(Masala- spice; doodh- milk)
This recipe is an indulgence for your senses! Beautiful glowing golden in colour, fragrant spices, sweetness and heart-warming in every sip.
In India it is a part of Kojagiri Purnima celebrations. But, it is perfect for any autumn/winter night to warm and cozy up before bed. It is also very nutritious – rich in minerals, vitamins and healthy fat that help boost immunity and internal well being.
This recipe can be fully customised as per your taste and preferences. The dry ingredients except sugar can be prepared and stored for upto 2 months.
Masala – (in the most generic sense, masala in Hindi means any mix of spices and ingredients, dry or wet that create the flavour profile to a food).
What you need:
(All dry nuts used MUST be raw un-roasted, unsalted, unseasoned in any way)
- Almonds (with or without skin)
- Shelled Pistachios ( All 3 types of nuts together about ½ cup)
- Cardamom powder ½ – 1 tsp
- Nutmeg grated/ powder ¼ – ½ tsp
- Saffron strands – ¼ tsp
- Whole or skim milk (you can use almond or coconut milk as well)
If storing for future use follow this method-
Combine almonds, cashews, pistachios and saffron strands in a small spice blender (or use the smallest vessel of your blender, or, use a mortar-pestle if you have one!)). Blitz in short bursts for few seconds at a time till you get a coarse powdery mix. Make sure to stop grinding before the powder gets too fine. You should be able to bite into tiny pieces of the nuts and have some fine powder as well.
With a spoon mix in the cardamom powder and the grated nutmeg or powder.
Put this spiced powder into a sterilised jar. Store in a cool, dry shaded place or in refrigerator for up to 2 months for full freshness. It may stay longer if stored properly.
To prepare the masala doodh (spiced milk) from stored masala-
Use a deep thick bottomed pot/pan. Begin by heating milk on a low/med. flame. Add sugar to taste (start by adding less than usual quantity of sugar, as milk thickens and can concentrate the sweetness). Keep stirring to avoid burning and sticking.
Once the milk is hot (scalded) but just before it boils – Add the powder in ratio of approx. 1-2 tsp per cup of milk used.
Remember – you can customize the recipe as you wish, so feel free to add more or less masala to the milk if you like!
Keep stirring till milk comes to a low rolling boil. You can let this drink simmer for 5 mins stirring regularly before serving hot (Especially if using silver serving glasses. According to Ayurveda, it enhances medicinal properties as hot milk will absorb some traces of silver). It may be served hot or chilled.
If preparing masala doodh fresh for immediate consumption-
Grind the nuts to a coarse consistency with some fine powder.
Start by heating milk on low flame take 1 tablespoon of this warmed milk in a small cup – put saffron strands in it and let it bloom.
Add sugar to milk pot – keep stirring.
When milk is about to boil stir in the nut powder (ratio approx. 1-2 tsp for 1 cup milk), cardamom and nutmeg.
At the very end add the saffron infused milk to the pot and simmer for 2-3 mins before serving. Serve hot or chilled.
Garnish with some slivered almonds or some more of the masala on top in each cup/glass.
NOTE for both methods- Through this process you will notice the milk may thicken slightly which is the desired consistency.
Some traditional recipes also call for rice flour/ flakes to thicken the milk (it helps control body heat and acidity) or banana mashed into the milk. But, this is my way and is the most basic recipe of preparing masala doodh.
Once prepared masala milk can be stored refrigerated for upto 3 days.
BONUS- Use this masala as topping for custards, ice creams, cakes and macarons!
BTW – this Doodh Masala / Milk Masala is available readymade in most Indian grocery stores. Find it online here- Everest Kesari Milk Masala on amazon.com
Share with friends and enjoy.