A homemade pudding is also always a declaration of love for me. I’m not talking about those instant blends. I mean rolling up your sleeves and working with a measuring cup and a scale. Measure, stir, wait for the right moment, then take off the stove and enjoy the first spoon. Hmmm… And if you (like me) love pudding, then you absolutely must try Mahalabia.
Mahalabia is a milk pudding which is not only at home in the Levant but in the whole Orient. Of course every family here has its own recipe. This recipe for the delicious milk pudding is from my mother. Actually you make Mahalabia only with milk, but in our home recipe you also get a good shot of cream. This makes the pudding a bit velvety and fuller in taste. Cardamom and a few drops of orange blossom water provide the fine something.
Mahalabia is easy and quickly made
I am always really amazed at how few ingredients the best recipes actually require. For Mahalabia there are only six ingredients. And actually you don’t even need cutlery. As a child I liked to grab some butter cookies and then “spoon” the pudding with the cookies. The preparation is so easy and quick that you really don’t have to worry about getting stressed.
Today I like to make a fruity topping and garnish mahalabia with chopped pistachios. With the topping you can let your imagination run wild. As a little help for inspiration, the recipe includes a strawberry-rhubarb compote with a touch of rose water. It tastes fresh, fruity and sweet. As the pudding itself is not that sweet, the compote is a perfect topping. But as I said, you can completely let yourself go here. For example, you can also just puree some strawberries. Or you can serve Mahalabia (or Muhalabiye / Mahalabiyeh) with fresh raspberries, currants, gooseberries or just pure with butter cookies. Either way: you will definitely deserve a kiss after you serve it.
Recipe for Mahalabia: Levantine pudding
- 500 ml Milk
- 200 ml Cream
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 40 g Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Kardamom ground
- 1 tsp Orange blossom water
- 200 g Strawberries
- 100 g Rhubarb
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Rose water
- 10 g Crushed pistachios
- Put all ingredients cold in a pot and stir with a whisk until the sugar and starch are completely dissolved.
- Bring to the boil while stirring until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Then heat for 1 minute more while stirring and then pour into dessert glasses. Leave to cool completely.
- Peel the rhubarb.
- Chop strawberries and rhubarb and simmer with sugar and rose water in a saucepan on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir and let cool down.
- Top mahalabia with compote and pistachios and serve.