Sunday, October 13, 2013

482. Qatari Hissu Drink

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
pinch saffron
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.

صحة و عافية


Anonymous said...

Assalama alaikoum, Maryam, where do you find these seeds in the UAE? Thanks

Maryam said...

Wa alaikum al salam wa rahmat Allah.
I think you may find it quite easily in most spice markets. I have given alternate names for this seed above, and it is quite common in the Arabian region.
Eid mubarak!

Anonymous said...

Assalam alaykoum Maryam, I remember drinking those seeds in milk to induce my labour, that was my last chance before medical inducement. Alhamdulillah it did work. Baby boy was born 24 hours later. ;)

Maryam said...

Wa alaikum al salam sister, may Allah bless him and make him of the righteous inshAllah.

Anonymous said...

This called rashad seeds or habbath al hamra in UAE. Available in Indian stores in the name of Halim seeds, Alive Seeds or Asareyo. Also available in Iranian Shops

Maryam said...

Thank you very much for this information.

Rafeeda AR said...

I was searching for the recipe for this drink and landed up here... So good to know there is something similar in Qatar as well... Just yesterday I bought a pack of it from Union Co-op though it took me time to locate it... Got to try this recipe soon... :)

Maryam said...

So glad you found what you were looking for here :)
These seeds are amazingin their health properties, just make sure you're not giving it to someone pregnant or trying to have a baby as it induces uterine contractions which can accidentally abort a baby.

Unknown said...

Hey dear .. Thanks for the amazing recipe .. I wanna just try it tmw .. Just wondering if this is to be served cold like a falooda or hot like a kheer ?

Maryam said...

Hello, thank you! To be served hot like tea.