Sophie Grigson stirs Middle Eastern magic with store cupboard ingredients in Claudia Roden's easy to make, fragrant dessert
By Sophie Grigson
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: easy


  • 60 g ground rice
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • pinches of salt
  • 1.2 litres full-fat milk
  • 85 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp orange flower water

To serve

  • clear honey
  • 15 g chopped pistachio nuts
  • 15 g toasted almonds


1. Mix the ground rice, cornflour and salt with a little of the milk to make a thin paste. Bring the rest of the milk to a boil in a heavy based saucepan.

2. Whisk the rice and cornflour paste into the hot milk. Simmer very gently, stirring constantly, for about 20 minutes until very thick, taking care not to let the mixture stick and burn on the base of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and orange blossom water.

3. Pour the mixture into a large glass bowl, or 6 individual dessert bowls and chill well.

4. Just before serving, drizzle a little honey over the muhallabia. Decorate with nuts and serve.

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