On chili days I long for our Mediterranean summer holidays, bustling flea markets, food stalls and dessert huts brimful with happiness, joy of simplicity and warm company.

There's a little spot I'd visit regularly and no matter what time of the day it is, there'd be a long queue to get a simple & popular Levantine sweet. Malabi. Scrumptious cold milk pudding, topped w/ Rose-petal syrup, crushed nuts & coconut. There are as many versions to Malabi as the amount of mamma's making it. This version is my adaptation to mum's recipe, influenced by my life long love for spices.




Milk mix:

  • 250ml Full cream milk
  • 250ml Pure cream
  • 1/4 tbs Sugar
  • 2 tsp Chai leave mix (not powder)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch Cardamom powder
  • 2 thin pieces orange peel (no pith)
  • 3.5 tbs cornflour + 3 tbs COLD WATER mix


  • 2 tbs finely chopped pistachio
  • 1 tbs shredded/desiccated coconut (lightly toasted if you want)
  • Rose-petal syrup OR Ribena OR Raspberry cordial


  1. Mix milk mix ingredients, EXCEPT for cornflour/water mix, in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a LIGHT simmer, then switch off heat for flavours to infuse for 30-60 minutes (the longer the more flavourful it’ll be)
  3. Strain milk + put back in saucepan
  4. Add cornflour mix to milk infusion + put back on stove top. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring continuously (7 min) till the mix gets thick & smooth.
  5. Pour into 4 cups + refrigerate for 4 hrs.
  6. Top w/ 1 tbs of syrup, pistachio & coconut.
  7. Close your eyes, take a spoonful and imagine you’re somewhere warm in a busy street market ☀️