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Memorial Koliva

Koliva is a traditional memorial dish in the Orthodox Church. If you need this recipe, our hearts go out to you. We are sorry for your loss. It's wonderful when food and love mix like this. High Fiber, Lactose Free, Soy Free, Vegan.


Step 1

Soak wheat berries for 4 hours. Do not oversoak!

Step 2

Boil berries in lightly salted water for about an hour. They should look like bloated berries and NOT like bulgur or rice. Give the berries a little taste. Berries should be tender, chewy and pop a little in your mouth. It should not be tough to chew them.

Step 3

Strain berries and rinse in cool water. Let the berries drain for about 10 minutes.

Step 4

Cover a table with some towels and dry berries on the towels for about an hour. You are drying the outside, not the inside!

Step 5

After the drying, berries can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours.

Step 6

Combine graham cracker crumbs, raisins, sesame seeds, sugar, walnuts, slivered almonds, spices, parsley and salt. Stir into the wheat berries.

The following steps are to be done at church:

Step 7

Arrange doilies on the platter and mound the Koliva on top of them.

Step 8

Flatten the mound with waxed paper. Remove the waxed paper.

Step 9

Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs over the mound and flatten again.

Step 10

Sift confectioners sugar over the mound and flatten again.

Step 11

Create a cross in the center of the Koliva with Jordan almonds or almond slivers.

Step 12

Make the initials of the deceased with Jordan almonds or almond slivers. Decorate edges if desired.

Makes about 25 servings.


Eat it the same day you make it. This cannot be frozen, stored or saved in any way. The texture only lasts a few hours. It is outstanding on ice cream and has been referred to as "sheer joy" by Russians and Greeks alike!
Memorial Koliva

Servings: 25



Products Used in this Recipe

Grains Beans Seeds
Organic Hard Red Spring Wheat

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Baking Aids

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Grains Beans Seeds
White Hulled Sesame Seeds

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Baking Aids

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Baking Aids
Slivered Almonds

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Baking Aids
Sea Salt

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3 Reviews

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Elana March 21, 2014
Thank you so much for the description at the beginning of this recipe. I'm a fan of your products and found this link on a Google search. It brought tears to my eyes the sympathy you showed. It means a lot for our grief to be recognized. God bless!
Roberta December 31, 2014
Thank you so much. This will be my first time to make Koliva for my sister who in late Nov. 2014.
Lea March 20, 2015
Thank you for honoring our tradition!
I make koliva at church for our memorial services. It is my experience that one hour drying time is not nearly enough. Leave them to dry overnight on layers of (bath) towels. Otherwise they are too mushy when arranged on the tray.

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