Sahlab (salep) is a wonderful drink when it is bitterly cold outside. It is warming and thick and comforting. It has a consistency of a thin pudding. In the original sahlab, the thickening and flavoring ingredient was the tuber of orchids. This orchid, likely due to the deliciousness of drinks and desserts that can be made from its tuber, is becoming increasingly rare. You can create a reasonable facsimile with cornstarch as the thickening agent and orange flower and/or rosewater as the flavoring ingredient.
When I opened the bag, I found lovely bright green powder, with the distinctive scent of green tea. Really, the color is just gorgeous. My husband asked me to make sure to use enough of it in the drink to ensure that the drink is the same color. The powder is very fine, making it easy to mix. A plus is that it comes in resealable bag.
So, I could have made a regular green tea latte to try this out. But, I have already been craving sahlab since it’s been so cold lately, so I decided to experiment. Luckily, the experiment worked! You can taste the green tea flavor, and it blends very well with the sahlab texture. I would most definitely make this again. I am also planning to use this in hot water for regular tea, as well as in my smoothies. The flavor is smooth, and not overly bitter or strong.
Matcha Green Tea Sahlab (Drinkable Green Tea Pudding)
4 cups milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Matcha Green Tea Powder
3-4 Tablespoons sugar (start with the lesser amount, then add more if it needs more sweetening)
2 teaspoons orange flower water
2-3 drops rosewater
2 tablespoons nuts (walnuts, pistachios, or pecans)
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
In a small bowl, stir cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of cold milk until smooth. Set aside.
Pour the rest of the milk into a small, heavy bottomed pot. Add matcha powder. Stir well, preferably with a whisk. It will appear that the matcha powder does not mix with the milk, but as the milk heats, the green tea will completely blend.
Bring to a boil.
Add cornstarch and milk mixture, stirring constantly to make sure that there are no lumps.
Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat, for 10 minutes, until it is the consistency of thin pudding.
Remove from heat. Stir in sugar and orange and rose flower water.
Pour into cups.
Note – if you prefer, you can use either rosewater or orange flower water, or a teaspoon of each. I greatly prefer the flavor of orange flower water, so I wanted that to be the predominant flavor. If you don’t have either, I think that 1 teaspoon of vanilla would also work.
I received the matcha powder for free in exchange for a review on Amazon and my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not required to give a positive review and am giving a completely honest review of this product I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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