Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Friday, January 05, 2007


(also known as Sahlep)

1 tbsp Salep, dried powdered roots of a mountain orchid (see below for more info)
1 teacup of milk, cold

Cinnamon, powdered

Place Salep in a small saucepan. Slowly add the cold milk, stirring constantly over low heat. When it reaches a smooth consistency, remove from the stove.

Pour into a teacup and sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Serve while still hot.

What is Salep?

Turkey is the major Salep producing country. Salep is made from the dried powdered roots of a mountain orchid in the Eastern Mediterranean woods. Salep is a traditional Turkish hot drink which was also served during the reign of the Ottoman empire. The roots are rich in starch and the mixture thickens naturally. You should also try Vanilla ice cream with Salep... it has a great aroma and smells delicious:)

We love to drink Salep on cold days. It also has medicinal traits, such as for sore throats. It has been used for a long time to treat chronic diarrhea, digesting problems and gum disease.

You can purchase Salep from local Turkish Grocery Stores or the following websites:, Taste of Turkey.


At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No sugar?

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

It has sugar in it:)

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you mean salep has sugar in it already?

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

The only missing ingredient ıs milk in this powder mixture. If you like, you can always add extra sugar in it.

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I guess you did not use real salep. You used one of those mixes which includes everything but milk.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

It is not easy to find real Salep out of Turkey:)

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous tonya said...

thank you! I have been wondering how to make it. I lived in Adana 8yrs. ago and haven't had since.

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This must be the reason:

"The popularity of salep in Turkey has led to a decline in the populations of wild orchids. As a result it is illegal to export true salep out of the country. Thus, many instant salep mixes are made with artificial flavoring."


At 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Binnur. I'd like to correct the last comment made by a user. Salep drink is being exported from Turkey. Currently I can buy imported Turkish Salep in the USA from my favorite online Turkish Store.

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Maria said...

What is the name of the store? Cause I cannot find Salep here in Denmark, and I want to find it so much!

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

They probably meant
You may find Salep at the Turkish groceries in Denmark:)

At 5:13 PM, Blogger harold said...

I am from Canada, does anyone know where I can buy salep from? not the powdered drink mix.

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am from portugal, but my husband turkish, i love salep, anyone knows where i can buy it in portugal or any site?

At 7:38 AM, OpenID lionessg said...

Merhaba Binnur!
I made my first attempt at Salep last night. It seems like it will be very good for my daughter who will soon have her tonsils out and for myself who will also be having stomach surgery at the same time! How comforting! My only question is how thick should it be? I actually thinned it because the box called for 3 "tea spoons" and I do not know if they mean regular "tsp" (5ml) or if it is a guess your teaspoon size. But when I read your ratio the mixture seems like it would be rather thick, like a custard before it has set. Is this correct?
teşekkür etmek!

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Suzy:)
Custard is too thick so I'd rather add a little bit more milk into the egg nog consistency, like you did, it depends on how you like it:)
The size of the teaspoon is equal to what we use here which is 5 ml.

At 7:19 AM, Blogger Carolyn said...

I love this. I remember how on cold winter days, sailing up the Bosphorus on the ferry boat sipping this delicious drink. It is over 40 years since I was there (I'm from Australia and married a wonderful Turkish boy (man now :) and love to cook him some of his favourite Turkish recipes. Thank you for this wonderful site.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Fran said...

Thanks, Binnur. Now I know what is in Salep. I've had it a couple of times and all the waiters can say is 'it is made of milk' but I knew that there must have been something else in it as it was so thick. I've had the version above but also one where they added raisins and sprinkled dessicated coconut on top. It was like a meal! Very filling! I am going to the Turkish supermarket to see if I can get the mix.


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