Thursday,21 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1229, (15 -21 January 2015)
Thursday,21 February, 2019
Issue 1229, (15 -21 January 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Beating the winter chill

With the temperatures we’ve been seeing lately, it’s nice to have something warm to drink. Whether you’re watching TV with friends, at a family gathering or simply hanging out at home, a warm drink always hits the spot. As a rule, nothing warms the body like a steaming mug of hot chocolate. If hot chocolate is not your thing, there are plenty of other hot drinks to try.

Classic hot chocolate

Cold weather goes hand-in-hand with hot chocolate. It’s the ultimate drink to instantly put you in a good mood while warming you up.

Serves 4-5


1 litre milk (your choice)

Marshmallows (optional)

Chocolate mix:

2 tablespoons light chocolate (your choice)

2 tablespoons cornflour

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

4 tablespoons quality cocoa

100 grams good-quality dark chocolate, finely grated

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch salt

Pour the milk into a large pan and bring almost to the boil over a medium heat. Put all the chocolate mix ingredients in a large jar and shake well to combine. Spoon around ten heaped tablespoons of the chocolate mix into the hot milk. Whisk to combine well and leave to bubble away for a few minutes before serving. Decorating your cups with marshmallows is a great option.


This is a popular warm and creamy drink for cold winter nights. In addition to warming you through and through, sahlab also has therapeutic effects for a cough or sore throat. Traditionally, it is made with salep flour or powder made by grinding the roots of a particular orchid. If that is not available, cornstarch can be used as a thickener.

Serves 4


4 cups milk (your choice)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Sugar (to taste)

2 teaspoons rose water (or 2 teaspoons vanilla)


2 tablespoons pistachios (finally chopped)

Pinch of dried shredded coconut

Ground cinnamon to sprinkle


Mix the cornstarch with half a cup of milk. Put the remaining milk and sugar in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the milk before it gets warm. Heat for 10 minutes over a low heat. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Add the rose water and let boil while stirring for two minutes. The mixture should thicken slightly. Serve in mugs topped with shredded coconut and cinnamon or chopped pistachios.

NB: If you opt for already prepared commercial sahlab, add 12 tablespoon of powder to four cups of milk. Stir on a low heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken. You don’t need to add sugar, shredded coconuts or nuts as commercial sahlab already includes them. Sprinkle cinnamon or ginger, or some of each, on your mug of sahlab.

Hommus Al-Sham

Chickpea soup is another popular and delicious drink enjoyed in Egypt. You can drink it with a straw or spoon it from a cup. This spicy hot drink contains no saturated fat, no cholesterol or sugar, and is high in protein and fibre.

Serves 10


500 grams chickpeas

5 tablespoons lemon juice

5 fresh minced garlic cloves

1-2 tablespoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons salt

1/2 cup of tomato juice

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon dried red hot pepper, or spices of your choice.


Preferably soak the chickpeas overnight in water. Drain the water and put the chickpeas in a decent-sized pan. Add water and bring to the boil for about 30 minutes. Add more water, then cover the mixture and let it simmer on a low heat. When the chickpeas are done, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, minced garlic, black pepper, salt, cumin and lemon juice and boil for three minutes. Serve immediately in a cup with one part chickpeas and two parts soup. To spice up your drink, add some dried red hot pepper.


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