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A wonderful winter drink, sahleb has warm and exotic Middle Eastern flavors and is absolutely comforting and delicious
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 228kcal
Author: Farah Abumaizar


  • 4 cups milk, cold
  • 4 heaped tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar I used 4, if you like your drinks barely sweet reduce to 3.
  • 5-6 small pieces mastic, crushed about 1/2 teaspoon total, see notes
  • 1 cinnamon stick or pinch cinnamon, optional
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • chopped pistachios or walnuts, cinnamon powder, shredded coconut (optional) for garnish


  • In a large saucepan whisk together the milk and the cornstarch thoroughly, for about one minute until no lumps remain.
  • Place on medium low heat, add the sugar and crushed mastic and whisk to combine. Add cinnamon stick if using.
  • Continue to cook and whisk until thickened into a consistency that's thicker than hot chocolate but looser than pudding, or to the consistency of your taste! This can take anywhere from 6-10 minutes. Don't be tempted to increase the heat because the milk can easily burn.
  • Once thick and creamy, pour sahleb into serving cups of choice, and top with garnishes of your choice. Traditionally, nuts are common (pistachio or walnut), as well as cinnamon powder, and sometimes raisins and shredded coconut. Enjoy warm, so good!


Mastic is a plant resin known for it's health properties, like for easing digestion. It's commonly used in Middle Eastern desserts and has a very distinct flavor, refreshing pine and cedar notes. 
You can probably find it in Middle Eastern stores or even health stores. In a pinch, make the recipe without. It will lose a little of the signature flavor, but the orange blossom and rose water will make sure it's still delicious and exotic!
Tried this recipe?Mention @everylittlecrumb or tag #everylittlecrumb!


Calories: 228kcal