We’ve been enjoying a number of really fragrant and spiced beverages over the last few months here in Albania. One of those that has been especially fun to play with has been this brilliantly colored and wildly fragrant Golden Milk, sometimes referred to as Turmeric Tea.
It was the dramatic images of this drink that first enticed me into investigating it. The bright yellow hue seemed especially inviting during the cold winter days. I tried a few sips at a local cafe, and was MORE excited by the flavor of the honey I’d requested to sweeten my cup. But I was intrigued, nonetheless. Turmeric, the key ingredient which lends the drink its signature golden shade, was something with which I’d only previously played around in savory Indian curries. It *had* to be possible to amp up the flavor so that it could really shine, right?! I headed into the kitchen to find out how.
I rummaged around in my pantry to pluck out all of the spices that were going into the drink. Interestingly enough, the collection resembled the mis-en-place for making Masala Chai. That was it, of course! If I was going to make an Indian beverage, I might as well use an Indian technique for enhancing the flavors!!! Check out the video at the bottom of this post to see exactly how it’s done. In fact, the video was recorded in real-time while I made this particular batch, with absolutely no editing breaks, so you can make your own right along with me!
It’s important to let your mixture steep, just like you would a tea, in order to allow the spices to fully infuse into the warm liquid. I like to leave the pot on the stove, covered, for at least 15 minutes before straining out the solids. Feel free to give everything one last stir, then walk away and let it rest for a little while.
Finally, strain out the solids and pour your Golden Milk into a pitcher that you can stash in the fridge for whenever you’re ready to pour yourself a glass. I highly recommend glass over plastics for this particular beverage, as the turmeric just loves to transfer that glorious golden color onto absolutely everything it touches.
If you have used a large quantity of powdered spices for your mixture, you might prefer to line your strainer with a coffee filter or cheesecloth to best capture all of the grainy bits and prevent them from ending up in your cup. If you want an even stronger beverage, feel free to store your Golden Milk with all of the solids in your pitcher, straining as you pour each individual cup. The mixture should remain tightly covered in a consistently cold section of your refrigerator for no more than a week, though mine never lasts more than a couple of days.
Ingredients for Making Golden Milk
1 liter milk of choice (in this video, I used coconut milk)
1 teaspoon fat of choice (I chose coconut oil to pair with the coconut milk)
2 teaspoons of ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods (green or black)
3 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons of fresh ginger root, diced
The only absolutely essential spices required for making Golden Milk are the turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. All the others that I’ve shared with you in this tutorial can be considered optional. I want to encourage you to play with the quantities of spices and adjust it to your personal palate. Remember, you may need to use MORE of the pre-ground dried spices to get the same flavor as you would when using whole spices.
You may also choose to add other aromatic touches to your Golden Milk, such as a floral vanilla or dried rosebuds. Perhaps you’re like me and enjoy a spicy kick to your drinks. Then you could add some chili powder or red pepper flakes!
What special flourishes will you add to your batch of Golden Milk? Come share your pictures and stories in our #PLAYwithYourFood Community, where we discuss all the deliciousness that’s cooking in Our Kitchen Classroom! I look forward to seeing you on the inside!!!