On a bright sunny day, somewhere in North London, out came the BBQ! Chicken breasts marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and a touch of Greek oregano, loukanika (Greek sausages) and halloumi. Accompanied with fat pitta bread, all the way from Cyprus and a fresh Greek salad with feta cheese.

What will go nicely as a dessert? Mahalepi, what else!


Mahalepi is a corn flour custard served with a sweet rosewater cordial. It originated in Cyprus but there are different versions in the Middle East, such as Lebanon and Turkey.

I made the Lebanese version. Corn flour mixed with milk, as opposed to the Cypriot version, which is mixed with water. Once the custard was ready I added a touch of ground mastic (resin from the mastic tree. Also known as ‘Arabic gum’), sprinkled with chopped pistachios and put in the fridge to set. I served it with homemade rosewater sugar syrup.

My only problem was that the sunny day turned into a Great British downpour, but that never stops a Greek BBQ. Up went the gazebo, BBQ done and eaten followed by a refreshing, creamy, cool Lebanese Mahalepi.


Sunday 28 May 2017

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