Pandan mahalabia is a delicious, fragrant twist to the traditional Middle Eastern milk dessert. Topped with coconut shavings and rich, palm sugar (gula melaka).
- 1 litre (4 cups) whole or semi skimmed milk
- 120g (4oz) white sugar
- 6 Tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 2 pandan leaves
- 3 pandan leaves
- 4 Tbsp water
- Gula Melaka (or jaggery, dark brown sugar), shaved or grated
- desiccated coconut or fresh coconut shavings
- Make a paste with the cornflour and about 3 Tbsp of the milk.
- Combine this cornflour paste, milk and the sugar in a heavy based saucepan or milk pan and stir to mix.
- Tie the 2 pandan leaves together, with a knot in the middle and drop it into the saucepan.
- Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring it occasionally.
- After about 5 minutes, you’ll notice the milk mixture begin to thicken slowly.
- Lower the heat down slightly to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes until the mahalabia resembles thick custard. Now you need to be careful here as the milk can catch if your heat is not low enough, or if the pan doesn’t have a thick enough base. You don’t want burnt milk or bits in your mahalabia! Just in case, do not scrape the bottom of the pan as you are stirring.
- When the mahalabia is as thick as custard, take it off the heat and stir in the pandan juice (see below).
- Divide into serving glasses and bowls, leave at room for 10 minutes, then cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with the gula melaka shavings and coconut.
This can be done as soon as you place the milk on the hob. Or before if you are afraid of burning your mahalabia.
- Cut up your pandan leaves into 5cm (2″) lengths and place them in a chopper with enough water to allow them to be ground. You’ll end up with a wet, fibrous pulp.
- Take the blade out, pour in the rest of the water and mix.
- Strain the pandan juice into a bowl or jug and add to the recipe.
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Easy
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern/Malaysian Fusion
Keywords: mahalabia, desserts, ramadan, eid, malaysian