The days have gotten shorter, the deadlines at work have gotten deadlier and the movies in the theatre right now are all quite forgettable. How is a girl supposed to deal with these circumstances without some pudding? Yes, pudding. You see this girl does not reach out for the nearest bar of artisan dark chocolate when the stress levels rise. She makes herself something light and gooey, not terrribly sugary and redolent of spices and whispers from far away land...something like muhallabia massawa*. I have to admit I fell in love with the name the instant I came upon it in the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook. And also the fact that it could be made in less than an hour...that qualifies for almost instant gratification in my book.
To make muhallabia maasawa, you will need the following: Sugar - 1 cup;Cornstarch - 1/4 cup ;Ground Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp;Ground Cardamom - 1/2 tsp; Milk - 4 cups; Eggs - 2, well beaten; Butter - 2 tbsp; Vanilla Extract - 2 tsp
Once you have everything you need, start by mixing the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cardamom in a saucepan. Slowly add in the milk to make a thick paste and then whisk in the remaining milk. Add the eggs. Cook this mixture on medium heat while continuosly whisking. The mixture should start thickening after 12-15 minutes. At this stage remove from heat, mix in the butter and vanilla. Pour into six glasses/cups and refrigerate for atleast 45 minutes. Serve garnished with orange segments and a splash of rosewater...totally optional.
*When the Boy was told that the simmerimg gloop in the pot was a dessert called muhallabia massawa, he snorted. The term dessert it seems should be applied to all things chocolate-y like chocolate ganache torte, chocolate fudge brownies etc. etc. Famous last words as they say.