Greetings dear readers, and allow me to wish all that celebrate a very warm Ramadan Kareem! I can’t believe it’s that time of year again, or furthermore that we’re already 6 days in.
This year Ramadan has been slightly more challenging for me, I won’t lie. A hectic work schedule that doesn’t seem to let up (irrespective of the supposedly shorter working hours) coupled with the short window of time to eat in (thank you, long summer days) has left me tired and drained of energy. On the weekend I even found myself getting faint and seeing spots – not good.
The solution? Eat more!
I realised a couple of days ago that even if I didn’t get hungry I had to force myself to ingest more than one meal a night in the interest of being a functional human being the following day. I’ve been filling up on seasonal fruit like watermelon and mango and ingesting copious amounts of coconut water to aid with hydration too. So far, so good.
The silver lining to this first world problem is that I feel no guilt indulging in the occasional dessert (or four) – after all, I need the calories right?
I tried my hand at veganising a traditional dessert that was one of my favourites as a kid – Muhallabia, otherwise known as Egyptian milk pudding. It’s incredibly simple to make, and tastes almost identical to the original version.
- 2 cups of unsweetened soy milk*
- 1/4 cup of organic sugar or xylitol
- 3 tbsp of corn starch
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 1/2 tsp rose water (optional)
- Dried rose petals and pistachio to garnish (you can also use raisins, cinnamon, maraschino cherries etc.)
* You could use almond or coconut milk if you’re not a fan of soy – if using almond milk I recommend you opt for homemade if you have it on hand – store bought may render your dessert a little thin. Coconut milk will do the trick too, but will obviously have a slight additional flavour – if that doesn’t bother you then go ahead.
- Start by dissolving the corn starch in half a cup of the milk – I like to use a tall glass and a strong fork to make sure it fully combines.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, place the corn starch mixture along with the rest of the milk, sugar (or sweetener of choice), orange blossom water and rose water if using. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens enough to evenly coat a wooden spoon.
- Pour the Muhallabia into serving bowls and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour before serving. Garnish generously with chopped pistachio and dried rose petals, or whatever else your heart desires.
A full disclaimer – the first time I tried this I made it from the regular ol’ box you find at the supermarket, subbing soy milk for regular milk – so if you’re lazy you could totally do that also, but trust me this version tastes significantly better.
Light, creamy and aromatic with a hint of crunch and texture from the pistachios. The perfect accompaniment to a post-iftar peppermint tea.
I must say, it is slightly torturous to be writing this post while fasting – but hey, only 10 and a half hours to go.