Mighli – A Guilt Free Lebanese Christmas Pudding

With the festive season still in progress, the excesses of Christmas are catching up with me. My diet has mainly been terrible: a low intake of veggies (peas), coupled with a massive increase in animal fat (read duck fat, cream, butter) and animal protein , and those nice bottles of sherry and wine – my liver is sluggishly churning through the indulgences, and I’m feeling sleepy. But it is the season to be jolly after all, and you can’t be jolly without puds, right?

Mighli is one of those Lebanese desserts suitable for Christmas, and it’s fat free, so my digestive system is partially thankful. Mighli’s suitability for Christmas comes from two aspects. The first one is the recipe’s use of spices – cinnamon, aniseed and caraway – as spices are used for Christmas puds the world over. And second, the Lebanese make this recipe when a child is born, so of course, it is very relevant to the birth of Christ. The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity, flavour and texture. Mighli means boiled, and I believe that is because the creamy mouth feel comes from boiling rice flour with sugar, water and spices, making it surprisingly rich for a fat free dessert. Joumana from Taste of Beirut has a nice entry on Mighli, and since she wrote her blog entry before I did, I owe her a mention. So try this dessert – it’s sweet, creamy and somewhat healthy. Well, healthier…

Mighli Recipe

Water – 6 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Rice Flour (Fine) – 1 cup
Cinnamon – 2 tsp
Aniseed – 1 tsp
Caraway – 3 tsp

Pistachios, no shell, soaked overnight – a big handful
Pine nuts – a big handful
Almonds, peeled, soaked overnight in water laced with orange blossom water
Raisins, dried shredded coconuts or anything that takes your fancy


  1. Boil 3 cups of water
  2. Add sugar and spices and mix until the sugar dissolves
  3. Separately mix the rice flour with the remaining 3 cups of water making sure there are no lumps
  4. Add rice flour slurry to the boiling water
  5. Bring up to the boil then reduce the heat to medium
  6. Continuously stir with a wooden spoon
  7. The mixture will eventually become quite thick. This should take around 40 minutes or so
  8. When sufficiently thick (around twice the thickness of custard), turn the heat off and put in a large serving dish or individual ramekins
  9. Wait until cool then refrigerate


  1. Peel and drain the pistachios
  2. Drain the almonds
  3. Garnish the ramekins or serving dish with the nuts/raisins/coconut
  4. Serve cold


  • Want! Though to be honest I wanted it more when I though there was chocolate and cream involved, oh yes, cream. But I guess the spices are festive and delicious enough. I love desserts made with rice flour and can imagine the texture of this pudding, divine!
    I hope your xmas wasn't an xmess, though it does sound like it was slightly more xmax than expected 🙂

  • Thank you so much. I am giving a new year party to my friends on my birthday and I have decided the whole menu. I was looking for a pudding and my search ends here. this looks great. I will surely try this and let you know.

  • Great photos Fouad and I did see a lot of mighli this season in Beirut. Did you ever try making it in the presto? a lot of people in Beirut seem to do it this way, but then a lot of people sneer at people who do it this way!

  • lili – Merry Christmas! I'm sure you can put some cream on top. My Christmas was grear. Very relaxing.

    sis – habibi marmoura, I love coconut on top of mighli too. I didnt have any 🙁

    server – great, looking forward to hearing how you went.

    joumana – thanks! My sister Mary (sis) is the queen of mighli, and she makes it with a presto (pressure cooker). It turns out great.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *