Muhallebi: Delicious and Flavourful Middle Eastern Milk Pudding

Muhallebi also known as Mahalabia is a classic sweet milk pudding which can be prepared in 10 to 12 minutes. It is a very popular sweet treat in many Arab countries and can be prepared in any flavour of your choice.

 It is an ancient Middle Eastern dessert which is usually served in small cups and garnished beautifully with cinnamon. It is a delightful recipe that can be prepared easily. Muhallebi can be prepared using cornstarch or rice flour, as of your choice. Corn starch will give the dish a smooth consistency, while rice flour will give it a beautiful texture.

Traditionally, Muhallebi is prepared in cardamom flavour but it also tastes well when prepared in rose water or orange blossom water. You can also put a bit of vanilla extract, almond extract or any other flavouring. The dish can also be prepared as a simple sweet pudding without any flavours.

 It is often served at gatherings and dinner parties, especially during Ramadan and Eid. The dish tastes best when served chilled and is also convenient for dinner parties as it doesn’t require any last-minute preparations.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4


    3 cups Whole Milk

    1 cup Heavy Cream

    6 tbsp Cornstarch/Cornflour or Rice Flour

    1/2 cup Granulated Sugar, as per your preference

    1 tsp Rose Water/Orange Blossom Water

    3 Green Cardamom Pods

    2 tsp Coarsely Chopped Pistachios

    3 tsp Rose Syrup, diluted with 2 tsp water

    Dried Rose Petals


    Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and transfer them to a mortar and pestle. Pound them to form a fine powder and leave it for a while

    Now, put milk in a pan and add cream to it followed by cornstarch, and sugar. Using a wire whisk, whisk the blend properly. Ensure that the cornstarch is not left at the bottom of the pot. Now heat it on a low-medium flame

    Next, cook the Muhallebi pudding mix on a medium flame, and stir the batter continuously until it thickens and looks like a custard. Do it for approximately 8-10 minutes. Ensure to do it properly otherwise the cornstarch will settle at the bottom and burn, or the blend may get lumpy. Continuous whisking is important to bring a proper texture and taste to this pudding

    Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce the heat to the low flame and continue stirring. Keep checking it and when it coats the back of a spoon, the mixture is ready

    Once done, remove the pot from the flame and put the flavourings like rose or orange blossom water as well as freshly crushed ground cardamom. Now leave the dish aside to cool down for approximately 5 to 7 minutes

    In this step, pour the Mahalabia mixture into small cups or glasses. Put some ground pistachios at the bottom of each glass to bring better flavours to the recipe. Now, cover the glasses with aluminium foil and cool them in a refrigerator for approximately 5-6 hours or overnight for best taste. 

    Garnish this classic Middle Eastern milk pudding with rose syrup and pistachios and serve chilled.

Voila! The delicious Muhallebi pudding is ready to be consumed.