It seems that there can be nothing easier than just mixing water, simple syrup and starch together in order to create a new dish or drink. However, modern fruit and berry kissels came into being quite recently, in the beginning of the 19th century, and instantly gained popularity among the well-off.

Originally, in Rus’ kissel looked like a floury jelly. It was cooked with the leaven and served as a second course because it was highly nutritious and almost tasteless. It was cooked on the basis of such grains as peas, oats and millet. Pea kissel was a popular dish among Moscow coachmen who ate it with whether melted butter or vegetable oil. It was a variety of street food sold by the peddler of that time.

In the old recipes of kissel there are two main distinctions from the modern ones which we are used to. First, in the old days kissels were denser, i.e. our ancestors most likely ate it with spoons rather than drinking it.  Second, only fresh fruits and berries were used in the old recipes of this dessert. Recent ones include compotes, juices and syrups. One of the most health beneficial and nutritious kissels is probably sea buckthorn kissel.

Sea buckthorn is a delicious and healthy berry, which ripens in the late fall. Sea buckthorn is rich in vitamins necessary in the winter time to support our immune system. Also, it has low sugar content, but a lot of organic acids which give a sour tart taste to the berries.

Due to its special taste, sea buckthorn is mostly consumed as a vitamin supplement, or in compotes, jams and kissel. Try cooking sea buckthorn kissel which is especially good for children. You will spend minimum time and your kids will love this drink.


  • 1-2 cups sea buckthorn berries

  • 2 Tbsp potato starch

  • 7 cups water

  • sugar to taste


First, you need to wash and sort out the berries. You can rub them through a sieve or use a blender, then squeeze the juice from the berries. Put the juice in the refrigerator to cool. Cook the compote of the remaining cake. Add water to the cake and boil on low for 5-6 minutes. Then strain the decoction and add sugar to taste. Lead sweet sea buckthorn compote to a boil and leave on low heat.

The crucial point is the addition of starch. To do this dissolve 2 tablespoons of starch in cold water in a separate glass. This should be done just before adding to the hot liquid, otherwise there will be lumps. Quickly dissolve starch in the water, stirring it constantly. Then introduce it into the sea buckthorn compote in a thin trickle, constantly and intensively stirring. Kissel should not boil. At the very end add the cooled sea buckthorn juice, stir and remove from heat. Kissel is traditionally served chilled, but it’s a matter of taste.

Bon appetite and stay healthy!