Traditional mahalabia (Middle Eastern milk pudding)

    3 hours 30 min

    Mahalabia, also known as muhalabia, muhallabia or mahalebi, is a Middle Eastern dessert of boiled milk similar to Blancmange. It is slightly sweetened and flavoured with rose or orange water. It is extremely easy to make, it takes only a few minutes, then it is chilled in the fridge.


    Dorset, England, UK
    8 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 5 tablespoons cornflour
    • 500ml full fat milk
    • 500ml evaporated milk
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon rose water or orange water
    • seeds of 4 cardamom pods, finely crushed
    • chopped pistachios for garnish
    • 4 tablespoons diluted rose syrup (optional)

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:3hr chilling  ›  Ready in:3hr30min 

    1. In a small bowl stir the cornflour with 3 tablespoons of the milk until smooth.
    2. Place the cornflour paste, both types of milk and the sugar in a heavy based saucepan and stir to mix.
    3. Bring to the boil on medium heat, Cook until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the mahalabia resembles thick custard, about 5 minutes. Now you need to be careful here as the milk can burn if your heat is not low enough, or if the pan doesn't have a thick enough base. If the milk starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, do not scrape it.
    5. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water and crushed cardamom seeds.
    6. Pour into serving dishes or cups and place in the fridge to cool for at least 3 hours. It will thicken when cold. If you are going to chill it overnight, cover the dishes with cling film or saucers to prevent the pudding from absorbing any smells but also to stop the surface from becoming dry.
    7. To serve, drizzle the rose syrup over it (if using) and sprinkle with pistachios.

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