Fahad Inc. Dishes

    Custard ma hal ~ Custard with Cardamom and Rose Water

    Adding a little cardamom and rose water to custard gives a touch of the oriental to this pudding. Usually served in the afternoons on the fou-alla, and a Ramadan favourite, this is a very traditional dish in the Emirates. Today, however, I have noticed women add some tinned fruit cocktail to the custard, or pour it over pre-set jelly (made from a packet). This offers added flavour and gives a more attractive appearance to the dish.
    In previous times, when commercial custard powder was not available, the housewife would use corn flour and colour with saffron. The cherries for decoration are a modern day touch. This is better refrigerated until needed.

    4 cup milk
    3/4 cup sugar
    3 tablespoons custard powder (commercial)
    1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    2 tablespoons rose water
    ground pistachios and glace cherries for decoration

    Put milk, sugar and cardamom into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower heat and taste for sweetness. Mix the custard powder with a little water to make a smooth thin paste and carefully stir it, little by little, into the milk mixture, whisking continuously. Continue stirring until the custard is smooth.
    Remove from heat and add rose water. Return to the stove and place over a very low heat to simmer gently for two to three minutes. Pour into small bowles, or a large bowl, garnish with nuts and cherries and chill until ready to eat.

    From the book "The Complete United Arab Emirates Cookbook"
    by Celia Ann Brock- Al Ansari
    Copyright © 1994 by Celia Ann Brock-Al Ansari

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