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.

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