Very easy, minimal time required


  • Cornflour
  • Milk (any level of fat depending on how healthy you want to be!)
  • Pistachios (crushed)
  • Ground cardamom
  • Caster sugar
  • Rose water (optional!)


  1. In a pot on low to medium heat, add around 2 cups of milk (add more or less depending on the final quantity you’re after)
  2. Add a half cup of sugar (again this can be altered depending on how sweet you want to go) and mix with a spoon
  3. At this point you can add a tablespoon of rosewater (optional!)
  4. In a separate cup add around one tablespoon of cornflour and mix with a little bit of cold milk until smooth (but still a little thick)
  5. Gently stir in the cornflour-milk into the pot and keep mixing. If you’re worried that it’s going to go lumpy, reduce the heat and keep steadily stirring
  6. Add a little more cornflour-milk mix in gradually, bit by bit at a time and never stop stirring!
  7. Once you’re happy with the thickness of the overall mixture, stop adding cornflour and add around a teaspoon of ground cardamom. If you don’t like cardamom omit it or add only a little
  8. The mixture should be smooth, not too runny but not extremely thick. Be aware that once this sets, it will harden so don’t worry if it looks a little thinner than you anticipated.
  9. Empty the mixture either into a flat plate (for a traditional look) or into smaller individual dessert glasses. Remember, it should be thick enough to stay firm on a flat plate without leaking everywhere!
  10. Whilst still warm quickly sprinkle on crushed pistachio pieces for a nice finish
  11. Place all filled plates/glasses into the fridge and leave to set for at least one hour. Some people like to eat it whilst it’s still warm which is also fine, but traditionally this dessert is eaten cold

Additional tips

As this is a modified approach to the classic mahalabi recipe, we have used milk instead of cream. Traditionally a combination of double cream and milk are used (feel free to do this if you like- just use a 1:1 ratio).

If using skimmed milk as opposed to semi skimmed or full fat milk, be mindful that you will need to use more cornflour and the mixture itself may be a little runnier. However we have tried this with skimmed milk before and it has come out absolutely fine, it just takes a bit longer and requires more cornflour.

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