Meghle drink

Spiced tea served with nuts (Photo ©Foodculture)

Meghle or cinnamon pudding also known as caraway pudding is a dessert traditionally prepared to celebrate the birth of a baby. Although today almost everyone prepares meghle on this beautiful occasion, the tradition in Mount Lebanon was to prepare meghle pudding only when a baby boy is born. A newborn baby girl was greeted with the preparation of “meghle drink” or spiced tea.

Total Servings: 4

Preparation time: 15 mns


4 cups of water

sugar according to preference (can be substituted with honey)

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp of anise seeds

2 cloves

1/4 tsp of nutmeg, grated (or nutmeg powder)

1/4 tsp of ginger, grated (or ginger powder)

Mixed nuts: pistachio, pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, soaked in water and peeled

Preparation steps:

  1. In a teapot, heat the four cups of water and stir in the sugar or honey until well dissolved
  2. As soon as the water boils, add all the spices and turn the fire off
  3. Simmer the spiced tea for 10 minutes
  4. To serve, strain the tea in the serving cups and add the nuts

Meghle drink can also be enjoyed during cold winter nights!



Sahlab served hot with “kaak orchali”

Sahlab is a popular drink in Lebanon and the countries that were part of the Ottoman empire. It is prepared from the tubers of a rare orchid flower by drying the tubers then grounding them into a fine powder. Sahlab powder is rich with aromas and gives the drink a smooth and fluffy texture. Today, when real sahlab powder is not available, it is substituted with corn or potato starch. A sahlab mixture is also available in supermarkets, and is easy to prepare.

Total Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 15 mns


4 cups of milk

3 tsp. of sugar

1 tsp. of sahlab

1 tsp. of orange blossom water (mazaher)

Cinnamon to decorate

Preparation steps:

  1. In a saucepan, mix the sugar with 3 cups of milk and bring to a simmer while stirring
  2. Dissolve the sahlab in the remaining cup of milk, then add to the milk and sugar
  3. Keep on stirring until the solution thickens and becomes sticky
  4. Stir in the mazaher and mix
  5. Transfer the sahlab to cups
  6. Sprinkle the cinnamon powder on the sahlab and serve while hot with kaak orchali or cookies
Eat Local

Refreshing Ramadan drinks

Street vendor selling juices during Ramadan
Street vendor selling juices during Ramadan

When the month of Ramadan falls during summer, hydrating the body after a long day of fasting becomes imperative. Refreshing drinks, during and after the iftar, help the body to re-hydrate after losing a lot of liquids.

The following are four of the most popular drinks consumed during this time of year:


It is not a typical iftar if Jallab is not on the table! Jallab is the most popular drink in Ramadan. It is a refreshing juice prepared by mixing grape molasses, dates, rose water and sugar and then smoked with Arabic incense. Jallab is usually served with ice and lots of nuts and raisins.

Refreshing jallab topped with nut seeds (Source:
Refreshing jallab topped with nut seeds (Source:

Amar Al din

Another popular drink in Ramadan is Amar Al Din: an orange, thick and sweet drink. This nutritious drink is made from dry apricot sheets. To prepare this drink, the apricot sheets are soaked in warm water for several hours then mixed with sugar and rose water. It is usually decorated with pine nuts and served cold.

Amar al-din (Source:
Amar al-din (Source:

Liquorice or Erk el-sous

Erk el-sous, a black slightly sweet and mildly bitter drink, is commonly served during the Holy month of Ramadan. This thirst quencher drink is made from licorice root; it can be found in shops and restaurants but is sold by street vendors.

Liquorice (Source:
Liquorice (Source:


Another traditional drink that is enjoyed during the month of Ramadan is the Tamarind or Tamer Hindi. It is a sour-sweet drink made of tamarin fruits paste mixed with sugar and water. For those who do not like sweet drinks, Tamarind could be the ideal Ramadan drink for them.

Cold tamarind drink (Source:
Cold tamarind drink (Source: