Mahalepi … Moving Treats

about 20 minutes
n/a but it needs cooling time - at least 6 hours
Makes about 20 servings of mahalepi - I would cut the recipe in half

10 cups of water
2 cups of cornstarch (you are technically supposed to use something called niseste flour which is a finer flour)
1 heaped tbs sugar (I made it with 1 tbs, but I would recommend at least 4 tbs)
rose cordial & water to taste when serving
* I would also recommend adding 1 tbs rosewater to the water and cornstarch mixture, but I haven’t tested it so I can’t say for sure this will taste good … but it is what I will try the next time I make it

1. In a very large pot add 8 cups water, cornstarch, sugar and rosewater (optional). Whisk thoroughly until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble.

2. When the mixture begins to bubble, add the remaining cups of water and stir in.

3. Once the water has been stirred in, remove the mixture from heat and pour into small bowls. Make sure to add just a touch of water to the bottom of each small bowl as this makes it easier to remove the mahalepi when serving it.

4. Let the mahalepi cool and set. Then place the bowls in the fridge until it is cool and ready to be served.  Serve by adding ice cold water to cover the mahalepi and adding rose cordial and sugar to taste. It should be sweet and ice cold when served!

Hello. As I type this I am surrounded by over ten boxes. I am moving. And I think I may be a hoarder. Or at least that is what my boyfriend is telling me. I of course have denied this. But I think he might actually be right. I like having stuff. Except when I have to pack it. Then I begin to query whether it is really necessary to have things like a pasta strainer and toilet paper.

Anyway, this week I have literally been cooking for the moving army that is our friends. I have made cookies. And since it is boiling hot over here, something cool. Which happens to be this mahalepi. Except for the fact, that this was my first time making mahalepi. And I think I should have added way more sugar. I didn’t want to make it too sweet so erred on the side of not-so-sweet with the result that it was really not so sweet at all. So I will have to repeat this recipe. But what I discovered about mahalepi: 1. it’s really easy to make 2. even if it’s not as sweet as you want it, you can add more cordial and sugar to the water to make up for it. So for that reason I will publish the recipe in case there are those out there that want a not-so-sweet version of mahalepi. This is basically corn flour custard in rosewater cordial. It’s really refreshing and a blast of sweetness, which is why people enjoy it particularly in the summer months. But you need that sweetness, and I will come back to this recipe to perfect it at a later stage.

The ratio of cornstarch to water is perfect, so all it needs is a little rosewater and sugar I think to make this a go-to recipe. The interesting thing about mahalepi is that I am not actually sure that it is an originally “Cypriot” recipe. I think it comes from a Lebanese recipe, which is traditionally made with milk … I have tried the Lebanese version and it is absolutely delicious. So is this one, but I prefer mine sweeter, so I have added suggested modifications to the recipe below. Though this was still tasty once I added a generous amount of rose cordial and sugar when serving. On that I will return to my beautiful boxes. After I finish my mahalepi. Enjoy!!


  1. I love how much I learn about new foods every time I visit your space, Christina! This looks and sounds phenomenal. Perfect for a moving break. Good luck with the move (barf)!!

    1. haha, thanks Cynthia! Yes, move done (“I’m never moving again”)! Now to just unpack and settle in!xxx

  2. Wow Christina, this is such a great recipe. I have never tried it before, but I can imagine how it would be such a welcome treat for a hot summer day. I’ll be bookmarking this one to try in the Australian summer. Thanks for sharing xx

    1. Thank you!! I would definitely make it a bit sweeter when making it! I was sort of on the fence about whether to publish this one, and it’s OK for those who don’t crave something sweet, but I definitely think a little rosewater and sugar is needed in the cornflour to make it more than just plain cornflour with sweet water!! The consistency is perfect, but it just needs a little kick if you know what I mean! xxx

  3. This is actually derived from the Turkish muhalebbi..made with milk. The Ottomans are responsible for about 80% of the desserts traditionally consumed in the Middle East today.

  4. insists is rice starch, you can also use tapioca flour. In the summer there was a man who will come around the neighborhoods of Larnaca in the afternoon selling both the one with rose cordial, με ροδοστεμα, or the one with milk. He would un old it in a small bowl, pour the cordial sprinkle with a spoonful of sugar, I think that’s the reason the custard is not very sweet, you add sugar to taste. The milk custard was also us molded in a bowl and sprinkled with cinnamon. If we bought this at home we would provide the bowls.

Leave a Reply

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

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Cyprus Cuisine

“Cyprus Cuisine”, published by Whitecap Books in 2021, is now available for purchase. Christina Loucas shares over 80 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking.

Cyprus Cuisine