This classic Mediterranean milk pudding is subtly flavored with rose water. It is creamy, refreshing, and delicate. We created a vegan coconut malabi by substituting cow’s milk with coconut and almond milk and cream. I love the gentle coconut flavor balanced out by the rosewater. Garnish it with coconut, pistachio and sweet rose syrup on top, or your favorite fruit. We decorated ours with fresh and dried roses.
I was first introduced to this unique dessert in Turkey. In order to help us connect with our Turkish roots my parents took my sister and I to Istanbul for numerous visits when we were children. We basked in architecture and outdoor cafes, and especially loved the famous bazaars where we would search out silk scarves, hand-carved backgammon sets or fragrant spices. At the end of an outing, we would stop at one of the numerous workman’s restaurants where we ate homey comfort food for the cheapest prices. We loved the rich stews and lentil soups, lemony rice, and pitas. (If you’d like to try another delicious Turkish recipe I recommend our Turkish Rice with Lemon.) At each restaurant, my sister and I waited eagerly for the end of the meal where a cold and delicious Muhallebi was sure to arrive at our table.
Rosewater, coconut, and nuts
Malabi, as it is called in Israel, is a traditional Middle Eastern milk pudding with rosewater. It has a subtle rose flavor and is cold, creamy, and refreshing. It is most often served with pink rose syrup and coconut or nuts on top. Furthermore, Malabi is thickened with cornstarch and surprisingly only takes 10 minutes of prep time. Our vegan coconut Malabi reminds me of the Turkish Muhallebi as it is extra creamy and thick in its texture and richness. What amazing experiences we had in Istanbul. I hope to be able to return someday….
Vegan Coconut Malabi
Early this Spring, Einav discovered a magical place near her house with hundreds of pink and white roses. We gathered some in a basket and later that day, after making Malabi, we topped it with the roses, pistachio and coconut flakes. We’ve added a recipe for our delicious rose syrup that is a great additional topping. Other awesome toppings include chopped up peanuts, cookie crumbles, and berries!
Malabi is one of the most popular desserts here in Israel. There’s the cutest little malabi joint around the corner from my house with little jars of the pudding for $2.50 and tables full of backgammon and cards and other games. You can find people at all hours of the night drinking beer and snacking on pudding as they hang with friends and play games.
After tasting vegan malabi in Tel Aviv I was eager to create a non-dairy recipe myself. I’m excited to say that the coconut cream version with agave that we have for you is just as good if not more delicious than any dairy milk pudding. I love the light coconut flavor balanced with rose water.
Thank you to kami’s gifts for the beautiful flowers. We highly recommend their store in Tel Aviv!
Vegan Rose Malabi (Milk Pudding)
- 2 ¼ cups coconut cream
- 2 cups coconut milk (sometimes called coconut liquid)
- 6 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons rose water
The Rose Syrup (Optional)
- 1 cup cranberry or pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup rosewater
- 1/4 cup sugar
- coconut flakes
- pistachios or peanuts chopped
- fresh fruit
- Heat the coconut cream, coconut milk, and agave (or maple syrup) in a small pot.
- Whisk together the almond milk and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- When the contents of the pot just start to simmer whisk in the almond milk and cornstarch mixture.
- Add in the rose water and stir continuously with a spoon for 3-5 minutes.
- You will feel the milk begin to thicken slowly.
- Remove from heat and divide into 6-8 cups/small bowls.
- Let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
The Rose Syrup (Optional)
- Add the juice, rose water, and sugar to a small pot and stir.
- Bring to a boil and then turn down the fire a bit if needed and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes until it has been reduced by half.
- Let cool and keep in the fridge.
Serving the Malabi
- Once the pudding has set sprinkle it with coconut flakes, nuts, and drizzle lightly with rose syrup. A healthy alternative that we love is to serve the malabi with fresh fruit and without the sweet rose syrup.