Muhallabiya for a new year..

Every new year and at around this time, I like to prepare Muhallabiya.     I don’t know if it has become a tradition as such but it is possibly the easiest and most delicious of ‘white’ deserts to make. Cooking and eating something white is meant to bring good luck to the start of a year. The only challenge of presenting Muhallabiya, repetitively, yearly is how to present it differently? There’s a brilliant blogger account that I follow on instagram; when sheikha cooks who uses this same mould for cake. So when I saw this five finger (Khamsa) hand symbol in the shops, I had to get it and try to mould my milk pudding inside it.  After many attempts and half a dozen eaten bowls of pudding that didn’t exactly set, it worked.

Hamsa is the hand of Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatima. It is the symbol of patience, loyalty, faith and resistance against difficulties. According to common belief, it tells of the Fatima’s struggle for dignity and her tough life. Thereby, purity, goodness and truth are blessed. For centuries, Fatima’s Hand has been a powerful talisman for good luck and one of the most popular amulets in the world of Islam for protection. It is hung on the walls of the house as engraving in silver or gold or it is painted in red. It is believed that a house protected by the Hand of Fatima will not catch fire.

This time round, I doubled the recipe to fill up this very large mould. I also added some honey and crushed pistachio to the top of the pudding, once it set.


  1. Leave a Reply

    Kathy Sullivan
    January 7, 2015

    chapeau – that is just beautiful…and you’re right about the white food to start the new year off right – we always had kubbeh bi labban yogurt sauce and other white foods for new year’s with our dear landlady Auntie Rasina…who had the nice touches of Halabi cooking from her mother’s side, the Jaffa-Palestinian urban elegance of her father’s side and the love of fish both from Jaffa and living in the Gulf countries for many years. Thank god she ended up with her retired husband in Jordan as my beloved neighbor for many years. thanks for this memory of her…and happy new year to you!

  2. Leave a Reply

    January 7, 2015

    Really beautiful. I’m going to have to try it some time. Love xxx

  3. Leave a Reply

    January 8, 2015

    yes please do and use some of those rose petals we bought together from Al Souq here in

  4. Leave a Reply

    January 8, 2015

    Iam fascinated with this sweet dish . The shape is amazing and the memory if our beloved Fatima Majed it more delicious . So while u make a delicious dish u bring the dear memory of the great Fatima who is a great symbol of our history . It’s a unique combination of taste and tradition

  5. Leave a Reply

    January 14, 2015

    Exquisite = what a centrepiece and perfect for a celebration.

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