Russian Christmas Recipes
In celebration of the holidays, I would like to share with you two traditional Russian Christmas recipes that will spice up and distinguish your dinner table.
1. Sochivo or Kutya
Sochivo is wheat Lenten kasha with dried berries and honey, which is served as a principal dish on Christmas Eve.
14 oz wheat
3 oz honey
6 oz poppy seeds
6 oz walnuts
salt to taste
Wash wheat in cold water. Fill pan with water, add wheat and bring to a boil over the stove. Drain and wash the wheat under cold water. Place wheat back in the pan, cover with water and bring to a boil again over the stove. Cover the pan and allow wheat to simmer for 45 minutes, or place covered pan in the oven until soft.
Remove wheat from stove or oven and allow to cool. In the meantime, wash poppy seeds, scald in boiling water, rinse and strain under cold water and then grind thoroughly until white.
Combine poppy seeds and cooled wheat in a large bowl. Add the honey. Salt to taste and sprinkle with walnuts.
If the mixture is thicker than preferred, add a small amount of water.
Serve in a bowl and enjoy!
2. Archangel Kozulya Cookie
Kozulya is a cookie in the shape of a deer, goat or sheep. They are traditionally enjoyed during the first days of the Christmas season.
100g unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and cardamom
Melt half of the sugar in a pan over medium heat, stirring till it turns dark brown. Add the water to dissolve the sugar and make a caramel. Pour the mixture into a deep pan. Add the butter and remaining sugar. Bring to room temperature and add the egg yolks, baking soda, salt, spices and mix well until a dough is formed. Add as much flour as necessary – the pastry should be pliable but not sticky. Wrap in cling film and chill for 24 hrs. Sprinkle flour onto a clean surface and roll the dough out to a 6-7mm thickness. Cut into desired shapes and bake at 325 F for 20-25 min or till golden.
Decorate to your liking!