Food & Drink

Fadi Kattan’s milk pudding recipe

Chef Fadi Kattan calls mouhalabieh ‘an ideal dessert for all seasons’.

Mouhalabieh from Bethlehem
Mouhalabieh from Bethlehem

“Mouhalabieh, or milk pudding, is a creamy, fragrant dessert that transports you with each mouthful to Palestine,” says Franco-Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan.

“The light taste of mastic is ideal for joining the flavours from across the Palestinian terroir. Served chilled, with dates studded with cloves from Gaza, ripe fruit from Bethlehem, or a few candied oranges from Jaffa, mouhalabieh is an ideal dessert for all seasons.”



(Serves 6-8)

750ml whole milk (or substitute almond milk)

120g sugar

1tsp ground mastic

80g cornstarch

Finely chopped pistachios, to garnish

Mouhalabieh from Bethlehem
Mouhalabieh from Bethlehem (Elias Halabi & Ashley Lima/PA)


1. Heat about two-thirds of the milk with the sugar and mastic in a pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch and the remaining milk in a bowl until smooth. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the pot, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon and making sure the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom.

2. Once the pudding thickens, remove it from the heat, stir well, and pour into glass serving bowls. Let cool at room temperature for one hour. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours.

3. Garnish with the pistachios and serve.

Bethlehem: A Celebration Of Palestinian Food by Fadi Kattan is published by Hardie Grant, priced £28. Photography by Elias Halabi & Ashley Lima. Available on May 16.