Turmeric has long been prized in India not only for its culinary versatility, but also for its medicinal applications. Now the spice is enjoying tremendous popularity, thanks to scientific studies that have thrown light on its anti-inflammatory and health-promoting properties. While turmeric supplements are available, it's tastier -- and likely more beneficial -- to use the spice regularly in cooking. One delicious way to do it is with Golden Milk, a recipe based loosely on haldi doodh, a simpler mix of milk and turmeric that's often used as a remedy for sore throats and coughs.
Despite its yellow hue, this spice-infused brew has a subtler turmeric flavor than you might expect -- thanks to a blend of ginger and other complementary spices, its flavor profile is reminiscent of chai. It's a wonderfully soothing bedtime drink served straight, and also makes a nice addition to tea or coffee.
Ingredient How To: Use a microplane, ginger grater, or the fine holes on a box grater to grate the turmeric and ginger. Transfer both the grated spices, along with any juices they release, to the saucepan. Turmeric can stain, so be sure to protect clothing and porous surfaces, and to wash cutting boards promptly. (And don't fret if you do get a stain on your clothes -- this technique will help remove it!)
Nutrition Note: Though curcurmin has been identified as one of the major inflammation-fighting compounds in turmeric, it isn't very bioavailable. It is, however, fat soluble, so many of the Golden Milk recipes floating around the web include coconut oil or another fat source, along with the assertion that you won't reap the turmeric's benefits without the fat. But if you opt for whole -- or even reduced fat milk -- it's fine to forgo the oil, as this recipe does, since milk contains fat, and will help promote absorption.
Kosher Status: Dairy or Pareve
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, soy milk, or favorite dairy-free milk alternative
- 1 inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated or minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) OR 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, and finely grated or minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for dusting on the golden milk
- 3 to 4 whole black peppercorns
- Pinch cardamom (optional)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons raw honey, or more to taste, (optional)
1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk (or non-dairy milk alternative), turmeric, ginger, vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, peppercorns, and cardamom (if using). Set over medium-high heat and bring just to boiling. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the milk is a golden color and has a lightly spiced flavor.
2. Remove from the heat and pour the golden milk through a fine mesh strainer into two mugs. Sweeten to taste with honey and dust with cinnamon if desired. Serve hot.