Meghli (Moghli) is a Middle Eastern pudding flavored with caraway, cinnamon and sometimes anise. It is traditionally decorated with shredded coconut and different types of nuts. This pudding is thickened with rice flour making it gluten-free and vegan.
Meghli is very popular in Lebanon and is served to celebrate the birth of a child. It will often make an appearance on the Christmas dinner table as well as birthday parties.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: This recipe might need a bit of time to make but the process is actually very simple! All you need to do is whisk the ingredients together and wait for the mixture to thicken.
- Customizable: You can use whatever nuts you have to decorate the meghli. And you can tweak the amount of sugar and spices to suit your taste.
- Thickened with rice flour: This recipe is egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free making it a perfect choice for a wide range of people!
- Perfect any time of the day: Meghli is delicious and so easy to eat. It can be enjoyed as a dessert or for breakfast!
- Rice flour: To thicken the meghli. Rice flour should be cooked slowly. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat to speed up the process!
- Sugar: You’ll need white granulated sugar, to sweeten the meghli. You can adjust the amount called for in the recipe, depending on your preferences. But I wouldn’t recommend reducing the amount of sugar too much or the meghli will be bland.
- Spices: Ground caraway gives the meghli its characteristic flavor. You’ll also need ground cinnamon which pairs perfectly with caraway. The cinnamon will affect the color of the meghli. The more you use, the darker the meghli will be. I also like to add a little bit of ground anise but you can omit this if you don’t have any.
- Water: You’ll need a lot of water to turn the dry ingredients into a wonderful pudding!
- Toppings: You’ll need unsweetened shredded coconut and nuts. You can use walnuts, blanched almonds, shelled pistachios, pine nuts etc. In Lebanon, the nuts are usually soaked in water before preparing meghli. Soaking the walnuts and almonds makes them softer and easier to digest. You can also soak the pistachios if you plan on peeling them later on. But you can skip this step if you don’t want to wait.
Prepare the nuts and serving dish
- Optional: Soak the walnuts and blanched almonds in water at least 4 hours before starting. You can also soak the pistachios if you’d like to peel them. You can do this step the night before and keep them (covered) in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the serving dish or bowls and set aside.
Whisk the ingredients together
- Place the rice flour, sugar and spices in a medium-sized pot.
- Whisk together until combined.
- Pour the water over the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
Cook the meghli
- Place over medium-high heat (heat 6 out of 9 for example) and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. This will take about 18 minutes so you might want to pull up a chair!
- When the foam has subsided and the mixture starts to boil and thicken, reduce the heat to low. Keep heating for about 5 more minutes, until the meghli coats the back of a spoon. The rice flour needs time to cook properly so don’t take the mixture off the heat too soon.
- Remove from the heat and immediately pour into desired serving dish or bowls, filling them about halfway. There should be enough space left for the topping. Don’t fill the bowls too much or the toppings will start to fall out when you are eating the meghli.
- Cool down completely at room temperature then cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or until cold. The surface of the meghli might occasionally crack a little. Don’t worry about it as you will cover it with coconut.
- Decorate with shredded coconut and nuts just before serving.
Make sure the nuts are completely dry before placing them on the meghli. You can use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water then pat them dry with a paper towel.
And that’s it! My mother has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember! I hope it will become a favorite in your household too!