SHF#17 – Malabi

Thought I’d make a local dairy specialty for this SHF: malabi as it is called in Hebrew. It’s a milk pudding thickened with rice flour and flavoured with rose water or orange flower water. In the rest of the Middle East it’s known as mulhallabiya. Here in Israel the version I have seen is usually with a very pink rose-flavoured syrup and a topping of coconut and chopped peanuts. Thought I’d skip the heavily pink-coloured syrup and cheap coconut/peanut topping and go for the recipe I found in Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food (a similar recipe is found in her The New Book of Middle Eastern Food). Tried it yesterday but thought the amount of rice flour called for was way too much. It was so thick that I couldn’t even pour it properly. Made it again today with less rice flour and it was much better. It’s a very easy dessert recipe that can be made in advance and makes a nice light dessert.

Serves 6

1 l (4 ¼ cup) milk
80 g (2.8 oz) rice flour
80 g (2.8 oz) sugar
2 tbs rose water
chopped pistachio nuts to garnish

Slowly add 50-100 ml (¼-½ cup) of the milk to the rice flour – whilst stirring – until all the rice flour has been dissolved. Make sure there are no lumps.
Bring the rest of the milk to a boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the rice flour mixture whilst stirring. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the sugar. Add the rose water and stir to mix.
Pour the pudding into a big bowl or 6 small bowls. Sprinkle the tops with some caster sugar to prevent a skin. Allow to cool. Garnish with pistachio before serving.

~ substitute corn flour for rice flour (or use a mixture of the both)
~ substitute orange flour water for rose water
~ add 1 tsp ground cardamom seeds with the rose water

1 portion – 200 kcal
100 g – 110 kcal

carbohydrate 16 g – protein 4 g – fat 3 g (saturated fat 2 g) – fibre 0 g

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11 Responses to SHF#17 – Malabi

  1. rob says:

    That looks really interesting. My wife and I have a lot of orange blossom water on hand, because we use it to make a rice pudding she adores. It also looks like a snap to prepare too.

  2. McAuliflower says:

    Mmmm, this is opening my eyes to the possibilites of recipes with rice flour. Sounds good!

  3. linda says:

    It is very easy to prepare and should be very nice with orange blossom water as well.

  4. Christine says:

    I love the picture! The green is so brilliant and the gold just sets it off.

  5. linda says:

    Looking for ways to use rice flour myself…still have some left over of the malabi

  6. Ivonne says:


    It looks wonderful and the pistachios look so vivid … great photo.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog … I will be visiting yours often.

    Keep up the great work!

  7. linda says:

    Thanks Christine!

  8. linda says:

    Thanks Ivonne! I’m tempted to make your cheese cake…it looks sooo delicious!

  9. Andrew says:

    what and interesting recipe and a great entry to SHF; thanks for taking part.

    I dont have the list in front of me to check but are you joining in with EBBP$? Details on spittoonextra.

  10. linda says:

    Thanks Andrew! And thanks for hosting!
    PS not joining in on the EBBP.

  11. August says:

    You know I like the picture. And it seems to be very delicious. I agree that it’s a very easy dessert recipe that can be made in advance. As for rice flour I think you are right. It is very important to avoid jelling.

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