Sahlab for Rainy Days

Sahlab for Rainy Days


    Sahlab is the quintessential warm winter drink of the Middle East and is very popular in Israel especially in Jerusalem in the winter. It is a thick milk-based drink traditionally made with orchid tubers called sahlab in Arabic. It's preparation varies from country to country. Some recipes call for orange blossom or rose water, while others add coconut and cinnamon or nuts and raisins. In Israel it is usually made into a thick but drinkable substance, while in other countries it can be thickened into a sweet pudding that must be eaten with a spoon.

    Ingredients: (4 serves)
    4 cups milk
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2 teaspoons rose water (or vanilla)

    ground cinnamon 
    unsweetened dried shredded coconut 
    2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, (or almonds) chopped fine

    Mix the cornstarch with 1/2 cup of the milk.
    Bring the remaining milk and sugar to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
    Add the cornstarch mixture and the rose water, stir to loosen up any starch that settled on the bottom.
    Cook on low heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. 
    Serve in individual cups.
    Scatter chopped pistachios over the surface of each cup; sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut.