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Agee

Substitute For Wheat Berries In Kutya Recipe...

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Hey there -

I am going to make kutya as one of the dishes at my annual Christmas eve party. Kutya is a traditional Russian Christmas eve dish that I believe is like a hot cereal. The main ingredient is wheat berries - you're supposed to cook them three hours then add nuts and fruit and poppy seeds and honey.

I have never had it, but since I have a son adopted from Russia I wanted to add something Russian to our (Polish) holiday party.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I was wondering about buckwheat (although I don't really like the flavor of that) or maybe quinoa? Since I've never had it I'm not sure what would be appropriate.

Agee

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Agee,

I would go with buckwheat... kasha is buckwheat, right? I think that would be very similar to wheat berries.

I'm not sure about a) finding buckwheat/kasha that is not contaminated with wheat and B) how the cooking times would compare.

Good Luck!

Pam

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Hey there -

I am going to make kutya as one of the dishes at my annual Christmas eve party. Kutya is a traditional Russian Christmas eve dish that I believe is like a hot cereal. The main ingredient is wheat berries - you're supposed to cook them three hours then add nuts and fruit and poppy seeds and honey.

I have never had it, but since I have a son adopted from Russia I wanted to add something Russian to our (Polish) holiday party.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I was wondering about buckwheat (although I don't really like the flavor of that) or maybe quinoa? Since I've never had it I'm not sure what would be appropriate.

Agee

kasha (roasted buckwheat) is an alternative, but I'd go millet over quinoa since quinoa is very small. you might even try short grain brown rice.

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How cool! I have an adopted son from Russia too! I haven't made Kutya, but we make Pelmini for lots of special occasions. No one even notices it's gluten-free. I figure that if I spend that much time making it, I'm going to eat it too! Sorry I can't help you with the Kutya - I'd try buckwheat or millet if I were you.

Good luck!

Liz

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Thanks for the responses.

I have some buckwheat that I used for kasha and it didn't seem to bother me, although I also didn't like it very much! I am going to try the millet. Someone else suggested using cream of rice because some recipes call for cream of wheat, but I get the impression that kutya is supposed to be more of a whole-grain type thing as opposed to a creamy porridge-like thing. I am also going to go to Wholefoods and quiz them for suggestions.

How do you make gluten-free pelmini? Do you just use gluten-free flour mix for the dough? Every xmas eve we have a big party for our friends and family and we serve 10 dozen pierogi (which are the same as pelmini, but my husband is Polish so to us they are pierogi) and every year until now I have made them. This year I ordered them because they take all day long to make and I told him there was no way I was spending a whole day cooling something I couldn't eat - not to mention having my hands in gluten filled dough all day long. I could just see how I would spend my Xmas.

But gluten-free ones? Hmm.... I love, love, love sauerkraut pierogi. Let me know how you do them and perhaps I'll whip up my own little batch of dumplings. Mmmm.

Agee

p.s. congratulations on the adoption of your son! It's added a whole new dimension to our lives.

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Thanks for the responses.

How do you make gluten-free pelmini? Do you just use gluten-free flour mix for the dough?

Hi "Agee",

We all love pelmini. A Ukrainian friend gave me a special pelmini maker that has come in really handy. You might be able to find one at a Russian specialty store or maybe even a specialty kitchen shop. I'll try to explain it. It's about 16" in diameter and has lots of little hexagon shaped holes in it. You roll out the dough, lay it on the "mold", put your filling in each little indentation, lay another piece of dough on top and then roll it with a rolling pin several times. This seals the edge of each pelmini and cuts them. Then you turn it upside-down and pop them right out. We went to a Russian restaurant and their pelmini was the same shape. They are small, smaller than the traditional ones that are folded so neatly, but they are so easy to make that we have them much more often than if I have to cut out circles and fold them up.

My gluten eating kids have all assured me that my gluten-free pelmini tastes just as good as the restaurant stuff. Here's the dough recipe. It keeps well in the refrigerator for several days too. I have made buttered noodles with the same dough. The original recipe calls for egg, but I am allergic to eggs, so I leave it out. You could add an egg and reduce the amount of water.

For a large batch:

1-1/4 C Brown Rice Flour

1/2 C Potato Starch

1/4 C Tapioca Flour

generous 2-1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 Tbs. oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4+ C Water

Sift dry ingredients 3 times. Add oil and water. You will probably need to add a little more water, but do it slowly. Stir until dough forms a ball. Make sure it is not dry! It should be smooth and almost creamy. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out on board dusted with Tapioca flour.

Hope you have luck with it! Which region is your son from? Ours is from Tomsk, in Siberia. He came to us at age 7 and he actually knew how to help make pelmini - he's the best "folder" of the bunch, so I always leave a little dough out to make a few the "old-fashioned" way.

Liz

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My son is from Voronezh and was adopted at 15 mos. so he doesn't know how to make pelmini! He knows how to make a mess, however. :)

I have often thought that when he gets older (he's 3 right now) we might adopt an older child (younger than him, but older than 3). I have two boys and I'd really love a girl, but I am done with babies! I also thought one of the summer programs might be a good way for us to adopt the next one, if we end up doing it. Did you use a summer program?

I hope that the confusion in Russia clears up soon. I feel for those who are waiting - especially the children. It's taking so much longer now than it used to. For little ones, like mine was, it's not such a big deal because they don't know the difference. It must be so painful for the older ones, though!

Thank you for the pelmini recipe and I'll have to look for the pelmini maker. Pierogi are larger and I have a pierogi press, but that sounds like a fun little device.

Hey - I am going to be the Russian adoption blogger on adoption dot com (I'm not sure if I can post a URL here and have it come out). Would you mind if I use your recipe in my blog? It will belaunched after the holidays.

Thanks,

Adrienne/Agee

p.s. I have discovered that kutya is supposed to be creamy. I am going to use a combination of cream of rice and flaxmeal. I'm not going to make much, though. I don't think this will be as popular as the pierogi and kielbasa I also serve. I've heard you're also supposed to throw kutya on the ceiling to see if it will stick. It predicts something about the coming year. Our house is on the market, however, so we'll not be throwing food around this Christmas eve.

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Did you use a summer program?

I am going to be the Russian adoption blogger on adoption dot com (I'm not sure if I can post a URL here and have it come out). Would you mind if I use your recipe in my blog? It will belaunched after the holidays.

Thanks,

Adrienne/Agee

Our little guy stayed with us for 2 weeks during the summer before we adopted him. It only took 4 months from the time he went home until we travelled to adopt him. Those programs are great - it would be almost impossible to adopt an older child successfully without doing it, at least in my opinion.

We are having him tested for Celiac, along with our bio kids next week. A good friend of my sister-in-law has two kids adopted from Siberia and they both have celiac disease. So I figure it would be a good idea to get him tested just in case. I'll laugh if he's positive and my bio kids aren't.

Good luck with your Kutya! I would love to see someone toss it up to the ceiling!

And feel free to use the pelmini recipe.

Liz

Edited by lonewolf

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