This amazingly beneficial Qatari drink is made using garden cress seeds (حبة رشاد), more commonly known in Qatar as Hissu seeds (حبة الحسو).I wouldn’t go so far as to call it traditional, as it employs the use of custard powder, which makes it modern. But it is however a popular drink to be served in any traditional Qatari household.
Properties of the hissu seed are magical. In Europe, the seeds are usually sprouted and incorporated in salads and sandwiches for their peppery flavor. Once soaked, the seeds for a gelatinous casing. Although its medicinal properties are beneficial to the entire body, it is especially beneficial to the lungs and post natal women. Women who are or are trying to get pregnant should avoid this seed as it causes uterine contractions.
1/2 cup garden cress seeds (حبة رشاد)
2 cups water
4 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 heaped Tbsp custard powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
dash cinnamon powder, optional
Soak seeds in the water for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Bring the milk. sugar, and custard to a simmer, whisking to prevent lumps.
Add the undrained hissu to the steaming milk.
Return the mixture to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Add the cardamom and saffron, give it a final stir.
Add an optional sprinkle of cinnamon just before serving.