In the run up to Christmas we are offering you twelve traditional Russian Christmas dishes, both healthy and indulgent.
12 days following Christmas Day were considered Holly days, or Святки [Svyatki]. This is where the tradition of having twelve festive dishes on the Christmas table stems from.
Traditionally all food would have been prepared before the first star sets in the sky on Christmas eve.
The main dish would be Сочиво [Socheevah], or Кутья [Kootyah].
Сочиво, or кутья
This a delicious sweet dish, that can equally be eaten for breakfast, desert or at a Christmas table. Totally vegan as well!
1 cup coarsely ground wheat grains
100g poppy seeds
100g walnuts or almonds
2-3tbs liquid honey
pinch of salt
a handful of raisins (optional)
Rinse the wheat grains and soak them in boiling water for one hour. Rinse again and boil on medium heat until fully cooked.
Soak poppy seeds in boiling water for 15mins and then mash them with a spoon.
Add honey and mix well.
Add the mixture to the wheat .
Lastly, add raisins and chopped nuts.
Tip: *make sure the honey mixture is warm when adding it to the grains, so that they can absorb the sweetness of honey.