Having lived in middle east for almost 8 years now I have always been drawn to their rich traditions and cuisines. Though majority of the middle eastern dishes comprises mainly of meat, eggs they still have many vegetarian delicacies.
Recently I got my hand on a lebanese cook book.. Cooking the Lebanese Way by Suad Amari and while rummaging thru the pages I found this lebanese dessert called Meghli. One look and I knew that I will be making it soon. This is my kind of dessert- very healthy, no ghee, no butter, no cream.
Meghli a kind of rice pudding also known as spice pudding is traditionally made on the birth of a son or on the birth of a girl child after many sons in the family.. and is flavoured with caraway, fennel, anise and cinnamon and garnished with coconut and nuts of one's choice.
Rice flour or ground rice- 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Granulated White Sugar- 1 cup
Water -4 cups + 2 cups
Cinnamon Powder- 1 tsp
Ground Fennel- 1 tsp
Ground Caraway- 2 tsp
Grated Coconut, Pine nuts and blanched Almonds for garnishing.
- Soak rice flour in 2 cups of water for about 1 or 2 hours.
- Add sugar and spices to this soaked flour and stir well.
- Boil 4 cups of water and add the above flour to the boiling water, stir continuously avoiding any lumps.
- Keep boiling and stirring in between in low heat till the mixture thickens and coats the back of spoon.
- Pour in individual glasses or bowls or ramekins. Allow to cool.
- Serve cold topped with shredded coconut and nuts.
I halved the above recipe and got 3 ramekins of pudding.
Usually ground anise is used in place of fennel or all the four spices( cinnamon, anise, fennel and caraway) can be used together... Caraway is the most important spice. I didn't have anise so omitted it.