In Lebanon, sahlab is prepared as a thick sweet drink (somewhere between a pudding and a soup) and is served warm during the cold wet winter. March isn’t the coldest month of the year, but today I feel a little cold and sick, so I made myself a warm cup of sahlab with cinnamon on top and crackers on the side. Yummy!

Sahlab refers to the the plant (Early Purple Orchid or Orchis mascula) and to the drink. I know that sahlab is also part of Turkish and Greek cuisines, but after a modest research, I came to know that sahlab is also used in Albania, Serbia and Bosnia. In Lebanon, flour is made from the plant, which is then mixed with milk and sugar, brought to boil (to thicken) and a few drops of rose water and orange blossom are added at the end. A beautiful thick drink that can warm any sick and crampy body like mine!

Sahlab is sold as a powdered mix that can be bought in packets in supermarkets anywhere in Lebanon. Try to find some where you live, it’s a very delightful drink!


Ingredients (for 2)

– 2 cups milk
– 1 Tbsp of sahlab powder
– 3 Tbsp sugar
– 1 tsp rose water
– 1 tsp orange blossom
– Cinnamon powder for garnish


1. Mix the first three ingredients in a saucepan before placing it on medium heat.

2. On medium heat and while continuously whisking, bring the mixture to the brink of boiling. You will see that it will thicken almost as thick as a pudding.

3. Turn off the heat, add the rose water and orange blossom, give it one last stir and pour in cups or bowls and sprinkle cinnamon powder on top. Serve hot.

To eat/drink sahlab like a Lebanese, crack a few crackers – ka’ek (in photo below) – in your drink.



14 thoughts on “Sahlab

  1. Oooooh I have come to love sahlab (or salep/sahlep as the Turks call it)! Dudes sell it on the street in Istanbul out of these massive copper vats. So good!!

  2. yummy! I had some awesome sahlab when I was in Jerusalem earlier this year – such a nice treat on a wintry day! the fabric looks fab :-).

    • Hello Vivien. The only place I can think of is a Lebanese or Turkish supermarket. Are there any in your area? I’m not sure about Alberta…or if you have a Lebanese friend coming back from Lebanon, you can ask them to get you some!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s