Y’all this recipe has been a long time coming.
Haldi doodh is one of those things that runs through my veins and fuels my days. It’s a cup of sunshine for me whenever I need a refuel and just brings me so much joy whenever I get to sip on an earthy cup of gold. So, if you’re over here like “what is haldi doodh???” it’s what you might know as golden milk latte/turmeric latte. Ya I’ve long known the now trendy drink as haldi doodh and have been sipping on mugs of this from before I can even remember. It’s one of those drinks that is just common knowledge to most Indian households and most of the people who I’ve spoken to about it mention it as one of the homemade remedies that their moms would give them.
Have a cold? Drink haldi doodh.
Cough or sore throat? Drink haldi doodh.
Upset stomach? Drink haldi doodh.
Broke a bone? Drink haldi doodh.
Okay that might be exaggerating but you get the point. Haldi (turmeric) in general was always a go-to when it came to ailments. The thing I remember most was actually my mom using a haldi and besan (turmeric and chickpea flour) paste that we would put on after spending all day outside in the hot Texas sun at summer league swim meets. It was supposed to help with the affect of sun burns and to help clear up and heal our skin that had been out under the sun all day. To be fair, I don’t burn, I never have (thank you melanin!!), but this turmeric pack evens out your skin. To this day, despite my protestation at the time, I think those packs are the reason my skin has stayed as healthy as it has. Am I saying the turmeric is a super magical root that can cure everything? No. I don’t think that. But I do think – and the numerous articles and research on it show – that the benefits of the root are amazing. I think haldi has a place in a healthy and wellness-focused lifestyle and to be honest, I just wouldn’t know life without it.
While we’re on the subject, can we get one thing straight? If you’re pronouncing turmeric like TOO-MARE-ICK…YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. It’s TOOR-MER-ICK. There is an R in that first syllable and I face-palm myself every time someone doesn’t say it that way. Maybe it’s just me being used to hearing the word with a thick Indian accent, but pleeeeeeeeeease include the R.
I have a strange relationship with things like this. Yoga, adaptogens, golden milk – these are all things that I grew up with, that were just commonplace. Somewhere along the way and just over the last few years, these things that were just a part of life became trendy items and Instagram-worthy moments to capture. I’m not saying this to be like “this was mine first!!!!”. In fact, I spent years brushing them to the side. Things like yoga and medtiation, which my mom emphasized for years as being beneficial for wellness, I just swept under the rug – because anything your mom tells you to do isn’t cool right? Because it isn’t cool to be different and focus on those things when you go to an all-American school? Because why would I emphasize my differences when I could so easily blend into the world with those around me? Well turns out she was years ahead of the trends and has known what the Instagram yogis and matcha-lovers are just now sharing. I guess the reason I bring this up is that now that I’m beginning to understand the things that make me who I am, the more I see myself clutch the ideas that formed me even closer – more specifically those cultural ideas I grew up with. It’s kind of like guilt, right? Like I have to make up for lost time with these practices that I could have been doing all along, since I instead chose to hide my culture and pretend that my Indian self was a different person than my American self.
I don’t regret that, in fact, I’m almost grateful that I was given the chance to re-discover these things again on my own and figure out what I want in my life rather than have them forced upon me. I’m still figuring things out, I’m not 100% on everything yet, but I’m getting there. I’m almost lucky that I’ve gotten the chance to share things like this here on the site and on Instagram with people who aren’t Indian. It’s like my chance to share how my blended life works and how the little differences who make us who we are, are the most important thing. And I’m so grateful for the amazing women who lead that charge on a platform like Instagram and show me that it’s okay to share your beautiful, weird, fun, and amazing self at its full capacity. (Shoutout to Maggie, Alicia, Deepica, and Camille for empowering others – like myself!)
So here I am, re-discovering haldi doodh and realizing that when I’m out here on my own, sometimes all it takes is a little turmeric and a Bollywood playlist to make me feel like my whole self again.
Okay so speaking of haldi doodh, let’s talk about this recipe.
It’s not really a recipe. Yeah, there, I said it. This is one of those things, like chai, that can so easily change based on your preferences. In fact, the more I thought about and tested this recipe, the further away I got from what I loved. So I came back to basics, wrote down exactly what it took to get the flavor I liked, and here we are.
Like something super spicy? Add in some extra peppercorns and ginger. Thinking sweet? Add some extra honey or sugar. This is just a base recipe for you to adjust. This is my Suruchi version – earthy with a slight undertone of sweetness and a little kick from the spiciness of the ginger that’s left after every sip. You can make this cold or hot – cold straight out of the blender and over some ice, and hot poured into a pot to bring up just under a simmer. You can swap out milks based on what you like, and if you prefer extra creamy swap the water for milk. This is your blank canvas! Give it a try, let me know what you think, and happy weekend!
servings – 4 cups time – 15 minutes
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 inch of fresh turmeric root
1 1/2 tsp dried turmeric
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns, then roughly chopped
1 tbsp honey
1 1/4 cups water
2 cups milk of choice
- in a blender, add all of the ingredients, with the water and milk last.
- blend on high for two minutes.
- pour the milk through a nut milk bag or very fine strainer. I personally don’t prefer bigger chunks of pepper and the leftovers of ground ginger in my drink, but if you don’t care, running the liquid through a tea strainer is fine.
- serve over ice for iced haldi doodh.
- if you want a hot doodh, pour the milk into a stovetop pot and warm the milk up just before it comes to a simmer.
- serve in your favorite mug.