Strawberry dessert – Ukrainian kysil

Kysil is a delicious and easy-to-make Ukrainian fruit or berry dish.

It can be either very diluted and served as a drink or cooked a little bit stiffer and eaten as a dessert (more like custard but not as firm as jelly) with whipped sour cream on top. Kysil is usually thickened with starch, either potato starch, cornstarch, or potato flour.

If you don’t have strawberries, you can use some other berries you have or like. For instance, cranberries, cherries, sour cherries, etc.

Ingredients:

  • 2 l (liter) of water
  • 300 g (10, 5 oz) strawberries
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar
  • 2-6 tbsp starch

Cooking

Bring 1 liter of water to boil. Add washed strawberries to the pan. Cook them over low heat for 20-30 minutes (do not bring berries to boil - only steam them – to preserve healthy properties).

In a separate bowl, dissolve 4-5 tbsp of starch in 1 liter of chilled water (give it a good stir and make sure there are no lumps).  Do not dissolve starch in advance since it will sink to the bottom.

Pour in the dissolved starch into the pan and mix everything carefully. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Depending on the density you wish to get, you can put more or less tablespoons of starch. Put 1 tbsp of starch if you want to make a dense drink. Put 2-3 tbsp of starch to give the dessert a thinner consistency, and add 6 tbsp of starch to make kysil as stiff as jelly. You should also consider that when your dessert get cooled, it’ll become denser.

At the end stir in the sugar (you can put more or fewer spoons of sugar depending on your liking and the sweetness of your berries).

Turn off the fire. Let kysil cool for a couple of minutes.

Portion the dessert into individual dessert bowls or in one large soup bowl (as most Ukrainian grandmothers did) by pouring the mixture through the sieve. Garnish kysil with fresh strawberries and put it in the fridge until set, for about 3 hours.

Serve chilled.

Enjoy your meal!

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