Mahlab: 3 Q&A about the Spice (+ a Sweet Recipe)

If this interesting spice doesn’t sound familiar, then you’re probably not so much into the exotic kitchen. Mahlab, or mahleb(i) is a typical arabic spice that comes from the seeds of the St. Lucy’s cherry. It has a very intense, exotic and yet delicate flavor which makes any dish taste fantastic! As a matter of fact, Greeks are as obsessed about mahleb as Arabians are. Aren’t Mediterranean people so creative and forethoughtful, huh?! Here’s 3 questions that people normally ask about the spice:
  1. How is mahlab powder made?
Well, you already know the spice comes from a specific sort of cherry’s seeds. The whole process of turning into a powder requires drying and cracking the cherry pit. What’s inside is a kernel about 5mm wide that’s soft and elastic. Then it’s reduced to a powder and voila! St. Lucy's cherry mahlab
  1. How to use it in the kitchen?
The first moment when mahleb goes into your mouth it’s like an explosion of cherries, roses, vanilla and almonds. The aroma and taste are so intense that you definitely have to be precise when cooking with the spice. In Europe and America people like to prepare Christmas cookies with mahlab powder. In Greece, however, it’s also a typical addition to other sweets, bread and especially to the Easter Tsoureki. It’s also great for crème brulee and for lots of fruit milkshakes, coffee, tea and even warm milk with honey before bed.
  1. Is it healthy?
The answer is “undoubtedly yes”! Not only is the exotic spice very tasty but it can also be a powerful ally against various diseases. According folk medicine mahlab has a wholesome effect for thyroid gland issues, hair loss, anemia and hypertonia. What’s more, it’s recommended for liver diseases and varicose veins because it may improve the blood circulation. Well, there’s nothing for it but share with you a mouth-watering mahlebi recipe. Here’s what you’ll need: 1 packet of biscuits 1 banana 125g butter 3tbsp milk 4tbsp honey A pinch of cinnamon A pinch of mahleb powder Coconut shavings 300g raw nuts, mix mahlab recipe Blend the nuts and the biscuits and put them in a bowl. Strain the banana, melt the butter and mix everything together. Then add the other ingredients (except for the coconut shavings) to the mixture and stir until homogenous. Then form small bonbons and roll them into the coconut shavings. Put in the fridge for one night or fall upon them immediately! Bon appetite! Do you like mahleb powder? Supply your kitchen with this amazing spice as you click here!


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