Traditional Style Meghleh

For Chloe and Ella

My close friends Carole and Elie recently have been blessed with two beautiful girls! Newborn babies are like angels with their tiny fingers and tiny everything:) What an amazing feeling, incapable of expressing in words. I know, because I’m a mother of 2 girls too. My love for Kaia and Axel is growing bigger every day. They are my whole world! They make my heart melt away especially in the morning when they come to our bed with their messy hair on their faces and cute nightdresses.

“I’m so happy for you Carole, your heart will melt away too when Chloe will hold to your pinky and when Ella will start squeezing you tightly. I wish them a happy life, God bless them and let them always be healthy, safe and sound”.

Now back to our Lebanese heritage, Meghleh is the dessert we offer when relatives and friends are over to congratulate parents for the birth of their baby. It is also served on Christmas to celebrate the glorious birth of Jesus Christ.

A powder rice based treat spiced with cinnamon, caraway and aniseed powder. A very special taste different from any other dessert I know and full with flavor sensations. I love it more when topped with nuts, it makes it look more appealing and taste delish.

My kitchen today is a far better place with the smell of Meghleh cooking!

Welcome Chloe and Ella, this one goes for you!

Traditional Lebanese Meghleh

Ingredients

  • 1 cup powder rice
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 to 8 cups water
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 tbsp aniseed powder
  • 1 tbsp caraway powder

To garnish 

  • Coconut powder
  • Walnuts (soaked)
  • Almonds (soaked)
  • Pine nuts (soaked and peeled)
  • Pistachios (soaked and peeled)

Preparation

  1. In a large saucepan dissolve rice powder and sugar in water, add spices and bring to a boil stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens or about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Spoon the mixture evenly in serving cups.
  3. Serve cold, covered with grated coconut and nuts. (It’s better to garnish just before serving)
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Lebanese Classic Rice pudding or Riz Bi Haleeb

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Rice pudding was Kaia’s first favorite food. I used to cook it more when my girls were teething☺ I consider it more of a baby food than a dessert, because it reminds me of them sitting in their high chair enjoying eating Riz bi Haleeb.

It is an easy and simple recipe to prepare for the whole family. Every country around the world has its own version of rice pudding. I find the Lebanese recipe the best I’ve ever tasted. Perhaps, because of the use of the mastic gum that gives it a little of a light chewy feel and the aromatic fragrance of the orange blossom water.

Hope you and your kids enjoy this great old-fashioned dessert!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups full fat milk
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup short grain white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp mastic powder, pound
  • 1tbsp orange blossom water
  • Unsalted whole pistachios, to decorate
  • Unsalted ground pistachios, to decorate
  • Pine nuts, to decorate

Preparation

  1. Pour milk in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the rice and water. Stir well.
  3. Cook over medium heat for about 30mn or until the mixture is creamy, stirring constantly, making sure the rice doesn’t stick at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the mastic powder and the orange blossom water and cook for another 15mn until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat. Spoon the rice evenly among serving bowls.
  6. Decorate with pistachios and pine nuts. Served chilled.