Pearled Black Nile Barley, Malabi Inspired Pudding

Malabi is a milk pudding commonly made with rice, sugar, milk and either rice flour, corn starch or semolina. It is a popular dessert in the Middle East, my first time tasting it was in Jerusalem. This pudding is inspired by the Middle eastern "milk puddings" I've tasted, though it is thickened, and textured by Black Nile Barley. - You can grind the barley to create a starchy thickener if you'd like, or for the tapioca "bubble" like experience, of course leave them whole! 

You could use leftover rice or groats to create this pudding if you don't happen to have barley available, though pearled barley is quite special! Serve this pudding with rose water, orange blossom water or even pomegranate molasses! Garnish with pistachio's, ... or pumpkin seeds !

Black Nile Barley, Malabi Inspired Pudding

  • 1 cup Pearled Barley 
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk/or milk and water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • Up To half a cup of heavy cream, to thin as needed. 

Garnish With: 

  • Rose Water, Orange Blossom Water, to Taste,  and about 1/2 cup Raisins, Dried Apricots, Pistachios , Etc. 

Place the barley in a medium pot with the salt and milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes. . Add the sugar and, and cardamom, and simmer to thicken, add a little water if it is too thick. Add cream to thin the texture, or to taste. Serve immediately with some extra sugar and cream on the side if desired.

NOTE: Pearled barley has had the outer husk and bran removed, which means it cooks a lot faster but provides slightly less nutrition. If you cannot find barley pearled and are using regular, the cooking time will be somewhat longer.

By Cat Morrow  @LegacyAcres