Malabi - Vered Guttman
Malabi. Photo by Vered Guttman
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Mahalabiya, or Malabi, is a milk based pudding that is thickened with either rice flour or cornstarch and topped with a sweet syrup.

It’s easy to make the recipe parve; replace the milk with water, grape juice (as Gil Marks suggests in his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food) or almond milk.

Traditionally the pudding is perfumed with rose water, but I prefer the orange blossom water, Ma-Zahar. You can get both perfumed waters in Middle Eastern markets.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

5 cups milk
1/2 cup rice flour (or cornstarch)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom water

For the strawberry sauce:
6 oz. strawberries, thinly sliced
1.5 oz. sugar

Chopped pistachios, optional

Directions:

1. Dissolve the rice flour in one cup of milk and set aside.

2. Bring the rest of the milk and sugar to low boil over medium heat and add the rice flour and milk mixture in. Mix constantly for 3-5 minutes until pudding begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon. Add orange blossom water and remove from the heat.

3. Let the pudding cool for a couple of minutes and divide into 8 glasses. Cover each glass with plastic wrap and press it to the surface (the pudding will develop a thin skin otherwise). Chill in the fridge for a few hours.

4. For the sauce combine the strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Let cool completely.

5. Top the pudding with the sauce and pistachios (if using) and serve.