Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Mahalabia is a Middle Eastern dessert of boiled milk, slightly sweetened and flavoured with rose or orange water. Very much like Blanc Mange, it is extremely easy to make, takes only a few minutes, then placed in the fridge to cool. Consider it the Middle East’s answer to panna cotta, minus the gelatine, which is a bonus, really! The rose syrup will enhance the flavour and the pistachios will bring a nice crunch.
  • l Litre(4 cups) Full Cream Milk
  • 5 Tbsp Cornflour
  • ½ Cup White Sugar
  • ¼ Cardamom Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Rose Water
  • Slivered Pistachios
  • 2 Tbsp of Rose Syrup
  • Pomegranate Arils
  1. Make a paste with the corn flour and about 3 Tbsp of the milk.
  2. Combine the corn flour paste the sugar,the cardamom powder and the rose water in a heavy based saucepan and stir to mix.
  3. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring it occasionally.
  4. After about 5 minutes, you'll notice the milk mixture begin to thicken slowly.
  5. Lower the heat down slightly to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes until the mahalabia resembles thick custard. 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. You don't want burnt milk or bits in your mahalabia!
  6. When the mahalabia is as thick as custard, remove from the heat and add a bit more rose water if needed.
  7. Pour into serving dishes/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 cups/dishes with cling film or saucers to prevent the Mahalabia from absorbing any smells but also to stop the surface from becoming dry.
  8. To serve, drizzle the rose syrup over it and sprinkle with nuts and pomegranate arils.
Recipe by SAPeople Tasty Recipes at