Believe us when we say that koliva is a heavenly dessert. Imagine earthy wheat, fresh herbs, various toasted nuts and pomegranate seeds blanketed with powdered sugar! But to many of us this dessert is quite misunderstood since it is heavy with ritual significance. In the Greek Orthodox religion the dish is traditionally served at funerals and memorial services.

Serves: 10 Prep. time: 10′ + 4h waiting time Cooks in: b 1:10′ Ready in: 1:20′

500 g wheat berries soaked overnight
50 g all purpose flour (baked in the oven for 20 min. at 170C/fan)
40 g dried breadcrumbs
7 tbsp granulated sugar
50 g sesame seeds, toasted
50 g white almonds toasted, coarsely chopped
50 g hazelnuts toasted, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp spearmint leaves finely chopped
1 tbsp marjoram leaves finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
1 pomegranate, the seeds
1½ tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder

NOTE: This dessert should be served immediately and preserved in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.


Step 1
In a large pan filled with plenty of water add ½ tsp salt and boil wheat for 1 hour, until kernels open. Drain and put under tap water. Spread wheat out on clean white towel laid out on a stone surface to dry (about 4-5 hours).

Step 2
In a bowl mix well flour with breadcrumbs and then stir in wheat, to remove any moisture. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Photo – Food styling: Stavros Pehlivanidis – Eleni Petalidou (Majeriko)

Και η ελληνική συνταγή: Σαμιώτικα κόλλυβα