Turmeric milk, also known as “golden milk,” is a traditional Ayurvedic beverage made by mixing turmeric with warm milk. Turmeric is an Indian spice with a long history of use in Ayurvedic practices and is very commonly used in daily Indian cooking.
Much of my family incorporates Ayurvedic practices in their day-to-day routine. This haldi ka doodh recipe is still a staple.
Turmeric milk is often consumed in Indian households for its medicinal properties as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. It is also enjoyed as a warm and comforting drink, particularly during the colder months.
I hated hardar nu doodh (Gujarati way to say turmeric milk) as a kid. I would only take the hot drink if my then-chosen favorite uncle gave it to me 😊. As I’ve gotten older it is a drink I turn to for comfort, especially during the winter.
Some benefits of this powerful Indian drink due to turmeric is:
Turmeric (not pronounced too-meric!) milk has taken on all sorts of forms as it gained popularity in the Western world, often known by its more “glamorous” name, golden milk.
Variations of the original turmeric milk have been replaced in coffee shops as “golden latte” or “turmeric latte.” These aren’t the authentic version and often include things like vanilla extract/vanilla bean which aren’t traditional.
Incorporating turmeric into daily routines is beneficial but it’s also moved away from its simple, original form since becoming commercialized.
My Ba’s (Grandma) Recipe
We still drink haldi doodh the way my grandparents made it. Simple and authentic, with only a few ingredients.
You can likely make it with ingredients in your pantry – turmeric powder and whole milk are the main ingredients.
Tip: Use caution when handling turmeric as it can stain clothing and surfaces such as countertops. It is recommended to wear an apron to protect your clothing.
Making it the Traditional Way
A few key points:
- Whole cow’s milk is used
- It is boiled
- Not strained
- Sweetener is not necessary, it is optional
Ayurvedic Background of Turmeric Milk
Turmeric is also believed to have a balancing effect on the three Ayurvedic doshas (constitutions).
Whole milk is often used in turmeric milk recipes because it is a rich and nourishing liquid that can help to balance the warming and grounding qualities of the turmeric. In Ayurveda, it is believed that whole milk has a nourishing and strengthening effect on the body.
Whole Milk: It is often said that whole milk is used as curcumin will bind to the fats in it and this aids absorption. This is because turmeric is fat-soluble.
For those that are vegan, here is an interesting study on soy milk for haldi doodh.
Turmeric: Use a high-quality organic turmeric powder if possible so you avoid fillers and contaminants. Fresh turmeric root can also be used (about ½ an inch).
Black pepper: A pinch of black pepper powder is added to help increase the absorption of curcumin turmeric in the body. Research supports that combining the piperine in black pepper with the curcumin in turmeric enhances curcumin absorption by up to 2,000%
Jaggery powder: This is optional but a delicious addition! Sugar (white or brown sugar) can also be used.
Carom seeds or ajwain: I will note, we do add ajwain, a commonly used Indian spice. While not everyone adds it, it has antibacterial properties. You can optionally add it.
In Ayurvedic medicine, honey is not cooked. If you must use it, add it after the drink has cooled for a few minutes. There have been some studies related to mixing it with ghee as well. Just sharing the Ayurvedic view.
Feel free to add other spices such as cardamom powder, cinnamon, and ginger to make a masala haldi doodh. I just wanted to share the traditional version.
Ginger in all forms: fresh ginger and ginger powder (ground ginger) is a delicious addition
Can use whole spices or ground spices
Heat milk in a small saucepan on medium heat. Let the cup of milk just begin to simmer and add turmeric powder and black pepper powder.
Whisk in jaggery powder until it melts and enjoys this soothing drink.
Note: In our family, my grandma always toasted a few carom seeds or ajwain seeds briefly before adding milk to the pot. It is optional but delicious.
I hope you enjoy trying authentic turmeric milk. Maybe you’ll end up replacing a cup of hot chocolate with this!
5 Minute Authentic Haldi Doodh or Turmeric Milk (Traditional Golden Milk)
- 1 saucepan
- 1¼ cup whole milk
- ½ tsp turmeric powder start with 1/4 tsp if you are new to it to get used to the taste
- 1-2 tsp jaggery powder
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain) optional
- Heat milk in a small saucepan on medium heat.
- Let the cup of milk just begin to simmer and add turmeric powder and black pepper powder.
- Whisk in jaggery powder until it melts.
- Enjoy this soothing drink.