Turkish Milk Pudding (Muhallebi)

Muhallebi is a milk based dessert that is known throughout Turkey and the surrounding regions. Traditional Turkish muhallebi can be consumed all year around however in my opinion the best season to relish this delightful dessert is during the summer months. One spoonful of cold muhallebi is refreshing in the heat of the summer and will enliven your palates.

Authentic muhallebi does not include mastic gum flavor, however people have become creative and have made it with various flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, almond and etc. My all time favorite flavor is mastic gum (to see pictures of mastic gum: go to my Cardamom Mastic Gum Pistachio Cake post) which can be found in Mediterranean grocery stores in the U.S. It usually comes in small pieces and mortar and pestle can be used to grind it. Grinding it in a blender or food processor will result in having sticky gum on your machine which actually happened to me. I still cannot get the small tiny sticky gum from my blender, so now I stick to mortar and pestle.

Enjoy muhallebi plain or with any flavor you desire.

2 cups whole milk
1 small piece mastic gum (grinded)
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp corn starch
¼ cup sugar
1-2 tsp finely ground pistachios

In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup of the milk with rice flour and corn starch. Stir well so that there are no lumps. Once the milk starts to thicken, set aside.

Boil the rest of the milk on medium heat. Add sugar and stir. Gradually, pour the thickened milk (that was mixed with corn starch and rice flour) on top of the boiled milk and continue stirring. Turn heat to low. Add ground mastic gum. Stir until the milk slightly thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Pour into serving size dishes and store in a refrigerator for 4-5 hours. The mixture will fully thicken in the refrigerator. Sprinkle finely ground pistachios or cinnamon just before serving. Serve with cookies.