Instant Pot Ukrainian Compote – Stewed fruit

With all of the hectic activity around the holidays, it’s nice to have something that’s super easy.  On Christmas Eve, a fruit compote (or stewed fruit) made with dried fruit is a traditional end to the meal.  The Instant Pot makes the dish amazingly easy and much less time consuming than soaking the fruit overnight.

I use prunes, dried apricots, dried apple rings and raisins.  But, you can use any combination of dried fruits.

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Pampushky – Ukrainian Donuts with poppy seed and raisin filling

Pampushky are a traditional Christmas dessert. Starting with a bread dough, they are deliciously filled with poppy seeds and dried fruit and deep fried.  My grandmother used to make prune pampushky.   But, here I’m making poppy seed and raisin filling.

It’s a recipe that only uses the Instant Pot for the rising for the yeast dough.  You can also put the dough in a warm place – like an oven.  But, this is not a quick recipe.

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Instant Pot Pidpenky – Dried Mushrooms with Gravy

This traditional recipe works with any kind of dried mushrooms – morels, cepes, or shiitake.  And, using the Instant Pot saves more than an entire day of soaking time.  If you want to forgo even that hydration time, use fresh mushrooms like cremini.

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Mushroom Vushka – Dumplings for borscht

These beautiful little boiled dumplings (also known as tiny varenyky and ooshka) are filled with tasty mushrooms and dill.  The first recipe I’m adding that doesn’t use the Instant Pot! Boiling isn’t recommended in there.  But, we’ll save time by using pre-made dumpling wrappers.

These boiled Vushka (вуха) are meant to look like pigs’ ears.  They are served inside a bowl of borscht and make the Christmas Eve dinner of Sviata Vecheria special.

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An Instant Pot Sviata Vecheria – Ukrainian Christmas Eve Menus

Christmas Eve is coming soon, as they say.  I say it’s the most important Ukrainian food holiday of the year.

Sviata vecheria is an overwhelming meal to make.  But, a lot of the cooking time can be sped up using the Instant Pot with the recipes here on Instant Ukrainian.

A small bowl of kutiaHolubtsi / Cabbage rolls ready to eatFinished mashed beans piled in a serving dishBorscht in a bowl ready to eatMushroom vushkaVarenyky - Pyrohy Dough
Instant Pot Braised Red CabbagePidpenky with gravy ready to be servedCompote - stewed fruit with almonds ready to servePampushky - Ukrainian Donuts with poppy seed and raisin filling
There are a lot of options for making a traditional or more modern version of the Sviata vecheria meal.

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Modern Instant Pot Kutia

This is a more modern version of kutia. My baba liked the addition of the dried fruit and nuts – it’s more extravagant than her Traditional Kutia recipe.  This is my “healthier” version.

What’s kutia and how do I say it?

Kutia or Kutya (pronounced coo-tcha) is one of the most important dishes in all of Ukrainian cuisine.  It’s a big hassle to make – but not with an Instant Pot.

This is boiled wheat.  Pretty basic but wheat is the centre of Ukrainian culture and farming.  When I was younger, I was told that the yellow half of the bottom of the Ukrainian flag symbolized the wheat fields and the blue band on the top symbolized the sky.  Now, that there’s Wikipedia, I’ve learned the flag pre-dates Christianity in the Ukraine but that story developed around 1845.  To sum up, wheat’s  important.

This recipe saves you from soaking the wheat overnight and over 2 hours of cooking time!

White wheat kernels arranged in one layer Continue reading “Modern Instant Pot Kutia”