Lebanese Meghli {Recipe}

At last night’s Arab Authors Book Club, we had yummy Syrian food as the main course with a dessert from Lebanon.  We were discussing The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf.

Meghli, a dish made in celebration of children’s births, was brought to welcome our two newest book club members: Dalia and Jenna.  These two beauties were born this past year to our book club members and we welcomed them in the Lebanese tradition of eating meghli in their honor.

As you can see from the photo below, the dessert is made in individual dishes, then bowls of walnuts, crushed almonds, coconuts, and raisins are passed around to place on top.  If you would like to think in comparisons of American food, the closest combination is yogurt with granola, but meghli is so much more sweeter and even more yummy than you can imagine.

So, if you are expecting, make sure to make some Lebanese friends soon so they can bring you some meghli to celebrate your baby.

ACraftyArab Lebanese Meghli Recipe

1 1/1 cups pounded rice
8 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp caraway seed
1 tbsp anise seed
1/4 tsp powdered ginger


  1. Mix the ground rice to a smooth paste with some of the cold water.
  2. Add the sugar, aniseed, fennel, caraway and cinnamon.
  3. Bring the remaining water to the boil.
  4. Add the ground rice mixture gradually, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  5. Continue stirring until it comes to the boil again, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasion- ally, until cooked, approx 1 hour.
  6. The mixture is cooked when it is thick enough to coat the spoon.
  7. Cool it slightly, pour into individual bowls and refrigerate.
  8. Serve chilled, decorated with some of your favorite nuts, raisins, or other sweet toppings.


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I am a Libyan American who creates art to promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture.