Food from around the world, perfect for belly dancers.

Drinks For Belly Dancers: Sahlep Recipe

Food lore

Sahlep is the starchy ground root of a wild mountain orchid unique to Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and Egypt. Today, Turkey is the biggest producer of sahlep. Not surprisingly, sahlap is used in a traditional hot beverage served since the Ottoman Empire.

Because of its popularity, orchis mascula has become an endangered species. It’s now illegal to export sahlep from Turkey. Getting sahlep from online sources merits a caveat to be sure sahlep powder is not mixed with other filler starches such as potato.

Also called salep, shalap and saloop, it's a homegrown remedy for: sore throats..coughs and colds..tonsillitis..gum disease... soothing chronic gastro-intestinal (GI) tract problems and diarrhea..warding off winter chills



Serves 4

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients                                                                turkish drinks, Dilara's mid eadt epicurean,

  • 2 tsp sahlep powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cups milk (can substitute with almond or cashew milk)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground pistachios (or almonds, pine nuts)                               


  1. Mix sahlep and brown sugar in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Gradually add the milk.
  3. Stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  4. Slowly bring to a gentle boil.
  5. Pour into demitasse cups.
  6. Garnish with nuts and cinnamon.

Try adding sahlep to smoothies for a richer, frothier taste, starting with one teaspoon of sahlep to two pints of liquid.