Kutia (pron. coo-tya) is a traditional pudding-like dessert. It’s made of poppy seed, wheat berries, crunchy nuts and dried fruit, all bathed in floral honey.
Kutia is a traditional Christmas Eve dish present at many Polish tables – especially in the East of the country (‘Kresy’/Borderlands). The recipe originally came from our Eastern neighbours: Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and Russia.
For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.
Kutia is damp, sticky and sweet. The dusky seeds add nutty flavour, which gets amped-up even more with almonds and walnuts.
According to old Slavic traditions, poppy seeds symbolize abundance and fertility. That’s why they’re present in many Christmas dishes.
Do you need any special ingredients or equipment to make Kutia?
Almost all of the ingredients should be easy to get in any larger supermarket.
The only troublesome item would be wheat berries.
🇵🇱 In Poland, look out for ‘Pszenica Łuskana’ or ‘Pszenica na Kutię’. It might be tricky to find throughout the year, but its availability improves significantly in a month leading up to Christmas.
🌍 Internationally, look for grains called ‘Wheat Berries’. They’re available in health stores and online (e.g. on Amazon).
Alternatively, swap them for Hulled Barley or Spelt Berries (cook them following the instructions on the pack).
What could you serve with this Kutia?
Kutia is a dessert served after Christmas Eve dinner, alongside other specialties such as Makowiec (Poppy Seed Roll), Piernik (Gingerbread Cake) and Cheesecakes.
Poppy Seed-rich desserts (such as our Kutia) pair nicely with Potuguese port wine, sweet Sherry or Cherry ‘Nalewka’ (Polish-style infused liqueur).
In terms of hot beverages, black tea and coffee are a popular choice.
Can you make Kutia another way?
No, that’s a traditional way to make a Polish-style Kutia.
Feel free to experiment. For instance – you could swap almonds and walnuts for different kinds of nuts. Or add dried apricots instead of raisins. Go nuts! (pardon the pun)
Cool Idea: Next time, I’ll soak the raisins in some rum before I add them to the mass. That’s not a traditional way to do it, but I think it would be a nice, festive twist.
What diets is this Kutia suitable for?
Kutia is suitable for vegetarians. If you would like to make this recipe gluten-free, try swapping Wheat Berries for Millet or Quinoa (just cook it according to the instructions on the pack).
How to store Kutia?
Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 3 hours.
You can keep leftovers of Kutia in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.
Can I freeze Kutia?
Yes, you can – but do so immediately after you made it. Move the mass into a container with a lid, label it with a date and description. Aim to consume within 2-3 months.
Once you’re ready to eat it again, thaw it overnight in the fridge.
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