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Recipe: Pansperma/Panskarpia

September 25, 2010

Pankarpia (all fruits) or Pansperma (all seeds) is a mixture of several kinds of fruit or seeds offered to the dead on the third day, Chytroi, of the Anthesteria. In Christian Byzantium, panskarpia became the offering of kollyba (kolyva, koliva, kollyva and kolliva), a dish of boiled wheat, which was distributed to the congregation for memorials. Various ingredients are added to the kollyba such as sugar or honey, barley, rice, oats, buckwheat, pomegranite seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, raisins, figs, dates, parsley, mint, cinnamon and nuts.  It is can also be placed in your ktesios jar as an offering to Zeus Ktesios (of the pantry).  I think it is the perfect dish to celebrate the harvest season.

Put the lid on a new two-eared Kadiskos, crown the ears with white wool and let down the ends of…the thread from the right shoulder and the forehead and place in it whatever you can find and pour into it ambrosia. Now ambrosia is pure water, olive oil and pankarpia. Pour in these.” Exegetikon of Antikleides


If you don’t have maple syrup, substitute honey.  I typically use almonds, pecans and/or sunflower seeds.  I prefer to use pomegranate seeds for the fruit but it is also good with berries.  Lemon juice helps fruit retain its color.  The items is paratheses is the metaphysical meaning of the ingeredient according to Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Herbs.

½ c Wheat (prosperity)
¼ c Barley (dispels negativity, love, healing, protection)
4 3/4 cup water, divided
2T apple juice (love, healing)
1T honey (sweetness)
1T maple syrup (love, longevity, money)
1T olive oil (peace, healing, protection, potency)
½ t cinnamon (spirituality, success, healing, power, protection, love)
pinch of Chili Pepper (fidelity, hex-breaking, love), Optional
½ t vanilla (strengthen mental abilities)
2t lemon juice (longevity, purification, love, friendship), Optional
½ c nuts and seeds
½ c fruit
powered sugar, to taste

Soak wheat over night in 1 3/4 cups of water.  Add the barley and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil then simmer until grains are soft about 30-60 minutes. Drain, rinse and cool.

In a small, heat safe bowl, mix apple juice, honey, maple syrup (if using), olive oil, cinnamon, chili powder (if using), lemon juice (if using) and vanilla. Heat just until honey and syrup readily mixes in.

In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients, except powdered sugar. Add the liquid mixture to the bowl and stir well. Taste then add powdered sugar if necessary.  Dish should be slightly sweet.  Chill and serve.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2010 3:46 AM

    I have never tried something like this before and it sounds like an interesting idea. It sounds very healthy… and i love to try it 🙂


    • September 26, 2010 7:26 AM

      I took it to a harvest party last night. It received very good reviews. 🙂


  2. September 28, 2010 1:56 AM

    Sounds like a wonderful idea, but the name is not very appetizing… Someone has self-published at Lulu a cookbook with recipes where the one specific sort of seeds are used.


    • September 28, 2010 7:56 AM

      I suppose you could call it what the Greek Orthodox Church calls it kollyba, kollyva…something like that. Personally I have no issue with the name…but then I have no issue with nudity or calling body parts but their proper names either. A lot of people do.



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