Malabi is a traditional Israeli dessert made from milk.  It’s similar to a custard or panna cotta, but a lighter version.  I like to use coconut milk, for its flavor, but the real showcase in this dish is the toppings. This recipe uses a strawberry sauce, but you can add honey, nuts, coconut, pomegranate, orange segments, or whatever suits you.

Ingredients (serves 4):


3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk or coconut milk (not light)
1/2 cup sugar


1 pint strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons toasted pistachios, chopped


Method: Make pudding by whisking cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the milk in a large saucepan until you’ve made a smooth paste. Add remaining milk and sugar and heat gently over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently.  When mixture has thickened, take off heat and pour into six individual bowls or martini glasses.  Cover the top of each bowl with plastic wrap (plastic wrap should touch the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming).  Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours until set.


For the garnish, chop the strawberries and place in a a saucepan with the sugar.  Add a tablespoon of water and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries have created a thick syrup.  Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes or more.  Place in a small food processor and blend until smooth.  When puddings are set, pour strawberry sauce over each one and top with pistachios.

DessertEvan Wei-Haas