Recipe: Maldivian Sliced Custard (Bis Haluvaa)

Let’s capture sunlight in a pan… and pretend it’s all the way from Maldives.

You only need three ingredients: ghee, sweetened condensed milk, and eggs. A pinch of salt is nice, if you’re feeling adventurous.

Whisk the eggs and condensed milk together… and cook over a double boiler until very hot and thickened. This will take several minutes (about 15-20 for me).

Melt in the ghee and continue whisking until thick and pulling away from the sides of the pan and resembles mashed potatoes or thick polenta. This can take a while (45 minutes for me), so make sure you have a glass of wine, or a bubbly spritzer to keep you occupied as your arms develop muscles you never knew you had.

Don’t rush it or the custard won’t set enough to slice.

Now is a good time to mention an important note: I tried to do cook this custard without a ┬ádouble boiler – I’m usually very good at this… but I was on my brother’s stove and because it was electric I didn’t have a good feel for what was happening. As you can see, I ended up with slightly curdled eggs. The flavor was still good, though… so, if this happens to you, don’t throw it out!

Press into a buttered baking pan or mold, about 8×8 is great.

Refrigerate until set and chilled – at least four hours – no baking needed.

Slice into diamonds and serve with a smile.

And imagine yourself in Maldives.

Maldives. Photo by P.K.Niyogi


P.S. Here are the quantities… (adapted from The World Cookbook for Students).


12 eggs, room temperature
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup ghee

Have fun and enjoy.

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  1. elisa waller says:

    this tasted so good…..the one you made with us in florida was light and airy….yum!…

  2. I have all the ingredients to try this myself…but need to get a double boiler! You made out pretty well in this bachelor pad kitchen!!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      You can just use a metal bowl over boiling water, actually – no need to buy something fancy :) And, if memory serves, i think you had one!

  3. My first time commenting, I’ve been following your blog for a little while… :-)

    I am originally from Brazil, and desserts back home have a huge Portuguese influence, for obvious reasons. They use a ton of eggs, and custardy type desserts, and it’s true that sometimes the consistency can be a little off, but the taste…. never bad!

    I’ve been guilty of discarding custards because they looked a little grainy, but it’s silly to do so

    I think your sliced custard is amazing!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Thanks! So glad you chimed in :) I want to make the custard again and see if I can get it smoother… As you say, it’ll be yum either way!

  4. My family loves custards and this looks easy.
    Would you please add the baking instructions. I have all the ingredients and want to make it today.



    • Sasha Martin says:

      Thanks! There is actually no baking involved – just cooking on the stovetop. You have to really dry it out, getting it to pull away from the sides of the pan, and then it will set up in the fridge with no baking :)

  5. What is ghee? Is this something a grocery store would have? On what aisle?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      It is clarified butter, butter cooked until the solids separate from the oily liquid… the solids are skimmed off and, voila, ghee. The purpose is to preserve better (it doesn’t need to be refrigerated). You could substitute butter in this recipe.

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