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yield: 4 servings


For the Malabi

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) whole milk, divided into 1/2 cup (4 ounce) and 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) portions
  • 5 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rose water (see baker's notes)

For the Rose Water Syrup

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) water
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rose water (see baker's notes)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pink food coloring (see baker's notes)

For Serving

  • shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • shredded coconut


For the Malabi

  • Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
  • Pour 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of the milk into a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Whisk cornstarch into the milk, one tablespoon at a time, only adding the next tablespoon once the cornstarch has fully dissolved.
  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pot, combine the rest of the milk and the cream, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally to dissolve the sugar, just until the milk starts to boil, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and immediately pour in the milk and cornstarch mixture, whisking slowly but steadily for 3 minutes more. The mixture will thicken and should have a texture similar to cake batter.
  • After 3 minutes, remove from heat and pour the pudding through the fine mesh sieve and into the bowl. Discard any lumps in the sieve. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the rose water.
  • Once the rose water is incorporated and the pudding is fragrant, divide the pudding evenly between 4 ramekins (each ramekin should have around 4.5 ounces). Press a small piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding in each ramekin. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight. The malabi will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

For the Rose Water Syrup

  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pot, combine the water and sugar. Whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, boiling for 1 minute total. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  • Once cooled slightly, whisk in the rose water. Add pink food coloring, 1 to 2 drops at a time, until the syrup is a bright, neon pinkā€”the final syrup will look more orange, but you can test its color by spooning a little bit onto a white plate. Once happy with the color, pour into an airtight container with a lid. The syrup will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, and in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


  • Before serving, spoon around 1 teaspoon of rose water syrup over each serving of of chilled malabi. Garnish with pistachios and coconut. Serve immediately.