Meghli is the “newborn” sweet. Whenever a mother gives birth, meghli is the first thing to prepare at home to offer to family and guests. And since Christmas is about a newborn, too, meghli is served as a Christmas dessert in the mountains.
Meghli is a fragrant brown rice pudding, sweetened with sugar; seasoned with anise, caraway, and cinnamon; and topped with almonds and pistachios. The legend goes that the brown meghli is a symbol of a fertile soil, with seeds on top of it that will sprout into life!
Meghli means “boiled,” and so the secret here is to boil this pudding for the longest time possible, over low heat, to acquire a thick consistency.
- 1/2 cup (80 g) rice flour
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (6 g) ground caraway
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) ground aniseed
- 5 1/3 tablespoons (50 g) pine nuts
- 3 1/2 tablespoons (50 g) shelled pistachios
- 1/3 cup (50 g) almonds
- Kamal Mouzawak
Bring a pot with 6 cups (1.4 L) water to a boil. Dissolve the rice flour, sugar, caraway, cinnamon, and aniseed in 1 cup (235 ml) water and add this mixture to the boiling water, stirring constantly so that the rice powder does not form lumps. Lower the heat and continue stirring for the rice to cook and the pudding to acquire a thick consistency, about 1 hour.
Pour into individual serving bowls and let it cool and set. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
While the pudding chills, soak the pine nuts, pistachios, and almonds separately in bowls of water to cover for around 2 hours. Drain, and peel the skins from the pistachios and almonds (rubbing them in a clean kitchen towel will help). Serve the pudding with the mixed nuts sprinkled on top.