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. carnation 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, carnation 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.

    Potato chocolate cake

    October 25th, 2011 § 0

    • 200 gr potatoes
    • 2 eggs
    • 20 gr hazelnut (roasted)
    • 170 gr flour
    • 50 gr dark chocolate(grated)
    • 100 gr butter
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 packet baking powder
    • 2 T milk
    • 1 t cinnamon powder
    • 1 t carnation powder
    • 1 t vanilla powder
    • a pinch of  salt

    Peel potatoes and grate them.

    Cream butter and  sugar and until fluffy. Add eggs one by one by beating the mixture well. Add vanilla powder.

    In a seperate bowl mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, carnation, salt and crushed hazelnuts. Combine them to the egg mixture.

    Add grated chocolate and milk. Stir well.

    Pour batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Sprinkle top, the rest of the hazelnuts. 

    Bake in preheated 180° C oven for about an hour.

    Quince marmalade

    November 1st, 2010 § 0

    While we leave the hot weather behind, the nature prepares for a new order. The nutriments that the human metabolism need for the cold are now in the markets, like quince. The name quince originates from Greek, ??????? (kydonia) but the tree is native to Caucasus region. 

    The term marmalade or marmelade in Portugese, refers quince marmalade from the word (marmelo) for this fruit.   

    Also, the name of a seaside town on the northwest Aegean coast of Turkey is Ayvalık (ancient Greek name ????????) meaning the place of quince. 

    I decided to prepare quince marmalade, when our neighbour at our summer house near Ayvalık brought us quinces picked from her tree. 

    • 2 quinces (approximately 500 gr)
    • 2 T lemon juice
    • 500 gr sugar
    • carnation

    Peel and slice the quinces and put them into a pan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Be careful it absorbs a lot of water. Cook until the quinces are soft and tender. After boiling without sugar, grate them or press them. 

    Put the boiled quinces into a larger pan. Add sugar, carnation, 2-3 pips and 250 gr water. Let the quince start to gel. When it will get a rich pink colour, add lemon juice and simmer for another 30 minutes. 

    Put it into a sterilized jars, label and store.

    Dark Fruitcake

    May 12th, 2010 § 7

    Although in some countries this is a traditional cake for Thanksgiving – Christmas period, anyhow it can be tried before the fresh fruits are at their cheapest and best places in the market.

    Dark Fruitcake

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 200 gr butter
  • 1/2 cup green tea
  • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. carnation
  • 1 t. ground ginger powder
  • 1 t. grinded nutmeg
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. soda
  • 1/2 cup molasses=pekmez (preferable carob molasses- keçi boynuzu pekmezi in Turkish and ???????? ??? ???????? in Greek)
  • 100 gr  dried currant
  • 100 gr dried sultanas
  • 100 gr dried apricots
  • 50 gr dried golden raisins
  • 100 gr dried prunes
  • 100 gr dried figs
  • 50 gr cranberry
  • 50 gr blueberry
  • 50 gr barberry
  • a pinch of salt
  • In a large bowl mix all the dried fruits. Add cinnamon, carnation, ginger powder, nutmeg, soda, butter and 1/2 cup tea. Let them mix well and boil for 5 minutes then set aside to cool.

    When the mixture cools add eggs, vanilla extract and the molasses. Add flour, salt and baking powder slowly by stirring the mixture.

    Put the mixture to a greased and floured cake pan. Bake in a pre-heated slow oven ,16o°C until done for about 1 hour. Like many fruit cakes, this is even more tasty after it has aged a bit. The alcohol in it allows the cake to be stored.

    Dark Fruitcake

    Carrot cup cakes on Hıdrellez

    May 5th, 2010 § 1

    Carrot cup cakes on Hıdrellez

    Carrot cup cakes on Hıdrellez

    Carrot cup cakes on Hıdrellez


    Hıdrellez, is one of the traditional festival which is celebrated on May 5 and 6 as the first days of the early summer in Turkey. It is the day of Hızır, on which prophets Hızır and Ilyas met with each other on earth. Since then the words Hızır and İlyas have pronounced as Hıdrellez. It is believed that Hızır is a prophet who has attained immortality by drinking the water of life and who has reached God. During spring, he walks among people from time to time and helps to those in difficulty and distributes wealth and health. He is the symbol of spring and the new life. The belief in Hıdrellez is widespread in Turkey and is celebrated with grand ceremonies like the traditional fire of the evening.

    On Hıdrellez (5th of May) people write down their wishes like a house or a car etc. on a memo paper and leave this paper at the foot of a rose tree, in the belief that Hıdır will come in the night to grant their wishes come true. On the morning of Hıdrellez (6th of May) people gather in a previously decided house with a courtyard or garden and sing songs. Everyone enjoys a delightful meal of cakes, pastries and other spring dishes.

    Let’s celebrate Hıdrellez with a carrot cup cake to support this tradition.

    Carrot cup cakes on Hıdrellez

    Carrot cup cakes on Hıdrellez

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cup carrot(grated)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup exrea virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup walnut (chopped)
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. carnation
  • 1 t. ground ginger powder
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 T blueberry
  • Beat egg with sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat until well blended. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Drop by spoonful on each of a paper liner.
    Bake in a pre-heated oven 18o°C for about 20 minutes. The cupcakes bake much faster as their size is efficient for heat.
    Carrot cup cakes on Hıdrellez

    Carrot cup cakes on Hıdrellez

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