Meghli, or Lebanese caraway pudding, is a traditional celebratory dessert in Lebanon. It's made and served to guests when a baby is born and at several other celebrations and holidays including Christmas. In my household, we don't wait for special occasions to make this scrumptious dessert. My grandma makes it every few weeks so it's practically a monthly treat.
What I Love About This Recipe
For me, meghli is all about happy memories. Welcoming cousins into the family, graduations, and even birthdays. It brings me so much joy whenever we make it because it takes me right back to those special moments. I also love its aromas and how fragrant it is. There's something about the smell of caraway that's just super comforting.
- Rice flour (or rice powder): This ingredients forms the base of the caraway pudding and gives it a thick consistency.
- Sugar: Sweetens it up and blends incredibly well with the spices used in this recipe.
- Ground cinnamon: One of the my favorite spices for this dessert. It gives it a sweet kick and balances out the flavor of caraway and anise.
- Powdered caraway: The star of every meghli pot, without it this dessert wouldn't be the same.
- Ground anise: Not everyone adds this to the pudding recipe but I feel like it adds a light, fragrant taste.
- Water: Added this here because we need a lot of it in this recipe.
- Mixed raw nuts: To decorate and top the meghli cups.
- Shredded coconut: To drizzle on top of your serving cups.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
How To Make Meghli
Put all the dry ingredients in a pan and whisk them together until they're all blended together.
Before you turn on the stovetop, add in the water and whisk until the dry ingredients are all dissolved. Next, turn the heat on medium-high and keep whisking until the pudding comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and keep stirring until you get a thick consistency.
Spoon the caraway pudding into serving cups. Let it cool a bit then top each cup with some shredded coconut.
Decorate each cup with the nuts of your choice and store them in the fridge until you're ready to serve!
Tips and Tricks
- Whisk and stir: Whisk the dry ingredients well before adding water to them. Once the mixture is on the stove, don't stop stirring until the pudding thickens. Both these steps are very important because they stop the mixture from curdling.
- Soak the raw nuts in water: This is key. Make sure you soak the nuts you're going to be using to top the meghli with for at least 2 hours.
- Avoid over cooking: Once the caraway pudding is thickened and no longer has a watery consistency remove from the heat. Don't over-boil it.
Variations and Substitutions
- Lightened up version: You can substitute the sugar in the recipe for a low calorie sweetener or use less sugar in the recipe as a whole.
- Sugar substitution: White granulated sugar is often used to make meghli but cane sugar or coconut sugar work well too.
- Whisk to get the proper consistency and mix the ingredients together.
- Stovetop pot to bring that pudding to life.
- Serving bowls
- Olive spoon or slotted spoon to strain the soaked nuts before topping the mehgli.
Cover the meghli serving cups in cling film and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. This dessert does not freeze well.
This dessert originates in the Levant region. It is most popular in Lebanon but is also made in Syria and Jordan, where it is named "karawiya," after caraway - its star ingredient.
Two answers, one for Arabic and one for English. In Arabic, the dessert derives its name from the process through which it's made as "meghli," means "boiled." In English, the dish is called caraway pudding after its star ingredient.
Yes. In fact, in Jordan and Syria meghli is only served warm. The opposite is true in Lebanon where it's considered a cold dessert and rarely served warm. We recommend you try both and pick your favorite. I prefer it cold.