A traditional Lebanese Christmas feast is not complete without the classic spiced rice pudding, the meghli, cooked to celebrate the birth of a child, including Christ. The broken rice used in this recipe gives this pudding a porridge-like texture.
- 315 g (1½ cups) broken white rice (see Note)
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tbsp ground caraway seeds
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground aniseed
- toasted flaked almonds and pine nuts, and roughly chopped pistachios, to serve
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.
Drink match Mix Kefraya Arak ($75, 750 ml) with water and ice.
Place rice, sugar, spices and 1.5 litres water in a large saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring to prevent mixture sticking, for 45 minutes or until mixture thickens and rice is tender. Add a little extra water if necessary.
Divide mixture among bowls, scatter over nuts and serve warm or cold.
• Broken (cracked) rice is from Asian food shops. To make it yourself, process white rice in a food processor until finely chopped.
Photography by John Laurie.
As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4.