in Lithuania and as a result poppy seed dishes were very popular on Christmas Eve, when it comes to kutia, it was always my auntie Czesia who brought it with her for the dinner.
Such a fragrant and sweet dessert to finish off the festive dinner.
Sweet, but also quite nutritious and healthy if you look carefully at the ingredients list: wheat berries (here replaced with barley as itâ€™s quite similar in taste and much more widely available), soothing poppy seeds plus dried fruits and nuts full of vitamins and minerals. I think I might start preparing kutia more frequently than just once a yearâ€¦
1 cup of barley
1 cup of poppy seeds
6 tbsp honey
0.25 tsp cinnamon
50g dried apricots, cut into chunks
50g dried figs, cut into chunks
25g almonds, roughly chopped
25g walnuts, roughly chopped
25g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
A few drops of almond essence
Put the barley into a bowl, cover with water and set aside for 12 hours (overnight).
Drain, transfer to a pot, cover with fresh water and cook for about 2 hours until soft. Drain.
Rinse the poppy seed, place it in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Drain and mix in a food processor or pass through a mincer.
In a small saucepan, heat the honey with the almond essence and cinnamon.
Mix together the barley, poppy seed and honey. Add the cut nuts and dried fruit and mix well.
Keep it in the fridge for a few hours before serving.