Malabi is a traditional Constantinopolitan-Greek summery decadent dessert that has its roots in Constantinople, Asia Minor, and Pontos. According to the vintage recipe, malabi is made with full fat cow milk. I have veganized the recipe; for the original recipe that calls for cow milk, I have substituted coconut milk. Coconut milk enhances the fine scent of Chios mastic and thus it makes malabi deliciously aromatic; interestingly enough, coconut milk compliments the other ingredients more than full fat cow milk. You might stumble across many different versions of malabi dessert recipe because malabi is all over the Middle East; it is one of the most loved traditional desserts in Syria and Lebanon. In Cyprus people call it muhallebi; Cypriots use water instead of milk and the pudding is topped with syrup. Recipes vary a little; some call for a combination of milk and cream, others for water or rice milk, some flavor the malabi with rosewater, others with syrup, top it with shredded coconut or peanuts or walnuts, though the oldest recipe calls for mastic, rose petals spoon sweet, and pistachios. All versions agree on the ingredients ratio which for malabi is 6:1, liquids to solids.
Malabi — a rose-flavored sweetness and a mastic-infused light cream topped with pistachios — is the perfect ending to every meal! This is the best dessert for children and for dinner parties.
For the tea lovers and fanatics who passionately seek food and tea pairings and yearn to explore the dynamic between the aromas and flavors we find in teas and food, mentha pulegium or pennyroyal tea is delightful with malabi. This Greek herbal tea with its delicate and minty flavor awakens your senses, balances and even accentuates the Constantinopolitan malabi dessert.
Moreover, I strongly recommend the rosebud white tea as the perfect sipping partner. Rosebud white tea and the rose-flavored Constantinopolitan malabi is the best vegan dessert-and-tea combination you will ever taste!
Constantinopolitan malabi is gluten-free! If you're on a gluten-free diet, do miss out on life's simple pleasures, malabi.