Golden Milk is one of my all-time favourite recipes from my book, East by West, because this classic Ayurvedic beverage is the perfect comfort drink.
Originating in India, it comes from a long tradition called Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old “Science of Life,” a holistic health system that was the inspiration behind my book.
Made the traditional way with organic whole milk or enjoyed with a plank milk alternative, Golden Milk is served steaming hot with a blend of spices: turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, and sweetened with a touch of jaggery.
You might well have come across turmeric lattes in hip cafés, but when you hear “Golden Milk”, you’re looking for a truer recipe – not just a bit of turmeric-coloured frothy milk, but a slow-cooked, lightly sweetened spiced elixir.
What are the benefits of Golden Milk?
In India, Golden Milk is used as a remedy for illness, given to children and the elderly. Naturally caffeine-free, it is both replenishing and relaxing. It can just as easily replace your morning cup of coffee to give you that extra boost for your day as it can your evening chamomile to help you wind down for the night. Feeling like you need an afternoon pick-me-up or a bit of a dessert? Golden Milk, which is available in LEON, is perfect for that, too! If I’m coming home for a late-night event and feeling really hungry, I make myself a mug of this golden elixir. It’s much easier to digest than a late night supper, ensuring I get a better night’s sleep rather than than going to bed on a full stomach.
What gives it its vibrant colour?
We have turmeric to thank for Golden Milk’s sunny colour. This spice, obtained by roasting turmeric root and grinding it, should be cooked alongside black pepper or long pepper to make it easier for the body to assimilate. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and helps with cleansing your liver, improving digestion and boosting immunity.
Turmeric has so many benefits that the U.S. successfully patented it as a wound healer in 1995, but the Indian government fought to overturn the patent, which was revoked in 1998.
As for jaggery, it is a deliciously complex sweetener that’s made from unrefined sugar cane or palm tree sap. Popular in South Asia, blocks of jaggery come in all shapes and colours, from a light gold with a honey taste to a dark brown, which has a stronger more molasses flavour. The flavours are rich and so are the nutrients, giving you more satisfaction with less. As for its benefits, jaggery is said to aid digestion, and help flush out toxins, build immunity and even lessen period pains.