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Rose Malabi

Muhallabia or malabi as this dessert is known in Israel is often on restaurant menus or seen sold from food carts and storefronts. Its roots are in Persia and Middle Eastern cuisines and was brought over during the immigration of Iranian Jews. It is a refreshing dessert which is made up of a custard base infused with either rose or orange blossom water, a fruit syrup on top and finally a garnish (typically crushed pistachios). Eyal’s version is vegan friendly and is easy to make in large batches so it’s ideal for keeping friends and family happy at the end of your barbecue.


Vegan custard making - Learn how to make a set custard with all vegan ingredients.

Compote - Understand the process of releasing the natural sugars in fruit to create a thick sauce.

Candying - Explore the technique of melting sugars until they caramelise, and using it to coat different ingredients.

Serving Size
Serves: 2


  • 45g cornstarch
  • 400ml water
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 85g demerara sugar
  • 1.5 tsp rose water


  • 150g fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 40g demerara sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 20g rose water

Nut Crumb

  • 200g peeled pistachios
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 1 star anise

1x high-sided sauce pan, 1x whisk, 1x spatular, 1x large mixing bowl, 2x serving glasses, 1x ladle, 2x large frying pans, 1x wooden chopping board, 1x chefs knife, 1x tablespoon


No pre-lesson preparation needed.

Cooking Method
Step 1

Ok, so I've got all my ingredients in front of me for my malabi, my sugar in a large pan, my coconut milk, cornflour as well as my beautiful rose water.

Pour half of your coconut milk into the corn starch and half into your pan with the sugar. Repeat with the same amount of water (half into the cornstarch half to the pan). Get it onto a medium heat so we can slowly, slowly bring it up to a a gentle simmer where the sugar will begin to melt and our cream thicken. Meanwhile, whisk the corn starch mixture until everything is fully incorporated. Then I'm just going to go ahead and transfer all of this to our pot, carry on whisking as it begins to cook and thicken.

Step 2

Keep whisking for 5 - 6 minutes, keeping an eye on how it thickens. Whisk well. We should be beginning to see it's no longer a loose liquid, so now let's add our drops of rose water and continue to whisk. At this stage I love how it looks and smells, I can smell the rose water and when I lift it with my whisk I can see it thickening. Some people may stop now but I love it slightly thicker. Keep mixing and when it's like a custard, remove from the heat.

Once off the heat, whisk it for a moment or two so the mixture begins to cool down (so we don't damage our serving glasses) and what we need to do now is move the mass into the glass. Use a ladle or simply pour the warm malabi into the vessel. Fill your glass to around half full and wipe any of the excess malabi from the sides with a clean cloth. Fill all your glasses with the delicious malabi and that's it guys for your base. We're going to now leave it outside or in a cool place for 30 minutes to drop to room temperature before placing it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours.

Step 3

Alright, our malabi has been in the fridge for almost 3 hours and we need to make our syrup and pistachio crumb. We're going to start off by heating two large pans. Firstly, add the nuts for the crumb into the pan with no oil and then sprinkle sugar and salt. Now, let's remove the stalks from the strawberries and then cut in half. Transfer to the pan and whack the heat up a little bit to get things going, introduce some sugar and your spices.

Now we need to keep an eye on both our pans - keep moving your nut crumb and tossing our strawberries. We can help our strawberries a little bit by squeezing some of the juice out with a spoon or fork. Once our sugar has coated the nuts and dissolved, tip out onto your board and allow to cool. Going back to our strawberries we can help them again by giving them a mix and a squash, we want to give them time to cook and let all their juice out and mix with our spices.

Step 4

Have a little taste of the pistachios, they should be full of flavour and sweet. Lower the heat on the strawberries until cooked and then right at the very last minute hit it with a tablespoon of rose water, leave it to combine with the juices. Once your rose water is in, remove from the heat and then we are nearly ready to serve.

Take a sharp knife and roughly chop through our pistachio crumb - we want this to add texture to our smooth malabi.

Step 5

Ok, lets plate it up! Take the malabi out of the fridge - it should now be completely set and a nice thick custard. Now take the hot syrup straight from the pan and gently with all the juices add the syrup all over the malabi and then sprinkle some of the pistachio crumble over the top.

I'm really happy with this, enjoy that's our malabi!

Eyal Jagermann
's Notes

Step 1

Corn starch

Possibly the best thickening agent we can use. Cornstarch is practically pure starch and a much more efficient thickener than flour. It's manufactured by soaking the whole maize grain, milling it coarsely to remove the germ and hull. It is then ground, sieved and put through a centrifuge.

Step 2

What I love about this recipe is it's relatively easy to make and can be scaled super easily.

I love how light the coconut milk makes this dessert, but you can play around with your liquid. Take a look at my get creative suggestions and recipe development video.

Rose water has been used across a huge variety of dishes, whether it's sausages in north Africa or spices such as Ras el hanout.

We can see now with our super smooth malabi that our initial stages with the separate bowls worked, dissolving our cornstarch and starting that thickening process.

Serve the malabi in any glasses you like or even small bowls.

We want the malabi to cool before putting it in the fridge so it doesn't heat our fridge up too much or damage our glasses.

Step 3


This fruit is easy to grow and is very adaptable so it can be seen to grow in places like Finland and also tropical places like Ecuador. It's unique due to it's "seeds" growing on the outside of the fruit rather than on the inside. The strawberry "seeds" are actually miniature dried fruits (achenes). During ripening, the interior cells of a strawberry enlarge and pull apart. This results in the berry to be filled with air pockets. This also results in the classic shape of the berry.

Strawberries aren't great fruits to use on their own in a puree, they contain little pectin (natural thickening agent), so you will often find them supplemented with pectin or pectin rich fruits.


Native to much of the Middle east, this delicious nut has been found in settlements dating back to 7000bce. This nut is related to cashews and the mango. The pistachio itself grows in clusters with a thin, tannin rich hull. Once mature, the hull turns to a purple colour. Most pistachios are now grown in California, Iran and Turkey.

Step 4

Taste the strawberries with the rose water, feel free to add more if you wish!

We still want our strawberries to hold their shape and not turn to mush.

Step 5

Remember to take out the clove and star anise when serving.

Star anise

This star shaped spice is from the magnolia family. Woody in makeup it's native to southern parts of china. The fruit itself has 6 - 8 chambers.

I love serving this with the cold, chilled malabi and then the warm syrup on top.

Get Creative
  • Liquid - Guys! Get creative with your choice of liquid in this recipe, you can use a huge array of both dairy and non-dairy milks and creams to make this recipe your own and fit your lifestyle.
  • Crumb - I often change my crumb from time to time. Try using different types of nuts or toasted dried coconut. I have often served it with Kataifi pastry as well.
  • Seasonality - This recipe is based on the seasons, this is how I like to create the dish. Make sure you get creative with your syrup with the seasons in mind.
  • Nuts
  • Always check the packaging as allergens may vary depending on the supplier.
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Eyal Jagermann
I think food is at its best when it’s fresh, simple...unpretentious. The most important thing? Ingredients - I am obsessed with quality.