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Moufataka, Lebanese Turmeric Rice Pudding

Moufataka, Lebanese Turmeric Rice Pudding

I am always open to different cuisines, but when it comes to Lebanese recipes, I post only traditional authentic ones. Maybe I feel that urge to save precious recipes that have been passed down from one generation to another. Have you ever heard of moufataka? I am not expecting you all to have an idea about it. Even very few oriental sweet shops sell it in Beirut, an old lost Beiruti dessert and a true labor of love that despite its popularity 50 years ago and before, moufataka sadly has been lost and needs revival! And it would be hand-pressed to think about a Lebanese dessert better than moufataka…With the beginning of the lent season, moufataka is an ideal dessert to enjoy!


500 g. /1 lb. 2 oz. short grain rice, Egyptian rice or Italian Arborio rice
500 g. / 1 lb. 2 oz.tahini
11/2 liters / 6 cups water
900 g. /2 lb. granulated sugar
A handful of pine nuts
2 heaped tablespoons turmeric powder


1. Soak the short grain rice in water (the 11/2 liters) overnight, don’t discard the water, you will be using it to cook the rice later.

2. Transfer the soaked rice with the water to a large pot. Add the turmeric powder and place on high heat. Once the water boils reduce heat to very low, cover the pot and preferably use a heat diffuser underneath the pot. Leave it for about 40 minutes until the rice is cooked to a fully sticky mushy texture. Set aside to cool down a bit.

3. Stir the tahini jar well with a fork to homogenize.

4. Add the sugar and tahini to the rice and (now the labor intensive starts) and cook uncovered over medium heat. You will have to stir the mixture all the time with a wooden spoon (a small suggestion, call your friends and neighbors to help and take turn in stirring). Cook and for about 2 hours or until the oil of the tahini starts to separate from the mixture (In Arabic we call it sarej) It is an indication that the moufataka is ready.

5. Add the pine nuts, give a quick stir. Transfer the moufataka to individual plates. Serve warm or cold! How yummy!!

Recipe by Hadias Cuisine

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