Koliva – Memorial Wheatberries
2 cups wheat berries
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cups fine ground bread crumbs (unsalted)
1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
- Place the wheat berries in a medium pot and fill with tap water. Allow the wheat berries to soak overnight.
- Drain wheat berries, place them back in the pot and cover with water. Turn the heat to medium and once aboil, simmer for approx. an hour until tender (taste one).
- Transfer to a strainer and then spread out on a tablecloth covered countertop. Allow about 12 hours to dry.
- Place the wheatberries in a large bowl and add the walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, raisins, pomegranate and 1/4 of the bread crumbs and cinnamon, stir to combine.
- Transfer to a bowl or a tray of your choice for presentation. Cut off a sheet of parchment or wax paper and place on top to press down and compact the mixture. Form a mound or flat surface, according to your tastes.
- Top the surface with remaining breadcrumbs and once again place parchment paper on top and press down to smooth out.
- Now top with powdered sugar layer, place parchment on and press down to smooth out.
- Decorate with dried fruit, nuts or silver candies (sold at Greek bakeries). A cross should be included in your design. This step can be done the night before the memorial or the morning of. Do not cover or place in a fridge.
- To serve at church, purchase small cups, paper bags or zip lock bags along with plastic spoons to give out in memory of your departed loved one.
NOTE: Got a pressure cooker or Insta-pot? Place the wheatberries in your pressure cooker/insta-pot with 3 to 1 water to wheatberries ratio. Seal according to mfgr’s instructions. Once seal has formed (pressure cooker begins to whistle), cook for 35 mins. Safely release steam, place cooked wheatberries in a colander to drain and cool.