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muhalabiah served in a glass bowl and garnished with a wild strawberry, mint leaves and ground pistachio
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5 from 2 votes

Muhallebi - Mahalabia Dessert

Muhallebi (or Mahalabia / Muhallabieh) Dessert is a light, creamy and delicious milk pudding that's popular throughout Turkey and the Middle East. 
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Turkish
Diet: Halal, Low Salt, Vegetarian
Servings: 5 portions
Calories: 362kcal
Author: Ayla Clulee


  • 1200 ml full-fat milk (whole milk)
  • 200 g caster or granulated sugar
  • 25 g plain white flour / all-purpose flour
  • 35 g wheat or corn starch
  • 3 pieces mastic gum (optional)
  • 10 g butter
  • berries and ground pistachio (to garnish)


  • If using mastic gum, place it in a mortar and pestle with a teaspoon of sugar and turn it into a powder, set it aside. The sugar prevents the mastic from sticking to the mortar and pestle while grinding.
  • Pour the milk into a heavy-based pan and whisk in the sugar, flour, and starch until there are no lumps.
  • Place the pan on medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring continuously.
  • When the pudding starts boiling, lower the heat and let it gently simmer for a few minutes until it thickens enough to cover the back of a spoon.
  • Add the mastic gum and continue stirring the pudding frequently to avoid it burning.
  • Divide the Muhallebi into individual serving bowls and let them cool down to room temperature.
  • Transfer the bowls to the fridge and leave them to set for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
  • Garnish with pistachio nuts, berries, pomegranate seeds, or pine nuts before serving.


  • Keep the Muhallebi - Mahalabia dessert refrigerated, making sure it is covered with a piece of cling film or tin foil to avoid it from absorbing other odors/flavors in the fridge.
  • This recipe makes 4 large or 5 small portions, you can easily adjust the amount of the ingredients and double the recipe if you want to feed a crowd!
  • Toast the pistachios in a pan for a few minutes to bring out their flavor. Finely chop them or blitz them in a food processor to turn them into a powder.
  • Add the nuts to the pudding last minute, just before serving to avoid them getting soft.
  • Grind the mastic gum in a mortar and pestle with a teaspoon of sugar to prevent it from sticking to the mortar and pestle.
  • Use almond milk or coconut milk for the vegan version.


Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 378mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 451IU | Calcium: 306mg | Iron: 0.1mg