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Mahalebi - The Lebanese Version

There are two versions of mahalebi and I absolutely love them both! For now, I will share the Lebanese version of this delicious dessert.

This recipe was given to me by the kindest woman I know, my Thea (aunty) Anthoulla.

I often stay with this family when visiting Cyprus and on every single occasion I am asked what I miss eating the most? ....the next day the dish is on the table.

On this occasion, I said ‘Mahalebi, but not the Cypriot one, the other one with the nuts on top’

I didn’t give it a second thought and it never crossed my mind that anyone knew how to make, let alone this good!

I found it in the fridge the very next morning. For breakfast I ate toast and scrabbled eggs finishing off with a mug of tea and half the dish of Mahalebi.

Thea Anthoulla hand wrote the recipe, in English, and handed it over to me. I thanked her for the extra few pounds I was now carrying around my waist, it was so worth it!


1 Litre Milk

115g Cornflour

90g Spoonful Sugar

300ml Single Fresh Cream


Place half the milk into a saucepan together with the sugar stirring occasionally on a medium heat bringing to a boil.

Meanwhile, in the other half of the cold milk, dilute the cornflour.

Add the cold milk and fresh cream to the boiling milk stirring continuously until you see bubbles. At this point the mixture will become thick and creamy, that’s when it’s ready!

You can either pour the mixture into individual dessert pots giving you a total of 9 desserts or pour the mixture into a large dish to be served with a serving spoon.

Place in the fridge for at least an hour.


Do not boil your milk on a high heat as this will burn the milk.

Stirring does not need to be fast or vigorous, keep a consistent, medium stir.

Once the mixture begins to heat up, it does not take long to see bubbles!

Traditionally this recipe contains mastichi or vanill. Add a pinch if you choose to add either of these.

I like to to top this with fresh berries, however, traditionally, this is topped with crushed unsalted pistachio nuts.

This can be made the night before serving.


Cost under £6 for 9 persons.

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