Dadima’s proper turmeric milk

Over the last year or so, the humble haldi doodh drink has seduced the hearts of many. Why wouldn’t it, with sexy names like turmeric latte, turmeric tonic and golden milk? And strap lines like: anti-inflammatory caffeine alternative and immune-boosting remedy. Of course – it’s true. Turmeric is the king spice. It’s packed with preventative and curative healing properties - it’s role in Ayurvedic medicine remains unchallenged. My grandparents are no doctors, but they knew all of the above long before the recent ‘wow’ factor of turmeric. It was, and still is, their go-to drink for coughs, colds and a general pick-me-up.

Just like my dadima made haldi doodh in India, I always prefer to use fresh turmeric root over powder. I adore its citrussy, earthy taste, and like to preserve as many of the health benefits as possible. I always keep some in my freezer in an airtight bag and you can use it straight from frozen. My dadima always says that it’s essential to cook the turmeric in fat (I use grass-fed ghee) not only to release its essential oils, but also to enhance its taste.

I hope you enjoy dadima’s traditional haldi doodh recipe – because old is gold. Love Anni (from dadima’s).

 proper turmeric milk (haldi doodh)
Ingredients (4 servings)

2 tsps grass-fed ghee
A few pieces of fresh turmeric root
Small piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
4 cups almond milk (or nut milk of choice)
4 green cardamoms, crushed open with a pestle and mortar
A small stick of cinnamon
A pinch of saffron
1 tsp honey (adjust to taste)

  1. Preparation: wear food-handling gloves when handling raw turmeric as it stains your hands bright orange. Peel the turmeric, transfer into a freezer bag, and crush into a pulp using pestle and mortar. Leave to one side. Then, add the saffron to a small bowl, add a splash of milk, and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
  2. Heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan, then stir in the crushed turmeric – transfer straight from the freezer bag to avoid any turmeric stains on your hands.
  3. Cook over a moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously so that it doesn’t burn. Then add the ginger and cook for a further minute.
  4. Add the cardamoms, cinnamon, saffron and stir for a minute.
  5. Pour in the milk and bring to the boil so that the milk rises, stirring occasionally. Once the milk has boiled, simmer for a few seconds and bring to the boil again. This process helps to infuse the flavours.
  6. Simmer for 2 minutes, and during this time, stir through the honey.
  7. Remove from the heat. Pour the haldi doodh through a tea strainer. Use the back of a spoon to press against the residue and extract all the goodness.
  8. Pour into mugs and enjoy!
To try more of Dadima's amazing recipes you can click here to her book
Dadima's: Celebrating Grandmother's Wisdom Through Indian Cooking 2016

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