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Rhubarb-Strawberry Kisel

Strawberry-rhubarb kisel

A favorite Ukrainian treat.

“Depending on how much cornstarch you’re using, kisel can be a thick drink or a light dessert you can eat with a spoon. Both ways are delicious and remind me of my early childhood when I would have kisel and cookies as a snack before a late-afternoon nap. That was the only way my grandma could trick me into going to sleep in the middle of the day,” writes author Anna Voloshyna in her new book BUDMO! Recipes from a Ukrainian Kitchen (on sale September 2022).

For every cookbook purchased from now until June 1 on Rizzoli Bookstore, Rizzoli New York will donate 10 percent of all proceeds to World Central Kitchen, the author’s charity of choice.


Yield:8 to 10
  • 6 oz. rhubarb, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 6 oz. strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 1/2 quarts plus 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Tools:medium pot, small bowl, large whisk


In a medium pot, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and 2 1/2 quarts of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook, keeping the mixture just below a boil and stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb and strawberries are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the sugar, mix well with a spoon, and continue cooking until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute longer.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 cup water to make a slurry. Using a large whisk, stir the slurry into the rhubarb-strawberry mixture and continue to cook until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Serve the drink chilled or at room temperature with long dessert spoons for eating the rhubarb and berries. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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