Question. What is Koliva?
Answer. Koliva are boiled wheat kernels which are blended with various nuts, herbs and sweeteners and it is a customary practice according to Greek orthodox church tradition to bring the prepared koliva in church at various intervals after a death, a funeral or a memorial service (mnimosino). The preparation of koliva is done by family members. Due to its sweet pleasant taste it is also consumed as a dessert on non-religious occasions.

Koliva (sweetened wheat kernels) photo | Learn greek dishes from online videos | myGreekRecipes.com

Tips, tricks and info on how to make Koliva


Nutritional information


Recipe directions

  • Place the wheat kernels in hot water or even better bring to a boil, and immediately shutt off the heat. Let kernels soak in the hot water over night. Next morning, boil at medium low heat for about 3 hours or until kernels are plump (not under or over cooked).
  • When done, strain the water using a colander.
  • Place the kernels over a table cloth.
  • Let the kernels dry over night in the refrigerator wrapped in the table cloth until all moisture is gone. If not dry by morning leave another 12-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Once the kernels are dry you will add all the ingredients.
  • Chop the nuts and place them in a bowl.
  • Sauté the seeds at medium low heat until slightly colored.
  • Crush the sautéed seeds by using a pestle & mortar.
  • Add the chopped herbs.
  • Pour the complete nut mixture onto the dried wheat kernels.
  • Blend everything very well.
  • If the whole batch is to used right away, you may add some pomegranate kernels at this point.
  • Do NOT add the sugar to the complete batch unless it will be eaten within the hour.
  • If you wish you may freeze the mixture and use when needed.
  • For a personal portion a good ratio of wheat mixture to sugar is 8:2; 8 tbsp of wheat mixture to 2 tbsp of sugar.

NOTE: If this Greek recipe is of interest to you, you may watch our video with step by step instructions and precise ingredient amounts. Koliva video

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