Mahalepi is a light refreshing summer pudding, served cold. It’s made with nisiaste or cornflour, it has a neutral taste but is flavoured with rosewater syrup, sometimes, orange blossom water, or sorbet if your being fancy. This recipe is so simple, vegan friendly and extremely simple to prepare.

This sweet refresher originated during the Byzantine times in the eastern Mediterranean in the Middle East with rose water was brought from Syria over 1600 years ago! During this, the areas around the Lebanon, Jordan, Syrian regions began boiling rice and maize flour to create this desert. Lebanese version of this (Mahalepia) uses milk and flavouring the pudding itself with sugar, cinnamon and other eastern spices garnished with pistachio nuts. Cyprus retained the more original version of this which later re-emerged during Maronite Christian migrations 1000CE and re-popularised as recently as the 1980’s when Lebanese populations fled to Cyprus during the wars and Cypriots did, as Cypriots love to do, made the newcomers welcome by offering their version of a dish they knew.

Ok enough with the history lesson . . This recipe is super easy you could do it with your eyes closed (but please don’t). All you need is water cornflour and a bit of time as this needs to set overnight. You can flavour it with some rosewater or ice cream / sorbet. 

If your wondering where to get rose water from you’ll usually find this in any decent delicatessen or order it online using the text link to rose water syrup available on amazon.

415 min’ 8 hours8 hours 15 min’


  • 900ml Cold Water
  • 4 heaped tbsp of cornflour
  • Rose water (Triantafillo) over iced water to serve
  • Other optional toppings include orange blossom water, raw sugar or honey & lemon juice?


In a large pan add the 700ml of water and place on a high heat. 

Dissolve the cornflour separately in a cup / small jug with 200ml of water.

Once the pan of water has started to warm add the cornflour mixture and stir through. Keep on a high heat and stir continuously until it starts boiling.

The mixture will start to thicken. Reduce the heat and keep it bubbling away slowly whilst stirring for about 5 minutes until the mixture resembles a PVA glue like texture when dripping of the spoon.

Take the pan off the heat and prepare 4 bowls or containers, rinsing them with water, and add the mix to them to set. Make sure the containers are wet as the water will act as a separating layer between the cooked starch liquid and its surface.

Set the containers aside to cool for 10 minutes and then place in the fridge overnight to set.

Once the mahalepi has set cover with some cold water and seal in a container or cover with cling film, until needed.

To serve place in a serving dish with a couple of table spoons of cold water and ice. Add the rose water and any other fresh topping you like. If your looking for something authentic try adding adding some of my own Rose Sorbet, shown below, which I have added a recipe for and can be made ahead like the mahalepi.

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