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.
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
Start by measuring out 2 cups of milk into a pot.
Turn the heat on low, and whisk together ¼ cup cornstarch and ⅛ cup (2 tablespoons) water in a separate cup/bowl.
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.
Add in the sugar,
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.
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.
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.
Give it another stir, let it simmer and sit…
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.
Here’s the printable recipe, with ingredients and instructions: Algeria