Sahab- Algeria

Sahlab, or Salep is a creamy winter drink native to Algeria. Doesn’t that sound fascinating? Not. It’s so much more. You can drink it hot or cold, but I prefer it hot. Normally I hate hot milk, but Sahlab doesn’t taste like milk. It tastes like liquid fairy dust. I swear it does! Here, I’ll prove it to ya.

Well, I’ll prove it in a second. I have a couple of things to say first.

For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be photographing in a different kitchen. The lighting isn’t the same, so they’ll appear quite different. Again: this is temporary.
I apologize for my lack of posts lately, I cut my thumb quite badly, and couldn’t cook for a while. But I’m back!
P.S- Don’t trust mandolins.

Right! Now I’ll prove it to ya.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups whole milk
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tsps cinnamon
1 dried coconut strip
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
OPTIONAL: Chopped pistachios, chopped cashews, cocoa powder, raisins

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Start by measuring out 2 cups of milk into a pot.

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Turn the heat on low, and whisk together ¼ cup cornstarch and ⅛ cup (2 tablespoons) water in a separate cup/bowl.

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Cornstarch gets everywhere. Flour isn’t exactly neat and tidy, but cornstarch seems to have a mind of it’s own. Pour the slurry (mix of cornstarch and water) into the milk, and mix it in.

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Add in the sugar,

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and pour in the vanilla. I love vanilla. Sahlab is sometimes called hot vanilla. You know, like hot chocolate? When I was reading about it and saw that, I knew that I had to make it.

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Add in the cinnamon, and this is a matter of taste- I like my sahlab mild, but some people prefer a little more zing. Zing is one of my favorite words. I try to sneak it into every conversation.

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Next, grab a coconut strip and throw it in. This’ll infuse the Sahlab and make it coconutty and wonderful. Alternately, you could use one tablespoon of shredded coconut. Either one works.

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Give it another stir, let it simmer and sit…

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And then pour it out into two glasses, using a strainer if you used the shredded coconut. From there, you can top it with cinnamon, cocoa, pistachios, rosewater… Anything goes! But I just like it pure like this. Make it soon! It’s delicious hot or cold.

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Here’s the printable recipe, with ingredients and instructions: Algeria

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