Our Tour Leader, Taras, is not just great at making sure you have an amazing experience while on tour, he is also a Ukrainian food specialist and master chef in the kitchen!
Discover Ukrainian cuisine, try Taras’ mouthwatering recipes and check out his two best-selling cookbooks! Read more about Taras here.
Christmas is a beloved celebration not only in Ukraine, but all around the world. Christmas Eve dinner usually consists of 12 traditional dishes – two of which we will teach you to make today!
“Kutia” is a sweet, wheat stew, that is eaten at the very start of the meal. Made from a variety of seeds, nuts and grain, this dish is meant to bring prosperity and good harvest for the New Year! The head of the house would be first to try the Kutia, and would throw it onto the ceiling at the start of the meal. If it stuck to the ceiling, that meant a good year was ahead!
Uzvar is a tasty drink made from dried smoked fruit, useful to get your vitamins in in the winter months, and a staple on any Ukrainian table. Let’s start!
Keep reading for our recipes for:
1) Kutia (sweet wheat stew)
2) Uzvar (smoked fruit drink)
See the full cooking class video for both recipes here.
Scroll further down for the recipes!
You can find this recipe in Taras’ Book “Christmas and Easter Dishes” on page 4.
- 250 g wheat
- 100 g poppy seeds
- 75 g raisins
- 50 g walnuts
- 50 g sugar
- 25 ml honey
- Soak the wheat in water overnight.
- The following day, drain it, and proceed to boil it in 1l of water for 2-2.5 hours, stirring occasionally, and adding water as needed. Once soft, drain completely.
- Meanwhile, soak the poppy seeds in boiled hot water, and set aside. Later on drain them, and blitz them in a blender with sugar, or – if you’re going for authenticity – grind them with a wooden pestle or ‘makohin’. Taras does it the traditional way!
- Soak the raisins in the hot water for just a few minutes. Rinse the raisins, then dry them on a paper towel.
- Finely chop your walnuts.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well adding honey to taste.
You can find this recipe in Taras’ Book “Christmas and Easter Dishes” on page 22.
- 300g dried apples (or mixed dried fruit)
- 50g dried prunes
- 150 g sugar
- 3l/8cups water
- 1 lemon wedge
- Soak the dried fruit in water overnight.
- In a pot bring water to a boil, add the dried fruit and prunes and boil for 15 minutes.
- Add in the lemon wedge and sugar, mix well, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
- You can serve the juice at room temperature, or chilled with ice.
Ukrainian cuisine is a delicious combination of traditions, history, and the abundance of our land’s natural wealth. Historically, Ukrainian cuisine and all the dishes we cook day-to-day combine many cultural and culinary influences from various European countries, whilst also being unique in themselves.
“Ukrainian Cooking in Taras’ Kitchen” provides a variety of recipes from across Ukraine to satisfy everyone’s appetite!
Christmas & Easter are beloved celebrations not only in Ukraine, but all around the world. These days are special, as they bring entire families together. Christmas Eve dinner usually consists of 12 traditional dishes – Taras lays out his favourite 12 Christmas dishes in this holiday cookbook, followed by a guide for the essential elements for your Easter basket. Enjoy traditions, holiday recipes, and time spent with family – cooking with Taras’ Kitchen!