Searching for ‘Noonoog’ and ‘Hyetaliyah’

Two recipe requests were submitted by reader Nancy DerSimonian last January; one for Noonoog, a soup; the other, Hyetaliyah, a dessert.

Nancy wrote:
“Do you happen to have a recipe for a soup called Noonoog with garlic, lemon, chick peas, noodles and beef or lamb? Or a recipe called Hyetaliyah, that’s a dessert with cream and knox gelatin, and topped with a rose water sauce and pistachio pieces? My mother- in- law made these dishes, but she passed away and those recipes went with her.”

Shortly after I received this, I began my usual hunt. I haven’t found Noonoog as of this post, but I did find a dessert recipe which sounds similar to Hyetaliyah; it’s called Mouhalabiye (Mouhalabieh), a Lebanese recipe. I passed it along to Nancy with some of the ingredient differences: mouhalabiye uses milk instead of cream, cornstarch instead of gelatin, and rose petal jam instead of rose water sauce.

I’d hoped the recipe I sent from Alice Bezjian’s Complete Armenian Cookbook would satisfy Nancy’s request:

Google Image, Mouhalabieh

Mouhalabiye (Mouhalabieh)
3 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
1 tsp. rose water

Toppings: nuts, rose petal jam

1. Boil milk, sugar and 1 cup water. Dissolve cornstarch in one cup water, mix with milk-sugar mixture, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, or until it bubbles; add rose water for flavoring.
2. Pour into individual serving cups. Chill. Serve with sprinkled pistachio nuts, (or walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts).
3. Decorate top with red rose petal jam.

Nancy’s Update: Just before Mother’s Day, she said her family was making a menu plan for Mother’s Day, and that she was thinking of making this recipe in memory of her mother-in-law.

Right after Mother’s Day, Nancy wrote again, explaining in detail, her preparation and family’s reaction:
“I did make it, and it tasted very similar, if not exactly, like my mother-in law’s. However, I did change a couple of things, because I know for sure that she didnt’ use water, and hers had syrup, so I made a paklava syrup with a dash of rose water.
Here are my changes:
I used 5 cups of milk, and a cup of cream. I mixed the corn starch in 1 cup of the milk, and cooked the other 4 cups with the cream and sugar (around 5 T) to a boil. 
Then I added the other cup with the corn starch and mixed it up. It got thick very quickly, so you want to stir it quickly once you add it in. 
Because I increased the liquid a bit from your recipe, I used 6 heaping tablespoons of the corn starch. I stirred it until it was thick which wasn’t long. 
That worked well, because it had the right consistency once it cooled in the refrigerator. I put in 1 tablespoon of rose water at the end (again, a bit more because of the increased milk that I used). I poured everything in a 9X13 glass pan, and let it chill in the refrig.
Then I made a paklava syrup with 2 c sugar, one c water, then a tsp. of lemon juice, and I added another tablespoon of rose water. I topped the dessert (hyetalieh) with the syrup and the pistachios.

The Family’s Evaluation: We loved it. (My husband) thought it tasted just like his mom’s. My family thought it was light, and they liked it more than they thought they would because they aren’t rose water fans. I always liked the dessert, and this was no exception.”
Nancy was so appreciative; she said finding this recipe will allow her to continue making this dessert for the family, and remember her mother-in-law. is only too happy to help!

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  1. AnatolianCollections March 31, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Haytaliyyeh is different to mohallabiyeh. Haytaliyyeh is cream and milk with cornstarch where as mohallabiyeh has no cream. My grandfather (god rest his soul) was a Lebanese pastry chef and used to make us this as a treat during Ramadan.

    1. Robyn Kalajian March 31, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Thank you for the clarification – much appreciated!


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