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One of the most popular desserts around Israel is malabi.  Common throughout the Middle East, this pudding like dessert has become a national dessert in Israel. There is even a whole restaurant chain in Tel Aviv devoted to the sweet treat, although Hamalbiya is not certified kosher, it demonstrates the popularity of malabi. 

Luckily for us malabi only requires a few ingredients and is easy and quick to prepare.  It is traditionally flavored with rosewater, but some find the taste can be strong, so feel free to use orange blossom water or your favorite extract.  At its heart malabi is really a pudding. 

What is Malabi made of?

Malabi is a milk pudding simply made of a mix of your choice of milk with a thickening agent, such as cornstarch.  Not very sweet on its own, once chilled it is usually served topped with a sweet red syrup either made from raspberries or strawberries and usually with a bit of rosewater for good measure.  We recommend our Jamie Geller Raspberry Rose Honey for a ready made perfectly flavored malabi syrup.  Add some chopped nuts such as pistachios and dessert is done. 

What is the origin of Malabi?

Malabi is originally from Turkey where it was called muhalllabia and made with rice flour.  In Israel it is usually made with cornstarch and you can find it served everywhere from small street carts to fancy restaurants. 

What does Malabi taste like?

Malabi tastes like a light and creamy pudding usually with an exotic rose taste. 

Sachlav is the hot version of malabi.  In the winter you can simply make a thickened flavored pudding and instead of chilling it, serve it fresh topped with cinnamon, coconut and chopped nuts. 

While the recipe is simple, the variations are endless, check out our favorite malabi recipes. 

Chocolate Rose Malabi