Zanjabel Haleeb


When I first moved to Saudi Arabia I got a cold and my mother in law sent me a hot thermos of this spicy drink. Zanjabel Haleeb is the Saudi cure for the common cold or flu and you will find it being made in everyone’s homes around this time of the year. Ginger is also great for pregnant women or anyone who is just under the weather. This is one of those recipes where you just kind of go with it and add what you would like, but I do usually add a lot of ginger to mine. I have been sick this past week and decided to make some today.

In English it’s simply Ginger Milk. Zanjabel is ginger and haleeb milk. Not only is this popular in Saudi, but throughout the Gulf. You can add honey or sugar to sweeten it up a bit, but too much sugar is not good for you when you’re sick, so try to use it sparingly. I know some people who prefer to just use water and others just milk. My mother in law makes it this way and I prefer it.

4 tablespoons shredded ginger (or more or less to taste)
3 cups milk
1 cup water
Sugar or honey, to taste

1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat, add the water, ginger and sugar. Bring to a slight boil, then reduce heat to low-medium, add milk, stir and reduce heat. Allow to thoroughly warm, but do not let the milk stick to the pan bottom. Simmer for 10 minutes, then pour into a thermos to stay warm.

Yields: 2-6 servings

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