Smooth, silky and sweet Muhallabi recipe. A Middle Eastern milk and cornstarch pudding flavoured with cardamom, rose water and topped with pistachios.
When I look back, it seems all my strongest childhood memories are from the food my mom and grandmother cooked. I think my love of cooking came from memories of watching and helping my mum in the kitchen. As a kid, I was in love with wholesome desserts such as Muhallabi, Custard and Chocolate Pudding. Muhallabi, pronounced as Moo-hal-la-bee , is a smooth, aromatic and delicious Iraqi dessert. This rich and creamy dessert is a combination of corn starch pudding, cardamom, rose water and nuts. At home in Iraq my mum would make a big pot of warm, creamy and sweet Muhallabi. It would be dished out in smaller bowls, topped with pistachios, and handed to each one of us to eat as an evening snack.
Muhallabi is also commonly served for dessert during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. Sweet food is particularly sought after during Ramadhan because sugar gives people a most wanted burst of energy. That’s why Muhallabi fills so many Ramadan tables across the Middle East. My grandmother, however, used to make Muhallabi for us to eat during suhoor, a hearty meal to prepare our bodies for fasting, along with rice and vermicelli noodles. Not many families share this tradition but it was surely my grandmother’s way to keep our hunger and thirst in check.
Muhallabi is so worth trying and is a very pleasant reminder of childhood. The creamy corn starch pudding and the crunchy nuts make this dessert irresistible warm or cold. Muhallabi is typically served warm in the winter and cold in the summer. If you’ve never made homemade pudding before, now is your chance. Muhallabi is a great one to start with because it’s so easy to throw together and you don’t have to wait for Ramadan to make it. Go make this pudding!!! It would be a perfect sweet dessert that all your family will enjoy 🙂
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons rose water
- A pinch of cardamom
- Pistachios to decorate
- In a medium saucepan, add cornstarch, sugar and milk together.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and lower the heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until you get a creamy consistency.
- Add the cardamom and rose water while stirring.
- Pour the mixture into individual bowls.
- Decorate with pistachios.
Notes: watch the milk while it’s boiling carefully. You don’t want to end up burnt milk and neither are chunks of cornstarch.