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Thursday, September 11, 2014

J for Jordan ~ Mohallabiah / Muhallabiyeh

Event: BM #44 , Around the World (A - Z series) 
Choice of Country: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Capital City: Amman
Official Language: Arabic

I am still in western Asia for today's post and moving from Iraq to it's neighbor Jordan. "J" was one of the alphabets for which I finished cooking first and in fact I cooked the dish twice for "Japan". Kids loved the dish but somehow I wasn't happy with the pictures of the dish and at the last moment I decided to go with another Arab nation instead. 
This region was subjected to control of powerful foreign empires throughout different eras of history and the influence can been seen on Jordanian cuisine as well. Jordanians serve family, friends, and guests with great pride in their homes and a 'Jordanian invitation' means that you are expected to bring nothing and eat everything. There is a wide variety in Jordanian cuisine ranging from baking, sautéeing and grilling to stuffing of vegetables, meat, and poultry. Jordan is one of the largest producers of olives and olive oil is the primary cooking medium. Mansaf, a lamb dish is the national dish of Jordan. Popular appetizers are kebbeh, ful medames, labaneh, baba ghanoush, hummus, tabbouleh, olives and pickles. (source:wiki)

I chose to go with a creamy dessert, mohallabiah that is also called mahalabiya / muhallabiyeh. Muhallabiyeh is a dish commonly prepared through out the Arab region with slight variations and this quick delight is milk based. This thick, creamy pudding is cooked similarly as phirni, a rice pudding popular in the Indian subcontinent. Here rice flour is used instead of coarsely ground rice and cooked thicker than phirni. Basically milk and rice flour paste are cooked until thick and creamy. Sugar adds the sweetness while rose water and blossom water lend their aromatic flavors to the dish. Finally the dish is finished with a generous garnishing of crushed pistachios / almonds. Substituting milk powder for milk was common in regions where cattle was scarce. Some versions use cornstarch instead of rice flour.
The recipe I found here uses condensed milk as part of their marketing strategy. I went ahead with it since I had some leftover condensed milk which I had to finish off. Muhallabiyeh is traditionally prepared with milk and so you can go ahead with it if you don't have condensed milk in your pantry. Just replace the condensed milk and water with milk and add sugar to taste. The below quantity takes less than 15 minutes to cook but if you are planning to cook a large quantity, check the original recipe.
Ingredients for 2 servings:
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 & 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp rice flour (Easily available in Indian stores.)
1/8 tsp rose water
1/8 tsp orange blossom water (I skipped it.)
3 tbsp. crushed pistachio nuts

* Add condensed milk and about a cup of water to a nonstick pan and bring the mixture to boil.
* In the meantime, whisk rice flour and about 1/2 cup water in a bowl to form a lump free mixture.
* Lower the heat and slowly pour the rice mixture, continuously stirring while doing so. 
* Cook on low flame for about  7 - 8 minutes or until the mixture is cooked. Keep stirring all the while to keep it lump free. Add rose water and blossom water if using and mix well.
* Transfer it to small bowls, garnish with pistachios and serve.
I chilled it before serving.



Varadas Kitchen said...

I made this for E and we loved it. Yours turned out great

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Delicious and lovely looking dessert.

Kurinji said...

Delicious and yummy dessert...nice clicks too...


Priya Suresh said...

This luscious dessert is just inviting, am love this dessert and have tried couple of times at home.

Sapana Behl said...

Such a tempting dessert !

Manjula Bharath said...

very tempting Mohallabiah :) sound like a firni isn't it :) looks so so rich and love the neat presentation :) Love your choices of recipe dear !!

Pavani N said...

Such a creamy and decadent dessert. It looks like a much creamier version of our phirni.

Usha said...

When you said condensed milk I new which site your referred to. Even I bookmarked that recipe for one of the middle eastern countries, not for Jordan though. The pudding looks rich and creamy.

Padmajha PJ said...

The dish looks so rich and creamy. Nice presentation Suma

The Pumpkin Farm said...

yours looks deliciously creamy and inviting

Harini-Jaya R said...

Rich and creamy dessert.

Srivalli said...

The way this dish is being made, I can imagine how delicious it must taste..very nicely clicked suma..love your pictures..

Chef Mireille said...

I made a version of this long time back but also with almonds you presented it so artistically

Gayathri Kumar said...

I have done a similar recipe long back and it was a hit at home. Your version looks absolutely delicious...

Priya Srinivasan said...

Love this dessert suma, have made it long back, amazing clicks, want to grab them off the screen!!!

Archana Potdar said...

Amazing clicks and amazingly delicious dessert.