How to make malabi custard with rose, cardamom and pistachio

Recipe by Niki Webster. Rebel Recipes by Niki Webster is out now (Bloomsbury Absolute, RRP £26). Photos: Kris Kirkham.

Cardamom is one of my favourite spices. The scent immediately transports me to India or the Middle East. I love it in savoury dishes but it’s even better in desserts. Here it is combined with heavenly pistachio and rose – a dream.

I first ate malabi (Israeli milk pudding) in Israel and immediately fell in love with the combination of flavours. I hope you enjoy my version with its creamy coconut base and that altogether magical combination of pistachio, cardamom and rose.

Ingredients for malabi custard Serves: 4

 How to make malabi

  1. Put all the ingredients except the cornflour and pistachios in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir to combine. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring continuously.
  2. Add the cornflour to a small bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water to form a smooth paste, making sure there are no lumps.
  3. Now add the cornflour mix to the pan, turn up the heat to medium–high and stir continuously to avoid lumps forming. Bring the mixture briefly to the boil then reduce the heat to low. Continue to stir until thickened, then remove from the heat.
  4. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl to remove the cardamom seeds and any lumps. Now pour the creamy mix into four glasses. Allow to cool a little then pop in the refrigerator overnight to set.
  5. Serve topped with the crushed pistachios.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2021

Enjoying desserts with unusual flavours? Try out tonka beans, which will bring notes of vanilla, coconut, sour cherry, clove and liquorice to your dishes.


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