Koliva ~ wheat berry memorial dessert (κόλλυβα)

June 14th, 2018 § 0

This food is made to remember those who have passed and treated to all in attendance to the memorial. It is made primarily of wheat berry, which symbolizes life and regeneration. Like wheat, people are buried in order to grow and have a new life. It is a fine way to honour the deceased with the food of life.

Koliva has a soft gravel like texture and served in a large tray, spooned out into cups or on small plates.

The nutritious dessert koliva, has high in fiber and provides iron and protein.

For preperation, it requires time, patience and care.

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted yellow chickpeas (sarı leblebi in Turkish) (powdered with food processor)
  • 1/2 cup petit-beurre biscuits (powdered with food processor)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 T. currants (washed and soaked)
  • 1 T. cinnamon powder
  • 1 t. clove powder
  • For topping:

  • 300 gr powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • dragees (optional)
  • de-seeded pomegranate (optional as is not always in season)
  • Rinse the wheat berries and place them in a large saucepan. Put in water and soak overnight.

    Add enough water to the pressure cooker and bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the wheat berries are tender and beginning to split but not mushy.

    Drain in the strainer to cool.

    Cover an oven tray with a clean towel and spread the wheat berries in pieces on the towel for at least 4-5 hours.

    Boil the almonds for about 5-10 minutes, in order to remove the skins. Once they are peeled, pop them into a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice to keep them nice and white.

    Then toast the almonds, walnuts and sesame seeds and allow to cool in separate bowls.

    Place the drained wheat berries in a large mixing bowl. Add the sesame seeds, sugar, powdered roasted chickpeas, powdered petit-beurres, coarsely chopped walnuts, cinnamon, clove powder and drained currants. Toss it all together.

    Transfer the mixture to a large platter or tray.

    Sift the powdered sugar over the top to coat it thickly, almost like a frosting.

    Decorate the top with the whole almonds and the dragees.

    The wheat berries can ferment if left at room temperature overnight and the sugar can crystallize in a moist environment.

    For that reason, if left by chance, cover and store refrigerated.

    Blancmange with rose water and almond

    July 10th, 2012 § 1

    Blancmange is a kind of pudding, traditionally with almonds in it. 

    The traditional blancmange is usually served in shapes.

    It is believed to come from Middle East to Europe.

    A perfect summer breeze to the palates! 

  • 2 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 T cornstarch
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 lemon zest (grated)
  • 50 gr almonds (crushed)
  • 3 T rose water
  • In a bowl combine cornstarch, milk and sugar.

    Simmer and stir occasionally. Add lemon zest and crushed almonds until the mixture thickens.

    When the mixture begins to smooth, remove from heat. Stir in rose water.

    Pour the mixture into rose shaped moulds.

    Refrigerate for 4-5 hours.

    Before serving freeze for 10 minutes and turn it out into the serving plate.

    Scatter with dried rose petals.

    Last year:  water pudding with rose water

    Easy raisin cake with almond

    January 4th, 2011 § 0

    As we welcome winter, we are seduced by sweet cakes to get extra energy. This very easy to do raisin cake keeps really well, for that reason I generally make it a day in advance. Before serving, you can warm the cake by setting it in a 100° C oven for 10 minutes.

    • 3 eggs
    • 2 cup flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup ground almonds (blanched)
    • 1/4 cup walnuts (coarsely crushed)
    • 1 T baking powder
    • 1 T raisin (yellow coloured)
    • 2 T cognac

    Beat together eggs and sugar. Add olive oil, milk and vanilla extract. Sift flour and baking powder and add it to the mixture. Put the ground almonds, the crushed walnuts and raisin. Pour 2 T cognac and stir together until smooth.

    Spoon into a greased tin. Bake 40 minutes at 180° C pre-heated oven until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

    Serve warm or leave to cool.

    Boiled wheat grain with pistachio and almond

    October 10th, 2010 § 3

    This is one of the forgotten taste by the modern life of Turkey. According to me, if we can adapt our customary nutritional habits to today?s conditions, the result will be healthier and tastier.

  • 1/2 cup wheat grain (let stay in enough water overnight)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 T almonds (finely chopped)
  • 2 T pistachios (chopped)
  • 2 T walnut (chopped)
  • 1 T orange jam (cut in small pieces)
  • Boil the wheat the next day in pressure cooker. Put the cooked wheat in a bowl. Add sugar and the remaining ingredients.

    Güllaç – starch wafers dessert

    August 21st, 2010 § 6

    Güllaç – starch wafers dessert





    Güllaç or starch wafers have a special place among the Ramazan sweets. The name derived from the words güllü aş meaning literally rose soup. It has rose water among its ingredients and therefore it has a mystical scent of the rose. This Turkish invention is so light that can be consumed any time very easily. 

    It is so practical to prepare of course if you can find this starch wafers (güllaç leaves) around. Try Turkish grocery stores. Don’t forget, a high quality of güllaç sheet transmits the back light as well as it is bright and white.         

  • 250 gr sugar
  • 10 güllaç leaves or sheets (starch wafers)
  • 1 lt milk
  • 1 T green  pistachios (shelled and chopped)
  • 100 gr slivered almonds
  • 2 T rose water
  • Heat milk and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Let it cool until room temperature.          

    Pour the milk-sugar mixture in a 35cm diameter round tray (as wide as possible). Break the sheet of güllaç into two pieces in order to fit to the tray. Then submerge it into the milk-sugar mixture and let it soften gently.
    Mix slivered almonds with 2 T sugar for the filling.
    Take the softened sheet (shiny side up) and put it into a coffee cup to form. Sprinkle the almond mixture in the center. Fold the overlapping layers and make a pack. Place it to a serving pan. Repeat with the remaining sheets. Pour the remaining milk over the packages you made in serving pan or dish. Sprinkle rosewater over them. 
    Leave to cool. Decorate with green chopped pistachios, red currants, strawberry tree fruit or pomegranate seeds. Serve cold.

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