Meghle is a Lebanese dessert based on a powdered rice pudding flavoured with different spices like anise, cinnamon and caraway and decorated with nuts. Traditionally, meghle is prepared on Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus; it is also served when a baby is born. Also see meghle drink.

Total Servings: 7

Preparation time: 20 mns


1 cup of floured rice

1 cup of sugar

6 cups of water

1 cup of anise tea

1 tbsp of cinnamon

1 tbsp of caraway


For decoration: Mixed nuts (pistachio, pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, soaked in water and peeled), raisins and grated coconut

Preparation steps:

  1. In a cooking pot, combine all ingredients and stir on medium fire until they are well dissolved and the mixture becomes homogeneous
  2. Keep on stirring and wait for the mixture to boil (for about 20 minutes)
  3. Pour the meghle in cups and allow to cool before decorating and serving
  4. For the decoration, sprinkle the grated coconut to cover the cup surface, then garnish with the nuts and raisins

Beirut “Assida”

Porridge-like Tunisian Assida ©

Assida is an Arabic dish popular in several countries like Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Oman, Sudan and Yemen, with versions varying according to the country of origin. Assida is usually eaten by hand, and prepared on religious holidays and special occasions like the birth of a baby. Modern versions of Assida include serving the pudding with honey, or pistachio, or date and carob molasses etc. In Sudan, Assida is sometimes served with a tomato based sauce.

Algerian Assida ©

In Lebanon, Assida also called Harira is a Beiruti dish prepared for breakfast or as dessert, and commonly enjoyed during cold days of winter.  Based on popular folk stories, Assida was originally invented in the Ottoman period by women facing financial constraints. The created dish was not only consistent but also cheap to prepare and loved by the kids. The Beiruti Assida has a pudding consistency similar to “Sahlab” and is usually consumed with “kaak Orchali”- the long kaak cookies covered with sesame.

Beiruti Assida makes a wonderful meal on a cold day 🙂

For a healthier option of Assida, replace the butter with vegetable oil and include milk instead of water.

Servings: 4

Calories: 510 calories/serving


1 cup of flour
1.5 cups of sugar
65 g of butter
8 cups of water
2 tbsp. of blossom water

Preparation steps:

  1. In a big bowl, mix the flour with water until well diluted
  2. Use a strainer to remove big clots and obtain a homogenous mixture
  3. In a large cooking pot, add to the flour mixture to the sugar and butter and leave them to a boil
  4. Keep stirring for around 1 hour until you get a thick consistency
  5. Add 2 tbsp. of orange blossom water
  6. Serve hot
A modern version of the Moroccan Assida. It actually looks like “meghle” with its decoration! ©HuffingtonPostMaghreb
Eat Local

Moufataka, yellow rice pudding of Beirut

Moufataka is one of the oldest Beiruti desserts combining rice, tahini, pine nuts and turmeric – giving the Moufataka its golden color. Preparing Moufataka requires hours of stirring the ingredients over fire.

The Makari family has been holding the secret of Moufatta making for generations when the grandfather Hajj Abdallah “King of Moufataka” opened a sweets shop in Basta – Beirut serving for the first time this yellow pudding.

Today, the grandson Mohammad proudly carries this tradition of making Moufataka in his new sweets shop in Barbour.

[quote]It is essential to preserve the preparation of this traditional dessert and promote it, otherwise it will disappear[/quote]

Mohammad, preserving the Moufataka traditional making
Mohammad, preserving the Moufataka traditional making

Preparation time:  3 hours

Total servings: 60 portions

Calories: 300 kcal/serving


1 kg of rice

2 kg of granulated sugar

1 kg of Tahini

50 g of turmeric powder

Pine nuts, as needed

Preparation steps:

  • Soak the rice overnight in enough water to cover it
  • The next day, rinse the rice and strain it
  • In a large cooking pot, add the turmeric powder to 3.5 Liters water and leave to boil
  • As soon as the turmeric starts boiling, add the rice and cook until water evaporates
Cooking the rice and turmeric
Cooking the rice and turmeric
  • Cover the pot and let the rice cook well on medium fire
  • In a different pot, mix the sugar, Tahini and pine nuts
Combining tahini, sugar and pine nuts
Combining tahini, sugar and pine nuts
  • Add the mixture to the rice and stir continuously for an hour and half
Combining all ingredients and stirring over medium fire
Combining all ingredients and stirring over medium fire
  • Continue stirring until you get a thick consistency and you oil starts merging on the surface
  • Pour Moufataka in serving dishes while still hot, and let cool

The Moufataka is served at room temperature with Knefe Kaak according to preference, and decorated with pine seeds.