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Koliva is boiled wheat with typically prepared with powdered sugar, almonds, ground nuts, cinnamon,raisins and more.  It is made for memorials, typically on Saturdays of the Souls, funerals, and other memorial services


Course: Dessert, Side Dish
Author: AllExperts


  • 1 cup hulled wheat
  • 4 cup water
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped nuts walnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup raisins golden or regular
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or mint
  • 1 tsp cinnamon and other spices to taste

For the Topping

  • 1 cup fine crumbs graham crackers
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 pound sugar-coated almonds or Jordan Almonds


  • Rinse, drain and cook the wheat in the water according to package instructions (about 1 hour in boiling water) – For help, visit: http://www.tasteofhome.com/healthy/live-well/smart-eating/how-to-cook-whole-grains
  • Drain wheat and put into large bowl. Blanch it (cover with very cold water) to stop the cooking. Allow the wheat to drain overnight.
  • The morning of the memorial service, mix together the wheat, nuts, raisins, herbs, and spices.
  • Transfer to serving bowl. Use wax paper to flatten the top of the koliva in the bowl.
  • Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the koliva mixture.
  • Sift the powdered sugar to coat the top.
  • Decorate the top with the sugar-coated almonds. It is traditional to make a cross in the center.
  • Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Make sure to arrive early at the service to give the koliva and a list of names of your departed friends and family members to the priest.

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