Kutya, A Russian, er, Ukranian, Christmas Dish

From the Food Network: Kutya is a ritual dish and an integral part of the Holy Meal.

1 pound wheat berries
1 pound walnuts in the shell
2 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, grated
Peel of 1 lemon, grated
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1/2 cup poppyseeds, optional
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped, optional
Confectioner’s sugar

Shell the walnuts. Soak the wheat overnight, covered with water about 1 inch abpve the grain. Put the pot with wheat on the stove and boil it for 2-3 hours on a very low simmer. There should be just enough water in the pot to keep the wheat from burning. Be sure that the heat is low and watch very carefully. Add water if necessary. Pour off water and rinse with cold water. Pour off all liquid. Spread the wheat berries out on kitchen towels and dry for 2 hours. Place the wheat berries ina food processor and grind them. Remove the wheat berries to a bowl and then grind the walnuts in the food processor. Mix the walnuts with the ground wheat. Add 2 cups granulated sugar, lemon peel, vanilla and the optional ingredients. Mound in a serving dish and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

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    • Petro

      This is not a Russian dish, it is Ukrainian.
      Please change it’s title, that is a disgrace.

    • Marcie

      Isn’t it also Russian?

    • Stephanie

      Petro is right, it is a Ukrainian dish.

      They also eat similar dishes in Poland and Lithuania, but it is a well-known Ukrainian dish- the first dish Ukrainians eat during supper of Christmas Eve on January 6th.

    • ioanna

      guys, this is a russian dish also. I know you will all in a huff about this but Ukrania IS part of russia and always was. In russian it means ‘the edge of’ the edge of what? russia ofcourse. so get over yourself and get on with the tradition. and read your history

    • Stephanie

      I am not Ukrainian so I will not huff and puff but it is you who needs to do a bit of history review (not to mention spelling). Ukraine is very much an independent country and was unfortunately tugged around back and forth between different countries in its history. They have a distinct language, cuisine, culture, and traditions. People like you need to relax a bit and stop giving your lives meaning by trying to make yourselves seem more important than you are.

    • Oksana

      There are so many people in the United States that defend Czars and the Soviet Union. Why do people blessed by freedom defend Russian imperialism and every attempt to argue away events like the Holodomor? Ukraine existed before Moskovy – maybe Russia is edge of Ukraine? This recipe is very like that used in my home in Ukraine.

    • sharon

      Stefanie, My grandma was a Urainian and would be very very upset to read that the Uraine and Russia are considered “the same”.