Ramadan recipe of the day: Columbian Natilla

This dessert that is usually served during Christmas, is also a big hit among Muslims during the holy month

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 7 Apr 2023, 4:40 PM

For Columbian Muslim Abdulla, Ramadan is his favourite month. Having converted to Islam after coming to the UAE, he loves the vibe of the city during the month. “I have only observed Ramadan in the UAE and I just love it,” he said.

“I enjoy the peace and calm of the city during the day and the flurry of activities as soon as it is evening, the night prayers, the shortened work hours so I can spend more time with family, everything.”


During the month, Abdulla gets his wife to cook a Columbian dessert that is usually served during Christmas. “In my mind the Columbian pudding Natilla is associated with celebration and family so my wife always makes it during Ramadan,” he said. “It reminds me of home, and it is a part of my culture that I want to pass on to my children.”

Here is a recipe of the rich, creamy and firm pudding.


Ingredients:

4 cups milk (full fat)

1 cup panella, shredded or dark brown sugar

2-3 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp cinnamon powder

2-3 cloves (optional)

¾ cup cornstarch

A pinch of salt

½ cup raisins

½ cup chopped nuts

2 tbsp butter

½ tsp vanilla (optional)

Method:

Mix two cups of milk with sugar or panella, cinnamon sticks and cloves, if using, and heat over a low flame for about 6-8 minutes. Once it reaches the boiling point, switch off the flame and remove the spices

In a bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and milk until there are no lumps

Pour this cornstarch mixture into the milk mixture stirring constantly

Continue to cook for around 10 minutes or until the mixture starts pulling away from the bottom of the pan.

Switch off the flame and add in the vanilla, butter, nuts and raisins.

Pour into a greased pan and refrigerate for 4-5 hours or overnight.

Once set, sprinkle with some powdered sugar and cinnamon and cut into pieces.

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