TRADITIONAL CYPRUS DISH: Mahalabia
Mahalabia (or muhallebi) is a very popular milk pudding. Traditionally it is flavored with rose water or orange blossom. It is eaten cold and sprinkled with crushed pistachios, almonds, or walnuts. According to an ancient Islamic cookbook from Andalusia, mahalabia first appeared in the 7th century.
1 liter of whole milk
125g icing sugar
4 tablespoons of orange blossom or rose water
1 teaspoon of crushed gum arabic
4 tablespoons crushed pistachios
3 tablespoons of mineral water
In a bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the mineral water and mix well until the lumps disappear. In a nonstick saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and cornstarch, stirring continuously until thickened.
Add the sugar, the orange blossom water, and the gum arabic, and boil for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Continue mixing until the custard thickens and the desired texture (thin or thick) is obtained. Distribute into molds, and let it cool. cool to room temperature, then pop them in the fridge for a few hours to chill. When ready to serve, sprinkle with crushed pistachios.
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