A homemade pudding is always a declaration of love for me. I don’t mean those ready-made mixtures. I mean rolling up your sleeves and working with a measuring cup and scales. Measure, stir, wait for the right moment, then take it off the cooker and nibble the first spoonful. Hmmm… And if you love pudding (like me), you must try Muhalabia.
Muhalabia is a milk pudding that is not only at home in the Levant, but throughout the Orient. Of course, every family here has its own recipe. This recipe for the delicious milk pudding is from my mother. Actually, you only make muhalabia with milk, but our home recipe also includes a good dollop of cream. This makes the pudding a little more velvety and full in flavour. Cardamom and a few drops of orange blossom water add the finishing touch.
Muhalabia is easy and quick to make
I am always really amazed at how few ingredients the best recipes actually need. For Muhalabia, there are just six ingredients. And actually, you don’t even need cutlery. When I was a child, I liked to grab a few butter biscuits and then “spoon” the pudding out with the biscuits. It’s so quick and easy to make that you really don’t have to worry about getting stressed.
Today I like to make a fruity topping and garnish muhalabia with chopped pistachios. You can let your imagination run wild with the topping. For inspiration, the recipe includes a strawberry-rhubarb compote with a touch of rose water. It tastes fresh, fruity and sweet. Since the pudding itself is not that sweet, the compote fits perfectly as a topping. But as I said, you can go completely wild here. For example, you can just puree some strawberries. Or you can serve muhalabia (or muhalabiye / mahalabiyeh) with fresh raspberries, currants, gooseberries or just plain with butter biscuits. Either way: After serving, you will definitely have earned a kiss.
Recipe for Muhalabia
Für das Erdbeer-Rhabarber-Kompott
- 200 g Strawberries
- 100 g Rhubarb
- 2 TBSP Sugar
- 1 TSP Rose water
- 10 g chopped pistachios
- Pour all the ingredients cold into a saucepan and whisk until the sugar and starch have completely dissolved.
- Bring to the boil while stirring until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Then continue to heat for 1 minute while stirring and then transfer to dessert glasses. Allow to cool completely.
- Peel the rhubarb.
- Chop the strawberries and rhubarb and simmer with the sugar and rose water in a saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir and leave to cool.
- Top the muhalabia with compote and pistachios and serve.
Be sure to try the Lebanese Nights: a layered dessert with semolina pudding, cream topping and sugar syrup.