Muhallabia is a refreshing dessert from the Red Sea port city of Massawa in Eritrea. There, it is commonly served for dessert during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. Muhallabia Massawa is often considered the most regal and delicious of puddings in Middle Eastern cooking.
Muhallabia Massaw Pudding has a creamy, smooth texture and the winning combination of cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla makes it an instant favorite of anyone who tries it. And what’s more, it’s a cinch to make. Just make sure to heat and stir the pudding long enough for it to be thick and pudding like. If it is not heated until thick, it will remain a liquid even after refrigeration.
Muhallabia Massawa Pudding Recipe
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground caradamom
4 cups milk
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and cardamom. Gradually add just enough to make a paste, and then whisk in the remaining milk. Add the beaten eggs.
Cook on medium heat, stirring often, for 12 to 15 minutes, until mixture thickens. As it begins to thicken, stir constantly to prevent sticking and to ensure a smooth texture. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
Pour into six wine glasses or dessert cups and refrigerate about 45 minutes, or until cold.
Per 8-ounce serving: 301 calories, 7.7 g protein, 9 g fat, 47.4 g carbohydrates, 4.9 g saturated fatty acids, 109.8 mg cholesterol, 141.5 mg sodium, 0.2 g total dietary fiber.
This pudding even makes a delicious ice cream. Just use 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 egg yolks, 1 cup heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Combine milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Remove the pan from heat, cover, and set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
Meanwhile, in a large heat-proof bowl, combine the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until pale and thick, about 1 minutes. Bring the milk mixture back to near boiling, and then slowly pour it into the egg yolks and sugar while beating constantly.
Return the custard to the saucepan and cook on low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
Allow the custard to cool to room temperature. Make ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Store in a sealed container in the freezer.
Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, Copyright 2001, Moosewood, Inc., Clarkson Potter, Publishers