This delicious coconut milk pudding is a popular Middle Eastern dessert with origins in ancient Persia. It is silky smooth and creamy, and is served topped with a tangy grenadine to counterbalance the sweetness.   Reprinted with permission from The Traveling Vegan Cookbook by Kirsten Kaminski, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2021. Photo credit: Kirsten Kaminski.

Coconut Malabi [Vegan]





For the Grenadine:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh pomegranate juice
  • 3 tablespoon (45 g) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water

For the Malabi:

  • 10 oz (300 ml) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water

For the Toppings:

  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) crushed unsalted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) shredded coconut


  1. To make the grenadine, place all the ingredients plus 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of water in a small pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a light simmer. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the grenadine is reduced and thickened. Set aside to cool.
  2. To make the malabi, place all the ingredients plus 7 tablespoons (100 ml) of water in a large bowl and whisk together. Pour into a medium pan and place over medium heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid lumps, until it thickens. Take off the heat and divide the malabi among three serving glasses. Even them out and set aside to cool down to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Just before serving, pour 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 ml) of the grenadine over the malabi, then sprinkle with the pistachios and coconut.