Kutia or kutya is a ceremonial grain dish with sweet gravy traditionally served in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia during the Christmas - Feast of Jordan holiday season and/or as part of a funeral feast. The word with a descriptor is also used to describe the eves of Christmas, New Year, and Feast of Jordan days.
|Place of origin||Eastern Europe|
|Associated national cuisine||Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian|
|Main ingredients||Wheatberries, poppy seeds, honey or sugar, various nuts and sometimes raisins|
In Ukraine kutia is an essential dish at the Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper (also known as Sviata vecheria or Svyata vecherya). It is believed that kutia has been known to Ukrainians’ ancestors since pre-historic times.
The main ingredients used to make traditional kutia are: wheatberries, poppy seeds and honey. At times, walnuts, dried fruit and raisins are added as well. Kutia is a Lenten dish and no milk or egg products can be used. There are known kutia recipes that use pearl barley instead of wheatberries.
Kutia, as a part of Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper, is used in a number of rituals performed on the night. Kutia is the first out of twelve dishes served for Sviata Vecheria to be tasted. Everyone present must have at least a spoonful of kutia. In the past, the head of the household used kutia to foretell whether the upcoming year harvest would be plentiful; and to bargain with the forces of the nature asking for good weather.
Kolyvo is a Ukrainian ritual dish similar to kutia, but includes no poppy seeds. Kolyvo is served at remembrance services.
A dish of boiled grains (usually wheat berries) mixed with honey, nuts, spices, and a few other ingredients is traditional in other countries as well:
- Білодід, Iван (ed.). "Кутя". Словник української мови в 11 томах (in Ukrainian). Київ: Наукова думка.
- Даль, Владимир (1905). Кутия. Толковый словарь живаго великорускаго языка (in Russian). Санкт-Петербург-Москва: Товарищества М.О. Вольф.
- Крапіва, K, ed. (1977–1984). Куцця. Тлумачальны слоўнік беларускай мовы (in Belarusian). Менск: Беларуская Савецкая Энцыклапедыя.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
- Мельничук, О, ed. (1989). Кутя (PDF). Етимологічний словник української мови (in Ukrainian). 3. Київ: Наукова думка.
- Recipe: Kutia, Star of the Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper
- Tracz, Orysia 2015, First Star I See Tonight, Mazepa Publications Zhuravli, Winnipeg
- Artiukh, Lidia 2001, Ukrainian Cuisine and Folk Traditions, Baltija-Druk, Kyiv
- Yakovenko, Svitlana 2016, Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper: Traditional village recipes for Sviata Vecheria, Sova Books, Sydney
- Stechishin, Savella 1959, Traditional Ukrainian Cookery, Trident Press, Winnipeg
- Yakovenko, Svitlana 2013, Taste of Ukraine: Rustic Cuisine from the heart of Ukraine, Sova Books, Sydney
- Voropai, Oleksa 1958, 'Zvychai Nashoho Narodu' [Customs of Our People], Ukrainske Vydavnytstvo, Munich
- Goldstein, Darra 2015, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, Oxford University Press, Oxford