From one mother to another, Yael Shochat from IMA Cuisine shares one of her favourite Israeli dishes.

Serves 4

Malabi is a comfort food from my childhood, a milk pudding infused with vanilla and orange blossom that was eaten chilled in the simmer and hot in the winter. The total mixture makes about three cups, so choose either one large mould that can take the entire mixture or four individual moulds, bowls, glasses or even tea cups.


90g (1 tbsp shy of . cup) caster sugar

50g (. cup plus 1 tbsp) conflour

1/4 cup cream

1 cup whole milk

1 cup water

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp orange blossum water

2 drops good-quality almond extract

3 tbsp edible rose petals, to decorate

3 tbsp crushed pistachios, to decorate

pinch cinnamon, to decorate


In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the sugar, cornflour and cream together to a paste.  Whisk in a few spoonfuls of milk, then add the remaining milk and water in a slow stream, whisking constantly, to think the mixture while keeping it smooth. Stir in the vanilla, orange blossom water and almond extract.

Bring the mixture to the boil over a medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is the consistency of a thick cream and you cannot taste the cornflour.

Pour the mixture into your chosen mould or moulds and sprinkle with the rose petals, crushed pistachios and cinnamon. Chill for 30-45 minutes until set – or, if it’s winter, you might like to eat the malabi immediately while still hot.

Make Ahead

Malabi can be made up to 2 days in advance. Cover the mould with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Reproduced with permission from IMA Cuisine, by Yael Shochat. Published by Penguin Random House New Zealand. RRP $55.00

Text © Yael Shochat, 2016. Photography © Callum Thomas

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