I received this recipe from Safiyha Ali, an attorney who blogs about food at Lifespan of a Chenette, and whose mom is particularly masterful at making this Muslim special-occasion dessert. Maleeda is a dessert common to Muslim communities in Central Asia, with origins in Afghanistan. Historically maleeda was made by Afghan women who said prayers while breaking up the griddle bread that is the basis of the dessert in their hands so it would become a nazr, a vow or serious commitment to God in Islam. In Trinidad, as in its regions of origin, maleeda is used to celebrate births, weddings, engagements, and other special occasions including Eid Al Fitr. In Trinidad, coconut, black pepper, and maraschino cherries add a twist to the original recipe.