There was a food stand close to my childhood home that sold nothing but muhalbiyah, or milk pudding. We kids loved the sugar rush we’d get from the cheap and tacky syrup with its artificial colouring, while the adults had a version made with grenadine syrup. 






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (87 votes)

Mine is a more sophisticated adult version, but still based on this childhood memory.


  • 1 litre (4 cups) full-cream milk
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 70 g cornflour
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 100 g (¾ cup) pistachio kernels, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • fresh raspberries, to serve


  • 300 g fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp rosewater

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

Put the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium–low heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, put the cornflour in a small bowl and add a few tablespoons of water, stirring until you have a gluggy wet mixture. Slowly add the cornflour to the hot milk, stirring with a wooden spoon, and reduce the temperature to low. Continue stirring for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture has the consistency of a thick custard. Add the rosewater, stir and remove from the heat.

Pour the mixture into 4-6 serving glasses and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to the fridge and set overnight.

To make the sauce, put the raspberries and sugar in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Put the liquid in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat. Add the rosewater, stir and allow to cool.

When you are ready to serve, pour the sauce over the puddings and scatter with the pistachios and raspberries.


Recipe and image from Falafel for Breakfast by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley (Murdoch Books, $49.99, hbk).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.