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Holy Eve cooking. Kutia.jpg
Associated national cuisineUkrainian, Belarusian, Russian
Main ingredientsWheatberries, poppy seeds, honey or sugar, various nuts and sometimes raisins

Kutia or kutya is a ceremonial grain dish with sweet gravy traditionally served by Eastern Orthodox Christians 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.[1][2][3]


The word kutia is a borrowing from the Greek language κουκκί (bean) or κόκκος (grain).[4]



In Ukraine kutia is an essential dish at the Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper[5] (also known as Sviata vecheria or Svyata vecherya). It is believed that kutia was known to the ancestors of Ukrainians in prehistoric times.[6]

The main ingredients used to make traditional kutia are: wheatberries, poppy seeds and honey.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] Everyone present must have at least a spoonful of kutia.[10] 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.[11]

Kolyvo is a Ukrainian ritual dish similar to kutia, but includes no poppy seeds. Kolyvo is served at remembrance services.

Other countries[edit]

A dish of boiled grains (usually wheat berries) mixed with honey, nuts, spices, and a few other ingredients is traditional in other countries[12] as well:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Білодід, Іван (ed.). "Кутя". Словник української мови в 11 томах (in Ukrainian). Київ: Наукова думка.
  2. ^ Даль, Владимир (1905). Кутия. Толковый словарь живаго великорускаго языка (in Russian). Санкт-Петербург-Москва: Товарищества М.О. Вольф.
  3. ^ Крапіва, K, ed. (1977–1984). Куцця. Тлумачальны слоўнік беларускай мовы (in Belarusian). Менск: Беларуская Савецкая Энцыклапедыя.
  4. ^ Мельничук, О, ed. (1989). Кутя (PDF). Етимологічний словник української мови (in Ukrainian). 3. Київ: Наукова думка.
  5. ^ Recipe: Kutia, Star of the Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper
  6. ^ Tracz, Orysia 2015, First Star I See Tonight, Mazepa Publications Zhuravli, Winnipeg
  7. ^ Artiukh, Lidia 2001, Ukrainian Cuisine and Folk Traditions, Baltija-Druk, Kyiv
  8. ^ Yakovenko, Svitlana 2016, Ukrainian Christmas Eve Supper: Traditional village recipes for Sviata Vecheria, Sova Books, Sydney
  9. ^ Stechishin, Savella 1959, Traditional Ukrainian Cookery, Trident Press, Winnipeg
  10. ^ Yakovenko, Svitlana 2013, Taste of Ukraine: Rustic Cuisine from the heart of Ukraine, Sova Books, Sydney
  11. ^ Voropai, Oleksa 1958, Zvychai Nashoho Narodu [Customs of Our People], Ukrainske Vydavnytstvo, Munich
  12. ^ Goldstein, Darra 2015, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, Oxford University Press, Oxford

External links[edit]