Haldi Doodh| Turmeric Latte

If you are in on the foodie circuit, you’d probably know by know about ‘Turmeric Latte’, something that has recently taken the Western world by storm. It is all the rage over there now, with more and more cafes listing it on their menu, more and more people getting aware of it by the day, and more and more health magazines and websites writing about its benefits. And this ‘turmeric latte’, indeed, has a number of health benefits – like helping to keep the sniffles at bay, improving your skin, delaying the onset of diabetes and several other diseases, helping in alleviating muscle pain, reducing cholesterol, fighting depression, among other things, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory drink and being great for the brain.

What is this ‘turmeric latte’? For the uninitiated, ‘turmeric latte‘ is just an improvised version of our very own humble Indian haldi doodh, something our mothers and grandmothers have been giving us since the time we were barely out of our cradles. India has always recognised the health benefits that turmeric holds, and we have always been using it liberally in our kitchens. The ‘turmeric latte’ aka the modern version of haldi doodh has many avatars – including ones with palm sugar, coconut milk, cinnamon, black pepper, and what not. Some cafes in the West have even gone on to introduce turmeric cookies and other turmeric-based snacks and drinks!

While I was growing up, haldi doodh was administered to me too, just like it is in every other Indian family out there. However, it used to be something as simple as a teaspoon or so of pure, freshly ground turmeric powder mixed into warm, boiled milk. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. I drank it up quietly whenever it was proffered to me, and I think it did aid towards recovery from the sniffles, in a non-antibiotic way. I am still the same – I don’t love it or hate it, but I will drink it in the face of interminable-looking sniffles when I don’t want to go the antibiotic way.

Recently, when everyone around me was sneezing and coughing and generally feeling miserable, I thought of giving haldi doodh a shot. I made haldi doodh the way it is made in North India, though – with a dash of honey and black pepper. It might not be cafe-material turmeric latte, but it was fairly decent haldi doodh. I liked this version waaaay better than I loved the one Amma used to force on me all those years ago (Sorry, Ma!). 🙂 I think this style of making the drink is here to stay in our family.

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Without further ado, I will go on to tell you how I made the haldi doodh.

Ingredients (yields 2 cups):

2 cups of milk + 3-4 tablespoons to make up for evaporation

3/4 teaspoon black pepper powder, or to taste

1 tablespoon honey, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, or to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and set it on high heat on the gas.
  2. Stirring every now and then, let the milk come to a boil.
  3. Reduce the flame at this point. Let the milk simmer for a couple of minutes. Now, switch off the gas.
  4. Serve the milk warm or piping hot.

Notes:

  1. I liked the addition of honey in the milk. You could skip it altogether if you don’t think you’d like your milk a tad sweet.
  2. I like the haldi doodh to be a bit high on black pepper. You could decrease the quantity of black pepper powder according to your taste preferences.
  3. The turmeric powder that we use at home is quite strong, and adding just 1/2 teaspoon gives a heady flavour. If you think 1/2 teaspoon of the turmeric powder isn’t going to be enough, do increase the quantity you add to the milk, as per your taste preferences.
  4. You could even strain the milk after letting it simmer for a couple of minutes, before serving it. I chose not to do that, because I wanted the black pepper particles to stay in the milk.

How do you like your haldi doodh? Tell me all about how you make it!

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