Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mahalabi - rose water scented dessert

One of the greatest part of living in the Atlanta area is access to international grocery stores. This Friday, I made my way to Decatur for a visit to Patel Brothers. This is an Indo-Pakistani grocery store.
The aromas of spices tickle the senses as soon as you step into the store. I was there to stock up on some spices. They have a wide variety of spices that are difficult to find at most local grocery stores. I picked up several spices, garam masala, white pepper, whole nutmeg, turmeric, and cardamom.
When I came home, I realized that I had some milk that was getting close to the expiration date so I decided to make a quick dessert using the milk and the newly purchased cardamom. This is a very light dessert that can be made with skim milk or whole milk, sugar substitute in place of sugar. The dessert is called Mahalabi or Mahalabia.
This is pudding made of sweetened and thicken milk that is infused with rose water and cardamom. This a refreshing dessert during the summer months, or a warm treat during the winter months. This dessert is popular in most Middle Eastern countries.
In a large pot heat 28oz of milk slowly on very low flame. In the remaining milk add corn starch and dissolve to thicken the pudding.When milk is hot add sugar, rose water, cardamom and the remaining 4oz of milk and mix till pudding thickens. Remove the cardamom pods. Serve in a small bowl hot or cold topped with toasted pistachio nuts.

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