Turkish-Cypriot Cuisine
North Cyprus  


Muhallebi (Cypriot Rice Powder Pudding)

  Serves 5 Mrs Engin Azizalp
  This is a much loved Turkish-Cypriot dessert prepared by families all year round. This recipe comes from Mrs Engin Azizalp of Nicosia.
  • 1 pint (568 ml) semi-skimmed milk
  • 4 tablespoon rice powder [1 rounded tablespoon rice powder per 1 water glassful of milk]
  • to 1 water-glassful sugar [or enough sugar to taste]
  • 2-4 granules of mastic (mezdeki) grounded with 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2-3 bitter orange leaves or orange blossoms
  • Water optional or if available
  • Pistachios and almonds (if desired)

Muhallebi - Cypriot Rice Powder Pudding1.   In a basin or a large bowl, mix rice powder into a paste with a little milk taken from 1 pint (568 ml

2.   Heat remaining milk to almost boiling point and pour onto the rice paste, stirring well

3.   Return the mix to the saucepan and add orange leaves and bring to boil over gentle heat while stirring continuously. 

4.   Once the mixture starts bubbling, reduce the heat and continue stirring for another 5-10 minutes more.

5.   Add sugar and keep stirring until it dissolves completely.

6.   If the mixture becomes too thick dilute with a little milk or water

7.   Just before turning the heat off add powdered mastic, orange blossoms (or bitter-orange leaves) and stir well

8.   Remove the leaves (if used instead of blossoms) and pour the creamy mixture into small bowls (or a one large shallow dish approximately 1-1 and deep.

9.   Decorate the pudding top with pistachios and almonds if desired.

  Helpful Hints
  • Add sugar after the rice powder mixture has been stirred, boiled and thickened for at least 10 minutes

  • Add mastic right at the end

  • At the end, you may wish to place the saucepan in cold water and beat the mixture for a few minutes before pouring into small dishes

  • Vegetarian dishes have been marked with sign
  • Albrecht, M. (1994), Turkish Cypriot and Mediterranean Cookery, Havellia Publishing, London.
  • Salaman, R., (1991), The Cooking of Greece and Turkey, Sainsbury Cookbooks, London.
  • Jemal, H., Cyprus Today, various.

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