What Is Malida?

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  • Written By: Rachael Cullins
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2019
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Malida is a traditional dessert dish from South Asia, namely the Hyderabad region of south-central India. It consists of dough made from dried milk, sugar, ghee, and semolina infused with almonds, cashews, or other nuts and flavorings. The dish is popular among both the Muslim and Hindu communities and is often served at feasts or parties. It can also be spelled maleeda and is one of many traditional regional dishes from the Hyderabad area.

To prepare malida, one needs ingredients that might only be found in an international grocery store. These ingredients include semolina (sometimes called rava), ghee and, optionally, rose essence. Semolina, or rava, is a small, hard grain made from the germ and starch of a wheat plant. It is used in many breads and cereals. Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is widely used in South Asian dishes. Rose essence is extracted from the rose plant and is used as a flavoring in malida.

Khoya is another essential ingredient. This is a dairy-based product that is similar in texture to ricotta cheese but slightly drier. It is also often called khoa and is used in many South Asian dessert recipes. It can be prepared from whole milk powder or purchased in ready-made form.


Malida dough is made by combining the wheat and ghee to make dough and then adding the khoya and eggs to achieve the desired consistency. The khoya is often roasted in a skillet prior to being added to the dough. After the malida is prepared, it is garnished with nuts or other accompaniments. As is often the case with traditional recipes, there are many ways to make malida, and recipes are often passed down from generation to generation within Muslim and Asian families.

This dessert dish is one of many traditional recipes from the Hyderabad region of India. Hyderabad is located in the southern central part of India and has developed unique cultural traditions that include elements of Hindu and Muslim influences, reflecting the strong presence of both religions in India. The cuisine of Hyderabad is often prepared according to the type of event being held, whether it be a wedding, a funeral, a banquet or another type of gathering. Other traditional Hyderabadi dishes include various meat and sauce concoctions, sweet porridges, and various dishes with strong peanut and coconut flavors.


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