Sahlab is a popular winter drink in Egypt in cafes, as well as in homes.
The beverage is a thick creamy white hot drink.
The flour is used in other Turkish cooking, such as the thick dondurma ice cream.
The main ingredient in the flour is mucilage, which gives sahlab its thick characteristic.
In Egypt, salep powder is kept and used for years. However, in Turkey, it is seasonal, and consumption of last year's crop after the new year's crop is out is frowned upon, much like the kastana (Marron glace).
Salep orchid at botanical.com.
1911 Encyclopedia Britannica article on salep.
King's American dispensary on salep.
An Australian woman writes about salep, contains a recipe.
Salon.com article on salep dondurma ice cream.
Preparation Time: 0.5 hours
- 4 teaspoons Sahlab (salep) powder
- 2 glasses milk
- Sugar to taste
Add the salep and sugar to some cold milk and mix well.
Bring the rest of the milk to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, then add the salep/milk mixture.
Wait until the mixture thickens.
You can garnish by adding shredded coconuts, crushed nuts, or a pinch of cinnamon.