Habbat Al Hamra / Habbal Hamra ~ Custard Asario Seed Drink

29. Habbat Al HamraPin


Have you had cases where you go on to make a recipe, having no idea how it is going to taste like?


A couple of weeks ago, when I pulled out B for a drive towards Fujeirah on a rain drenched Saturday, we were having our lunch at an Afghani eatery. As we gorged on the pulao and the kebabs, he said, “Thaatha, have you ever tried Habbat Al Hamra?” To the question like look on my face, he said, “It is a yellow thick drink, with red color sago like balls floating in it. It tastes like custard and those balls are just like those falooda thing, it just tastes so good…” And he stopped it at that. We proceeded with the drive back home, but that description stuck to my head… As per him, he had relished this several times at a small joint in Sharjah, through a friend of his. His description was so tempting that I had to somehow find what this Habbat Al Hamra is.


29. HH2Pin


After a few hits and searches on Google, I didn’t get much. Finally some articles came to my rescue, like this one and this one.  As per what I read, this seed, which is called asario seeds or garden cress seeds, has been used during Prophet’s (PBUH) time in medication. I was surprised to find on the pack that it is a native of India and a further search made me find this article which gives a little more details on the seed. It looks like a few recipes are made in the north to take advantage of its benefits, which InShaAllah I am hoping to try with the current pack available. 😉 Interestingly, I also discovered that this is served in Qatar as well.


I can’t comment on how much authentic this recipe is, especially since it has custard powder in it, but it looks like it is a welcome drink served in a lot of local households not only here, but in Oman and other GCC countries as well. If you are able to track down this ingredient, then do find it and try it out. It won’t go waste, since you can easily replace the basil in faloodas with these seeds, as they look and feel so similar! When it is hot, you can sip and drink but when it cools down, it takes a pudding consistency, thanks to the glutinous nature of this seed… Off to this recipe…


29. HH1Pin


Posted on this day:


2014Cheesy Vegetable Puffs

2015Kannur Style Chicken Rolls


Updated on May 30: I just learned that it is also called Haleeb Kastar, after reading this article!


4.34 from 6 votes

Habbat Al Hamra Drink ~ Custard Asario Seed Drink

Course Drink
Cuisine Emirati
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 1/4 cup habb al hamra azario seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • A pinch salt
  • A fat pinch saffron crushed
  • 2 tbsp rosewater optional


  • Soak the habbat al hamra in the water for 30 minutes.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients except the rose water and keep it on the stove on low flame, stirring occassionally.
  • Once the milk starts getting heated, add the soaked seeds and keep mixing, breaking the lumps and till it nicely mixes into the drink.
  • Cook for a few minutes till the mixture becomes really hot.
  • Switch off the flame and add the rosewater. Serve hot.


Updated on August 3,2021 – I posted a video for this recipe on my You Tube but conveniently forgot about it, so here it is finally…


Habbal Hamra - Emirati Assario Custard Drink

Join the Conversation

  1. M falling in love with emarati cuisine…never heard of a drink like this. Looks yummm ????

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Irum… 🙂

    2. 4 stars
      I had this one at an international festival and loved it so that i asked the guy who was serving it to Save its name in my memos . And finally was lead to this recipe after searching for a while on google ( the guy misspelled it as Habahmara… so google didnt show a drink )
      Im so glad i found it n im craving for it sooo much …

      1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

        Yes, they say it in so many way! I saw it on a menu card as Abba Hamra… hehe… Hope you try it, it’s really easy… Thank you so much Isra…

  2. aha…something new… kids will relish this drink…

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Amrita…

  3. I m yet to read the other articles rafee. But the drink looks very tempting. It feels so good when we research on something and make the same at home. Kudos to u!!!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Priya…

  4. Really tempting drink

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Beena…

  5. Never heard of a drink like this before, defo gonna try it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Zara… 🙂

  6. Foodie in you couldnt rest without finding out isnt it? CUSTARD ASARIO SEED DRINK is totally new.. hope to find the seeds and try this.. And I love all the clicks!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Hehe… that’s true, I had to somehow find it! Thank you so much dear…

  7. Very interesting. .. will look out for the seeds next time

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Niloufer…

  8. New and interesting drink.. Insha Allah will try to find the seeds, really tempting to try this drink..

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Shabna…

  9. Looks rich and tasty! this Asario seeds are new to me..

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Veena…

  10. 5 stars
    I miss the Emirates, and your post took me back home for a little while <3. We used to go to Fujeirah and Khor fakkan a lot from our home in Dubai to see relatives. I haven't tried this drink, but it does sound delicious especially during these cold months.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much for coming by Ruku…

  11. Custard powder makes anything creamy and delicious .This sure is looking really warm and welcoming.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Sathya…

  12. Wow, this looks interesting. I am not sure if I am brave enough to try it, but I do love custard.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Amina…

    2. Try it!! It’s delicious. (Writing from Abu Dhabi)

      1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

        Thank you Timo…

  13. 5 stars
    I always learn something new here 🙂 This sounds interesting. Delicious.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Kushi… 🙂

  14. I love this drink! Never thought of this name. It’s named Malliky in our area cafeterias.. Very refreshing and I love having it every time! Thanks a ton for sharing recipe!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Neethu… Appreciate that information, I haven’t actually tried it from outside, planning to do so soon… hehe…

    2. does anyone know where i can order this near trade centre round about dubai ?

      1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

        Dear, check at cafes that sell karak chai, they are likely to have it…

  15. Yummmm 🙂 But is that sweet enough? 😉

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Ashfa… Always feel free to increase the sugar, since my sugary stuff are not that sweet! 🙂

  16. Sounds like an interesting drink. If you ever find it Dubai please let me know so that during my next trip will taste it.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I will check around where it is available in Dubai and will let you know dear… Thanks a lot Mayuri…

  17. this is something new

    thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Hena… 🙂

  18. Interesting, I am not really into custard but I have had it with cake and fruits (English thing perhaps).

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Umm Asiya….

  19. hi rafeeda,
    the name is striking, hope the drink itself is very tasty.

    Eat Healthy Stay Healthy 🙂

    Myda Tahir
    [email protected]

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Myda… 🙂

  20. Tempting and yummy,thanks for sharing

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Suja…

  21. Love Emirati cuisine…~ always full of surprises ~ would love to experience this insha Allah.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Amina…

  22. Zainab Dokrat says:

    5 stars
    Looks yummy, hope to try soon inshallah.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Zainab…

  23. Oh something new! This looks interesting…..

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Fouzia…

  24. 5 stars
    I didnt know this kind of drink. Ma sha Allah, that looks delish!!! We only have black seeds in the house. I don’t know if it works. lol. I think, not! I wonder where in the Philippines I can get these seeds.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      It is similar to the black seeds, just that it is red in color. Thank you so much Kai…

  25. Never heard before. Thanks to your brother for motivating you to introduce a new drink to us. Sounds yumm

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Febina…

  26. 2 stars
    This recipe is a modern version of the original recipe. Habbat Al Hamra is the drink used for post natal care, wherein dry ginger powder, pepper powder, cinnamon powder, ghee are added with little amount of garam masala too. Instead of custard powder orginal version using all purpose flour or dry roasted oats powder. In recent times, it has become welcome drink in marriages and in restaurant also.

    For another asario seed sherbet, please visit – https://m.facebook.com/indianhealthyrecipes

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you for your comment… yes, all I tried was to recreate what we get here in restaurant and cafeterias… I am trying to explore other ways of using this seed in the more traditional manner… would love to get the direct link to the recipe if possible…

      1. Nausheeda says:

        Tasty and this Asario seeds are new to me..

        1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

          Thank you Nausheeda…

  27. Hi dear, where can I find azario seeds in dubai

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Hello Nabeela, you can find them in Union Co-op and Lulu, and also some of the Indian spice stores. They are also called gardencress and/ or halim seeds. Hope this helps.

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