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Kutia – Ins & Outs and Symbolic Meaning of Ingredients

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Kutia – Ins & Outs and Symbolic Meaning of Ingredients.

Wheat berries.

A classic kutia is made from wheat berries, which symbolizes a resurrected life.

Sort wheat berries through, and rinse well. Then soak in cool water overnight to impregnate them with water and allow them to swell. Soaking will also speed up the cooking time.

Traditionally, wheat berries for kutia were cooked in ceramic pots in a masonry oven. To do so, wheat berries were covered with water by 2 fingers and placed into the oven for a few hours until the berries became soft and absorbed all the water.

You can also prepare wheat berries in an old-styled way using a regular oven or just boil them in large amount of water (at least twice as much as wheat berries) on the stove using a saucepan (this is how I usually do).

The cooking time will depend on wheat berries. You can find ready-to-cook wheat berries for kutia in stores – they will take 40-50 min to cook. Unprepared wheat berries may take 2-3 h to cook. The cooked wheat berries are soft, though skins may break on some berries, they will still keep their form.

Well-prepared what berries are tasty, tough but soft with a tender and somewhat sweet taste. You can add them to salads or serve as a side dish. What berries combined together with raisins, dried fruits and poppy seeds make kutia most delicious and sweet. I love making kutia on Christmas – it’s an amazing tradition!

Poppy Seeds.

Poppy seeds are a symbol of wellness and prosperity.

For kutia, cover poppy seeds with boiling water by at least 2 cm, stir to let all bad seeds and debris float to the surface. Then cover and let stand until cook (for 1-2 h approx.).

Then strain them out carefully together with the bad seeds and debris, if any. Drain the poppy seeds well through a colander, or a fune sieve, or a cloth to get rid of any excess water.

Grind the poppy seeds in a mortar with a pestle until white liquid releases. It is also suggested to use a food processor, mincing machine or coffee grinder, though I prefer a mortar and pestle as it always bring me joy to the miracle of poppy seeds turning into white milk.

Honey.

Honey makes kutia sweet and symbolized health and welfare. Any honey will work just fine, add to your taste.

Nuts.

Walnuts are usually added though you are free to use any kind. Toast them and chop coarsely.

Raisins.

Cover raisins with warm water and let stand for about 30 min. Strain and pat completely dry with kitchen paper.

Dressing.

Kutia shouldn’t be dry or floating in liquid. It is dressed with uzvar (dried fruits compote) or hot water.

Other additions.

Dried apricots

Dried plums

Other dried fruits

Dark chocolate (without milk)

Marmalade

Preserves

 

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