Muhallebi, where do I begin?

A traditional Turkish dessert, it’s popular throughout the Middle East, as well as in Cyprus. It’s as pretty as a picture, served in individual dishes or one large shallow dish, sprinkled with pistachios, almonds or cinnamon.

It is the most delicate of desserts – milk pudding thickened with rice flour and perfumed with rose or orange blossom. Perfect for hot summer days, and even better after an over indulgent mezze session!

Oh yes, this really is one of my favourites. The combination of rose and pistachio never fails to transport me back to Cyprus. If only I was actually there now! Give me 35°C, sun, sea and sheftalia any day of the week. At least with this dessert I can close my eyes and momentarily find myself in the courtyard of an old family favourite restaurant, with the sweet smell of nargileh wafting around.


  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 40g rice flour
  • 15g corn flour, or corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons of rose water
  • Pistachios to garnish, finely chopped


Add together the rice and corn flours, and pour in just enough milk to make a slurry then set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the rest of the milk and the sugar until scalding. At this point take a few tablespoons of the scalded milk and add it to the slurry, mixing well until you have a smooth and thin liquid.

Reduce the heat and then slowly pour the flour mixture into the milk, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the mixture has thickened and the back of the spoon is coated.

Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water. Leave to cool slightly and then pour into dishes, individual or large.

Leave to cool to room temperature before refrigerating for around 4 hours.

To serve, simply sprinkle with pistachios.

Serves 6.

4 responses

    • I love how simple this is to make. Having done a bit of research I know that there are over-complicated versions of this recipe floating around, but I find this method yields the best results! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

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