I feel honored to share this special recipe today, handed to me from a friend who has been making it for years. This traditional Lebanese Rice Flour Pudding has the aroma of foreign spices and a texture and flavor completely unique to my American taste buds. It contains delicate flavors of caraway and anise, as well as rose water and pistachio. To me, this exotic dessert was a taste of a different culture, and insight into another way of life.
My first taste of this pudding was as a special gift to me when I found out I was having a baby boy. In Lebanese culture, when you find out you are having a boy you are given this pudding as a blessing with the health benefits of the spice mixture within the recipe. This is a tradition that has been passed on throughout generations. Now the dessert is given to an expecting mother whether or not the baby is a boy or girl. Outside of pregnancy, the dessert is also consumed at birthdays and holidays in Lebanon.
While making this pudding, you may have one of two thoughts… you may think, wow, 50 minutes is a long time to be a slave to stirring something in the kicthen or you may be completely consumed in the soothing repetition of whisking and find it to be almost therapeutic. I sided with the latter and found it a time for meditation and to take my mind off my never ending list and onto the simple task of whisking and day dreaming.
Some of the spices in this dish can be hard to find. I found ground anise and rose water at Whole Foods. You can also find them at Middle Easter markets. Ground caraway was a bit harder to find but it should also be at Middle Easter Markets, though I ended up borrowing it from my friends Moudi and Derek who own Laziz. But now that I have the spices on hand, I’m excited for the excuse to find other recipes using rose water, caraway or anise. If you know of any, please send them my way or comment with a link!
We served classic jars filled with this spiced rice pudding at our last SLCmixer, highlighting Laziz Foods. You can read more about the mixer and all of the fabulous Lebanese products that Laziz offers on theSLCfoodie.
Meghli Lebanese Rice Pudding Recipe
- 4 oz rice flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp ground anise
- 2 tsp ground caraway
- Shredded coconut
- Rose water
- Soak rice flour in 2 cups of water for 2 hours in advance
- Soak the pistachios (or any other nut) in water mixed with a bit of rose water.
- Boil 4 cups water in a large pan. Mix the rice flour and water mixture into the pot with a whisk. Keep heat at medium, and whisk constantly, gradually adding the sugar and spices.
- Keep stirring until mixture thickens, about 50 minutes.
- Pour into individual bowls, garnish with shredded coconut and rose water soaked pistachios.
- Let sit in the fridge up to 3 hours before consuming.
I love that tradition of having pudding for health! Sounds like something we should adopt in everyday life 😉
This sounds so wonderful! Thanks to you [and your friend!] for sharing the recipe! I can’t wait to make this – few things sound better than rose water and pistachios mingling in a pudding <3
What a lovely tradition, and the pudding looks incredibly delicious!
This looks so interesting and yummy! Can’t wait to make it myself!
What a beautiful recipe! I love finding new ways to use rose water, too. I made a brittle with it a few years back, but my favorite recipe that uses it is one that my Persian grandmother used to make. I found a recipe that may be the same one and have made it a few times. Very crumbly, different cookies. http://bigflavors.blogspot.com/2009/03/supper-club-rice-flour-cookies-nan-e.html
What a beautiful dessert and presentation!
Can this dessert be made the night before and refrigerated?
Definitely! I actually enjoyed it for a few days!
O.K. to double or triple recipe?
I never heard of Orange blossom water in meghli!
It really should look brown and not so light.
Meghli is delicious and very healthy. Good especially for winter.
Thanks for all of the tips Nelly! I will change it up next time. Blessings, Becky
One easy way is to boil the water minus 1 cup.
You add the remaining cup to the rice, sugar, and spices. Mix well (cold)
Add the mixture to the boiling water. Stir.
This would relieve you from a lot of stirring!
I love pistachios and recipes made out of it…Anyways Will make a try on the same and let you know the result.
Thanks so much and please do let me know what you think!
I grew up having this and love it!! It is my go to for best comfort dessert. I don’t put the Orange Blossem water or coconut. I love the spices and often even skip the nutts. Oh and for rosewater, I make a syrup with 1 cup of sugar, 1 cut water and a tbsp. of rose water and a splash of lemon juice. Add all to a pot and stir. Bring to boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until thickened. you can add this to soda water or hot milk, or ice cream. Endless possibilities. Enjoy and thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much for your note! That’s so wonderful that you grew up with this. It’s such a lovely and elegant dessert. And thanks for the tips on cooking it too. Take care, Becky
This pudding is commonly made in the middleast for postpartum moms as the caraway spice in it improves milk supply. But guests coming to greet get served the same as well:)
What a beautiful tradition! Thanks for letting me know!