Sahlab comes from the Turkish word Salep which translates to Orchis Mascula. It is an extract of the roots of orchids and has a distinct flavour that is difficult to describe. This is added to milk, sugar and cornstarch and cooked until it becomes a very light pudding (or thickened milk). It is served hot, sprinkled with cinnamon and sipped like steamed milk.
Sahlab today was served with Foul - fava beans mixed in an olive oil-lemon-garlic sauce. A breakfast that is not for everyone given distinct flavours and textures, but definitely one of my favourites. If you are in the somerville neighbourhood one weekend morning and feeling adventurous, drop by; I can have this breakfast ready in 30 minutes.