Kutia is a traditional Christmas Slavic porridge made of whole grains, poppy seed, nuts, raisins and honey.
1 cup whole grain spelt (any whole-grain wheat berry will work)
4 cups milk or milk substitute
1/2 cups poppy seed
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup dry apricots, chopped
2/3 cup toasted almonds or walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
Top with dried or candied fruit and whole nuts (optional)
Cinnamon to taste
Rinse spelt with water and soak overnight, covered in water. The next day, drain water, and add soaked spelt to 4 cups of milk. Bring milk to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, and cover with a lid. Cook on stovetop for approximately an hour and a half, stirring occasionally, until spelt if fully cooked. The spelt should remain covered in milk, you can add more milk if necessary to keep spelt fully submerged.
While spelt is cooking, add poppy seeds to 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over medium heat then turn burner off. Let poppy seeds sit for 30 minutes, then turn burner on again and repeat this process, letting the poppy seeds sit for another 30 minutes. Strain poppy seeds through a fine screened colander. You can use cheesecloth if you do not have a fine screen to prevent seeds from falling through. Place poppy seeds in blender to create a mash. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
When spelt is fully cooked, drain off the milk, reserving 1/2 cup. Add honey to the reserved milk and stir until the honey is incorporated.
Preheat oven to 325.
Combine spelt, milk-honey, poppy seeds, raisons, apricots, toasted almonds, and sea salt. Pour blend into a ceramic or oven safe dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cover. Let rest approximately 10 to 15 minutes prior to serving. Serve warm or cold. This dish can sit in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Top with any nut, dried or candied fruit, and cinnamon for an extra special treat!