Incredibly easy Middle Eastern dessert, Mahalabia is my go-to quick dessert. It has a rich, milky taste and a floral aroma of rose water, a light and creamy texture with a smoothness that could surely win anyone's heart.
I was visiting Egypt last month, and my mother made me Mahalabia. She knows it is my favourite dessert ever. My mother used to make me this dessert in the month of Ramada. However, I make it all year round 😊.
My recipe is super creamy, delicious and mouthwatering. Even toddlers can enjoy this food without a problem. The dish is soft and easy to swallow; hence young ones can enjoy it just the same as the oldies.
I love to serve this dish for dessert after a well-prepared meal. My kids go crazy for it. If you try this dessert; I am sure you and your family will love it.
In this recipe, I like to add 1 cup of heavy cream for each 1L of milk; it is optional to add the heavy cream, but believe me, it really adds richness to this dessert.
I also flavor it with both vanilla extract and a few drops of rose water, which is also optional; you can just go with vanilla. I know some people don't like the taste of rose water in their desserts.
The topping is totally customizable; I actually add what I have on hand. Sometimes nuts, dried fruits, or just sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top.
Note: This is an overview of the ingredients. See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Whole Milk. For a rich taste and texture I use whole milk. However, To make this recipe vegan, use non-dairy milk instead of whole milk and heavy cream.
Whipping Cream. It gives the dish richness.
Cornstarch (Cornflour). For a creamy and thick texture for my milk pudding. I highly recommend measuring the cornstarch correctly because exceeding the required amount will harden the Mahalabia.
Note: You may use rice flour instead of cornstarch; however, the texture will not be as smooth as when using cornstarch.
Granulated Sugar. To sweeten my dessert.
Vanilla Extract. Vanilla extract is the added flavor to my milk pudding.
Rose Water (optional). You can optionally add rose water to give your dish a floral aroma.
Toppings: I used pistachio, dried rose petals, shredded coconut, and raisins as toppings. I chose pistachio for a rich flavor, dried rose petals for a lovely hue, shredded coconut for added texture, and raisins for more sweetness.
Tip: To spice up your dessert, add ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg to your milk mixture.
How To Make Mahalabia?
One: In a small pot, mix milk, cream, sugar, and corn starch/cornflour over medium heat, whisk well until combined.
Two: Bring to a boil, whisk continuously until it starts to thicken ( about 8-10 minutes). (make sure to continue whisking, or the milk may burn)
Three: Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and rose water (if used).
Four: Pour in small dessert glasses or bowls and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Five: Garnish with nuts, rose petals and coconut, then serve.
Tip: This dish is best consumed when chilled. Let it cool down at room temperature before refrigerating it for a few hours.
Serve this homemade Mahalabia with green tea or strong black coffee to complement the nice milky and creamy taste of the dish.
A glass of fresh orange juice is also a good pair to this incredibly delicious dessert.
Keep it chilled in the refrigerator for up to three days. The dish has milk in it, so it is not advisable to keep it longer than three days. Also, I don't recommend freezing this dish at all; freezing this dessert ruins its texture completely.
More Middle Eastern Dessert Recipes
- Sahlab (Mediterranean Milk Pudding)
- Om Ali – Egyptian Bread Pudding Recipe
- Rice Pudding Recipe
- Kahk El Eid
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Mahalabia (Milk Pudding)
- In a small pot, mix milk, cream, sugar, and corn starch/cornflour over medium heat, whisk well until combined.
- Bring to a boil, whisk continuously until it starts to thicken ( about 8-10 minutes). (make sure to continue whisking, or the milk may burn)
- Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and rose water (if used).
- Pour in small dessert glasses or bowls and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Garnish with nuts, rose petals and coconut, then serve.