Sahlab, a childhood favourite. When we first moved to Montréal, we had no clue what "hot cocoa" was. We drank Sahlab for warmth on cold autumn days and on the first snow falls. On snow days, where schools would be off due to the cold intense weather, we would all be bundled up infront of the T.V.. and when we saw mama get up to heat the big pot of milk, we'd all get excited because we knew one of two things was coming: muhalabiyyeh or sahlab. Sahlab brings back a sense of nostalgia to me. It takes me back to those days where we were still strangers in this city. We used to cherish the things that reminded us of home, and sahlab was one of those things because it made us different from the rest, at the time.
Yesterday, I got home from work as it was pouring rain. Due to the fact that I was so tired and it was so cold, I wasn't really hungry for food. I was craving something warm instead. Something I could slide into bed with, and enjoy while reading a book. Sahlab was definitely the most perfect choice. I love when the cup of sahlab is scorching hot, a thin layer of cinnamon and milk has formed at the surface, the consistency has thickened and the flavours of mastic and cinnamon are strong yet balance each other out. Not your average hot cocoa nor pumpkin spice laté!
What recipe(s) are attached to a personal memory for you? .
4 cups of milk
3 tbsps starch
4 tbsps sugar
3-4 pieces of mastic pounded/ground
Cinnamon and/or coconut to decorate.
Place 3 cups of milk in a pot and add to it the sugar and mastic. Place on the heat.
Dissolve the starch in the 4th cup of milk
Once the milk on the stove has become hot, begin adding the milk-starch mix to it gradually, stirring continuously, until the entire thing comes to a boil.
Once it has boiled, lower the heat and continue to stir until the mix thickens (stir for around 2 min)
Serve covered in cinnamon and optionally: shredded coconut!
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