Chilled milk puddings are a thing of the Eastern Med and Middle East; refreshing, set puddings knows as Muhallebi / Muhallabia are found everywhere from Greece, to Turkey, Israel and all over Arab speaking countries from Syria to Egypt and no doubt beyond. Often flavoured with mastic or rose water and topped with nuts, date syrup or cinnamon, they make for an easy to prepare, light dessert in a hot climate.
Here’s my version, lightly set and flavoured with cardamom, a spice I can never quite seem to get enough of especially during pregnancy.
3 cups plus 3 tbsp of whole milk
3 tbsp caster sugar
4 green cardamom pods
3 tbsp cornflour
To decorate: chopped pistachio nuts
Gently warm 3 cups of milk in a pan over a low to medium flame. Add sugar and smashed cardamom pods and stir gently, letting sugar dissolve and flavours infuse for 15 minutes. Fish out the cardamom pods & seeds using a small sieve.
Mix cornflour with remaining milk in a cup, then add to warm milk. Turn up heat slightly and continue to stir until pudding thickens considerably.
Pour pudding into individual glasses and cover each with cling film immediately to stop a skin from forming. Leave to cool then place in fridge to chill.
Serve chilled with a smattering of chopped pistachio nuts on top.
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