I came across Talbina when I saw jars of a flour being sold in the Saudi pavillion at the Global Village. One store was giving samples of the prepared drink along with a leaflet, about how it is said to be Prophetic medicine and the history behind it. The drink was an off-white thick liquid, topped with toasted coconut and cinnamon and tasted amazing. But I was taken aback by the price of the mix and decided to dig in to find how I could make it. A little search landed me on a few links, including this one and this.
The Prophet (PBUH) has recommended Talbina for physical as well as emotional pain. When I found that it is made of freshly ground barley flour, I decided to make some myself and stock it in my pantry. I lightly roasted the whole barley that you can buy from any store and ground it into fine powder. This process does take some time but you can very well sieve the flour to get a smooth mixture. I stocked it in an airtight container and kept it in the fridge.
The Talbina is very easy to prepare. It is prepared in milk usually till you have a thick drink and sweetened with honey. I am sure you know that milk and honey are among the Prophet’s (PBUH) favorite foods. On a cold morning when the whole body feels lethargic, this drink surely makes you feel all warm and pepped up. It feels like the koova kaachiyathu, but with a more earthy flavor. I love this with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios or almonds for an extra bite. Surely, it is a drink that soothes the mind and soul… Off to this simple recipe…
- 2 cups fresh milk (or 1 cup milk + 1 cup water)
- 2 tbsp barley flour (refer notes)
- 1 tbsp honey (to taste)
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder.
- Whisk the barley flour into the milk and bring it to cook on low flame, stirring occasionally till the milk is boiled and the barley gets cooked.
- Add the honey and cinnamon powder, mix well and switch off.
- Serve hot.