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Sahlab سَحْلَب

This traditional warm winter beverage is made of ground orchid tubers.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: Greek, Lebanese, Levantine, Persian, Syrian, Turkish
Keyword: dairy free, drinks, hot drink, orchid, parve, sahlab, sahlep, salep, vegan, سَحْلَب
Servings: 2 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • Small saucepan
  • Mesh sieve / trainer
  • Whisk


  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (237ml) I used Chobani oat milk (you can use cow's milk if you prefer!)
  • 1 cup water (237ml)
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or ¼ tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 4 whole cardamom pods I use Diaspora's Baraka cardamom, (or ¼ tsp ground cardamom)
  • 4 whole cloves (or a tiny pinch ground cloves)
  • pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½-1 tsp ground sahlab (if you don't have this on hand, mix 4 tsp corn starch with a small amount of water to form a slurry)
  • ¼ tsp rose water
  • ground nutmeg, cinnamon, dried rose petals, or finely chopped pistachios to garnish (optional)


  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine your water, non-dairy milk, the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and ground nutmeg. Bring to a boil.
  • Once your liquid is boiling, turn the heat to medium-low, and add your sahlab (or cornstarch slurry) and stir until thickened (2-3 minutes) using a small whisk.
  • Once the liquid thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat, add your rose water, and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into small glasses or mugs.
  • Garnish with more nutmeg, ground cinnamon, dried rose petals, or finely chopped pistachios (or all of the above!) and enjoy.


This makes roughly 1 cup of sahlab (237ml), enough for two servings. The servings look small, but this is not something you drink in large quantities!
You can also refrigerate the mixture, which becomes a pudding like texture when chilled. Stays good in the fridge for 2 days.