Arabic Language Blog

Salep/Sahlab Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Culture

Salep (سحلب) is a warm drink made with is a flour made from the tubers of the orchid genus Orchis (thanks Wikipedia).


Salep or Sahlab is a warm drink which is consumed in cold nights in Arab countries. It is soothing and calming, and I consider it a great alternative to tea and coffee, however it should be avoided if you are on diet!

Salep is prepared by mixing the flour with cold milk and water, then warming the mix. I typically add 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of water to 2 table spoons of salep powder and 2 table spoons of sugar and stir. When the mix becomes warm, it will thicken quickly until it makes a pudding.


If you wish to drink it in a cup, then you should serve it before it becomes really thick, but if you would like to eat it, then you can make it as thick as you wish.

I do not always find salep powder in my city, so I have a very clever trick which produces a similar result to the salep, but not the same flavor. I substitute salep powder with corn flour and add to it vanilla, ground coconuts and nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, etc.)


When you serve salep, you can sprinkle cinnamon or chocolate on top for added flavor!

The one drawback of salep is the calories it has! It is a very rich drink, as it has sugar, flour, milk, and nuts, so if you are on diet, you should not consume a lot of it!

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