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Friday, March 2, 2018

Vegan Sahleb Recipe! [+Video Recipe]

It's still cold and snowy in Canada, so I decided to warm up my taste-buds with sahleb (sahlab/sahlep), a delicious caffeine-free Middle Eastern drink!

Sahleb is very easy to make from scratch, and although you can buy the powdered ready-to-use version (which is usually vegan), the store-bought options do tend to contain a lot of sugar, making the drink almost painfully sweet. Sahleb has such a delicious flavour, and too much sugar really distracts from that. So make it at home with this simple recipe (or watch it here)!

Ingredients:
-Cornstarch (if you can find it, real sahleb is made with the starch of the orchid plant, but as they are endangered, corn starch is regularly used)
-Dairy-free milk (go for a nice thick option to mimic full-fat milk)
-Rose water
-Sugar/sweetener (I used brown sugar in this recipe and the colour was not affected)
-Mastica (optional)
-Cinnamon and ground pistachios (toppings)

Directions:
-If you are using mastica, pulverize a small piece or grind it. It must be very fine for it to melt properly
-For every cup of vegan milk (I used unsweetened rice milk), add one tbsp of corn starch. If you prefer it very thick, make it a heaping tbsp. So if you are making two cups of sahleb, add 2 tbsp of corn starch
-Combine milk and corn starch in a pot and mix it well (no clumps)
-Put the pot on your stove top and cook it on medium until it thickens--it is very important to keep stirring to make sure the bottom does not burn. It will take about 10-15 minutes for it to thicken
-Add rosewater (I add 2 tsp/per cup)
-Add mastica powder (optional)
-Add sugar/sweetener (to taste)
-Stir very well so the mastica melts, and once you see that the mixture is beginning to boil, turn off the heat, stir, and let it sit for a few minutes
-Serve warm and top with cinnamon and crushed pistachios!

You can also watch it in action right here:

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