We don’t come across many dishes whose sole purpose is to celebrate birth and this Lebanese rice pudding does exactly that! Its brown color comes to signify fertility and rich soil while the name Meghli has been given to it due to the fact that it takes extensive boiling to prepare; Meghli literally means to boil.
1 cup ground rice
5 cups cold water
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp powdered aniseed
1/2 tsp powdered fennel seed
1/2 tsp powdered caraway seed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
shredded coconut or slivered almonds for garnish
Mix one cup of the cold water and the ground rice into a smooth paste. Stir in the sugar and all ingredients except the garnish.
In a heavy saucepan bring the remaining 5 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the rice mixture gradually, stir vigorously. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to boil again.
Reduce heat to very low and simmer. Stir occasionally, to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan, for about 1 hour or until done.
Transfer to individual dessert bowls and refrigerate.
Serve chilled and decorate with coconut or slivered almonds if desired.