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Last Updated Saturday December 03 2016 10:12 AM IST

Layali Labnan

Sumaija Asghar
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Layali Labnan

A cold semolina pudding with sugar syrup and pistachio nut topping, this Arabic dessert is worth a try during the weekends when your palate yearns for something new.

Ingredients

8 cups whole milk

¾ cup semolina

1 tsp ground mastika (a strong, sweet alcoholic spirit, usually taken after meals)

6-8 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp rose water

3 tbsp Orange blossom water

1 cup coarsely ground fresh pistachios


Sugar Syrup Ingredients


1 cup white sugar

¾ cup water

¼ tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp Orange blossom water


Whipped Cream Ingredients


2 cups heavy cream

1 tbsp granulated sugar

Vanilla extract (optional)


Preparation

Mix milk, semolina and sugar well in a cooking pot and then bring to a boil on medium to high heat while continuously stirring and scalping the bottom (this is important so that the semolina doesn't clump or stick to the bottom)

As soon as it boils, lower heat to minimum, and add ground Mastika all while stirring

When the pudding starts to thicken, remove from heat, add the rose water and orange blossom water, stir a bit so they are well dissipated and then immediately pour the hot pudding into your serving containers

The serving container could be a 2 inch-deep tray or small serving cups/bowls. Make sure to leave some room on the top for the whipped cream

Let it rest and come down to room temperature. It will take about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, you can prepare the sugar syrup and the whipped cream

Mix water and sugar well and bring to a boil in a saucepan on medium heat

When boiling starts, lower heat, add ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice and let it simmer for 10 minutes after which you remove from heat

Add Orange blossom water and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature

Place heavy cream in a chilled stainless steel bowl (or place bowl on ice) and with a whisk, whip through it vigorously for a few minutes

If you are using an electric whipper, start on low speed, increasing the speed gradually

After a few minutes of whipping, the heavy cream will increase in volume and turn into whipped cream as soft peaks start to form

At this point, add the sugar and vanilla, and whip a bit more to mix it in. Don't over-whip the cream, so it doesn't turn into butter. Keep whipped cream chilled

Once the pudding has rested and cooled down, place it in the fridge for a few minutes to chill, then top it with a ½ to ¾ inch layer of whipped cream, add a sprinkle of coarsely ground Pistachios and serve with sugar syrup (optional)


(The author is a chef and tutor @ Greens Ayurveda, Mahe)


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