Traditionally Salep or Sahlab flour is made from the tubers of a rare orchid called Orchis macula. Salep flour is used in beverages and puddings. Either named Salep or Sahlab, depending where you are. This creamy dessert is of origin of Egypt but is also drank in countries like Turkey.  The use of the orchid for the flour is also becoming less common and rose water is often substituted to lend the drink its characteristic flowery flavour.

As the bulbs of the Orhis macula look like fox testicles, Sahlab was once drank as an aphrodisiac. Although these days mostly drank  for its nutritious qualities, this creamy drink is the perfect choice for the last few days of winter clinging on before spring.


For the Sahlab:

Serves 4

4 Cups of milk

3 tbsp cornstarch

2 1/2 tbsp vanilla sugar (steep a vanilla pod in your sugar pot for a day or two before using)

3 tsp Rose Water


To sprinkle on top:

1 tsp Cinnamon

50 g Pistachios shelled and finely chopped

20 g Shaved Coconut


Mix 50 ml of the milk with the cornstarch till no lumps are visible. Heat the rest of the milk in a sauce pot and slowly add the cornstarch/milk mixture and keep stirring. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture becomes thick.  Pour into individual latte bowls and sprinkle with the cinnamon, pistachio’s and flaked coconut.


Nails by: Hallo Pragtig

Photography: YSP

Styling: Simone Kruger