The winter in Toronto, this year is very cold and frigid. To me, winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home and time for a hot drink like the ‘Badam Milk’ – an Indian version of Almond milk.
Almonds known in Sanskrit as ‘vatāda’ and in Hindi as ‘Badam’ is actually the seed of the fruit of the almond tree and like other fruits like peach, cherry and apricot bears fruits with stone like seed inside. The seed of the fruit is what we call nuts.
Apart from having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, almonds are among the richest sources of vitamin E in the diet. Vitamin E is known to reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancers and also protects cells from oxidative damage. Ayurveda uses almonds as a brain tonic, for physical weakness, to improve quality of sleep, to treat nerve disorders and to tone up all the tissues of your body especially reproductive ones.
**Always soak any nuts or seeds for at least 6-8 hours before using them. Soaking helps the nuts/seeds release the harmful enzymes that cause indigestion and also increases their nutritional content.
The Badam milk recipe comes from the Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana cooking show by Chef Rajeev Sethi and it is delicious!!
Badam Milk Recipe
½ cup almonds
2.5 cups full fat milk (preferable unhomogenized)
1/8 tsp saffron
¼ – 3/8 cup sugar or as per taste
To powder :
20 almonds, raw, unsalted
30 pistachios, raw, unsalted
2o cashews, raw, unsalted
¼ tsp Saffron
½ piece of Mace
½ tsp Cardamom
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tablespoon organic Rose flower petals (dried) – optional
- Soak the almonds in water for about 6-8 hours. Drain off the water, rinse the almonds thoroughly, and peel the skins.
- Grind the almonds to a fine paste with a little water.
- Bring the milk to a boil. Keep stirring so that it does not burn at the bottom.
- Add the almond paste and continue to keep stirring until it is reduced and thickened a little.
- Finely powder all the ingredients in the ‘To powder’. Set aside.
- Add the sugar and the 2 tablespoons of the powdered nut mixture to the milk.
- Continue cooking until the sugar is dissolved and then switch off the flame.
- Serve hot or chilled, according to your preference.
- Garnish with slivered almonds, saffron and rose petals.