Milk cream (Hariré)

This is a simple milk “cream” that is prepared over the stove in  5 minutes with milk, starch and flavoring. It is similar to the muhallabieh, except here rose water is used (and starch instead of rice flour). It was traditionally consumed for breakfast according to Fayez Aoun, author of 280 recettes de cuisine familiale libanaise with dry cookies or toasted bread. The arabic name of this cream, hariré, means silky and is very fitting.


  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/3 cup of cornstarch less one tablespoon
  • 2 teaspoons of rose water
  • 3 tbsp of sugar


  1. Place the milk less 1/2 cup and the sugar  in a pan over the stovetop and heat it; add the cornstarch to the remaining milk and stir to dissolve. Stir the milk a little to dissolve the sugar and when it starts steaming pour the cornstarch mixture in it. Stir continuously until the milk mixture thickens. Add the rose water and stir to mix.
  2. Transfer the cream to a large platter or several small bowls and cool. Refrigerate until serving time.

NOTE: You can use wheat starch instead of cornstarch or even rice flour to thicken the milk.

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  1. Posted November 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Is this kind of like a flan, but softer?

  2. Posted November 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    C’est simple et cela doit être doux et délicat…à essayer! Bises. Marina

  3. Posted November 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    A delightful and refined tasting treat! Perfect with biscotti.



  4. Posted November 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I have been snooping around here a bit and sometimes wonder if we are on the same planet… your food looks so delicious and nutritious and there is not a post where I don’t learn something new or see something I have never seen before. Isn’t that incredible? I think it is!

  5. Joumana
    Posted November 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    @Margaret: It is softer, but if you use one full 1/3 cup cornstarch it will be like a flan.

  6. Posted November 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Looks so smooth and elegant – and lightly sweet!

  7. Posted November 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    That should very delighting….

  8. Posted November 13, 2011 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    That does look smooth as silk!

  9. ummomar
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    In Egypt, mahlabia is also made with cornstarch and rose water or orange blossom water added. Not very soft, we use 2 tbs of strarch per cup of milk.

  10. Posted November 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Very simple and it looks amazing.

  11. Lucy
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    I am in love ,once again ! thank you for sharing your love of cooking and creating.

    I so wanted to try this – being vegan I made a few adjustments and it was well received.
    Please share this with your vegan fans :

    2 Cups of coconut milk or almond. ( I did not try soy)
    1/3 C cornstarch or I used arrowroot powder – I do not believe it matters much
    2 teaspoon rose water
    and instead of sugar , I used Agave nectar
    3T …
    I followed your recipe to a T and was so thrilled with the results. creamy and cool ,with such a unique flavor it surprises the palate :-) .
    love it love it love it.

  12. Joumana
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    @Lucy: Thanks so much for offering a vegan version of this hariré! so glad you enjoyed it! I am intrigued by the combo of coconut milk and rose water; will have to try it soon!

  13. Posted November 14, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Hey Joumana, you dont know how much relief this beautiful post brought me. I love real cream but donot eat it for the fear of gaining weight. This cream is definitely going to be a perfect substitute for the cream I love. Thank you!

  14. Posted November 14, 2011 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Simple, aromatic and i´m sure delicious.
    I´ve been exploring your blog and found mouth watering recipes that i will try soon.

  15. Posted November 14, 2011 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    I want to try making this for my kids. I am always on the look out for new, healthy recipes.

  16. Posted November 15, 2011 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    We love this sweet, called “muhallebi” and my mom makes well. My father nearly eats it after every meal:)) She burns some the cream, puts a little on top of the muhallebi. Enjoy it.

  17. Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    This looks and sounds so yummy! My mother use to make a pudding made with milk and cornstarch. I always loved it! Will have to try this one.

  18. Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    How simple is this? It would be fabulous with some fresh fruit and biscotti.

  19. hfriday
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I’m so happy to find harireh recipe! We make it a little different at home and it was our comfort food, especially when we’re sick. This recipe was passed down from my grandmother so I don’t have exact measurements.

    Sift two tablespoon of flour into a pot and heat over low heat. Stir constantly until it turns pink but be very careful not to burn. Slowly add milk and stir constantly to avoid lumps. Keep adding milk until desired thickness but it should be a little on the thick side. Add pinch of salt and add sugar to taste. Add small knob of butter, mix in and serve.

  20. Joumana
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    @hfriday: Thanks so much! Love it and I will try it asap!

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