Saffron Milk (Indian Kesar Doodh) is a traditional Indian beverage where milk is flavored with saffron. Lots of dried nuts and fruits are added to give it a crunch and make it healthier (gluten-free).
About This Recipe
Saffron Milk (Indian Kesar Doodh) is milk flavored with strands of saffron. Lots of dried fruits and nuts are added to it for a nice crunch.
It has a delicious taste and this nutritious drink comes together in under 20 minutes using simple ingredients.
Indian Kesar Milk can be served piping hot in winter and chilled in summer. It is a great drink to make for special occasions and festivals like Diwali, Holi, etc.
Kesar Wala Doodh is gluten-free and vegetarian and can be easily made vegan. You can easily double or triple the recipe if making it for a crowd.
Just like saffron tea, this saffron milk recipe is one of the classic recipes with the goodness of saffron that keeps your overall health in check. So make a batch and sip on it now!
Saffron Milk Benefits
Not only is this milk delicious but it also has a lot of health benefits. It is considered great for pregnant women and for growing children.
Saffron is known for memory retention, tackling mood swings, and treating insomnia. It keeps the blood pressure under control, gives relief to joint pain, and reduces menstrual cramps.
Saffron also has many anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants. If you are suffering from a sore throat or muscle pains, a cup of warm saffron milk will help you a lot.
Saffron – Use the best quality saffron threads to make this drink. Saffron is a very expensive spice and a lot of adulteration happens with it. So make sure to buy it from a trusted source only.
Trader Joe’s saffron is good if you stay in the US. In India, baby saffron is what I buy.
Tip – I sometimes like to very lightly roast saffron strands before adding them to milk for a more profound flavor.
Milk – I like to use whole milk (full fat milk) as it makes my drink rich and creamy. But you can choose to use skim or low-fat milk too.
To make vegan saffron milk, replace dairy milk with any plant-based milk like almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, etc.
Sugar – You can replace sugar with honey or any other sweetener of your choice. You can also use sugar-free substitutes like stevia or monk fruit.
Dried Nuts & Fruits – These add a nice crunch to the drink and also make it healthier. Instead of slivering, you can also powder the nuts.
I have used almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, chironji, and dates. You can also use hazelnuts, pinenuts, or any other nuts and fruits of your choice.
White Poppy Seeds – Poppy seeds have many health benefits and they taste great in this drink. However, if you don’t have access to these, feel free to skip them.
You can also add in a little cardamom powder or crushed green cardamom pods for an added flavor.
How To Make Saffron Milk
Soak 25-30 saffron strands in 2-3 tablespoon of milk for 2 hours. Refrigerate the bowl while the saffron is soaking.
Heat 1 liter whole milk (full-fat milk) in a pan over medium flame. Stir frequently to avoid scorching at the bottom of the pan.
Once the milk comes to a boil, add the saffron soaked in milk, 10-12 almonds (slivered), 10-12 cashew nuts (slivered), 10-12 pistachios (slivered), 1 teaspoon white poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon chironji, and 2-3 seedless dates (chopped) and stir well.
Reduce the heat to low.
Cook the milk for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 4 teaspoon sugar and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove the pan from the heat. Serve the milk hot or chill it for 3-4 hours before serving. Garnish with slivered nuts and dried rose petals.
Pro Tips By Neha
You can make a richer version of this kesar milk by adding khoya (reduced milk solids) to it.
Adding a little bit of ginger powder, black pepper powder, and clove powder also makes this milk more nutritious and is good to drink in winter as it keeps the body even warmer.
This recipe is very adaptable and you can adapt it to your liking and preferences. Add the nuts and fruits that you like and skip the ones that you don’t. Choose the sweetener and its quantity as per your liking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is. However, it is a myth that consuming saffron during pregnancy makes the baby fair in color. Saffron is great as a muscle relaxant and provides warmth to the mother’s body. Older people in India always advise drinking a glass of kesar milk while pregnant for all its health benefits.
Yes, you can definitely drink it every day in winter, as it keeps the body nice and warm. I would not recommend having it daily in summers though as it is warm in nature.
This delicious drink can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
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Saffron Milk Recipe (Indian Kesar Doodh)
- 1 litre whole milk (full-fat milk)
- 25-30 strands saffron
- 10-12 almonds (slivered)
- 10-12 cashew nuts (slivered)
- 10-12 pistachios (slivered)
- 1 teaspoon white poppy seeds (skip if they are not available)
- 1 teaspoon chironji
- 2-3 seedless dates (chopped)
- 4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
- Soak saffron strands in 2-3 tablespoons of milk for 2 hours. Refrigerate the bowl while the saffron is soaking.
- Heat milk in a pan over medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid scorching at the bottom of the pan.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, add the saffron soaked in milk, almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, poppy seeds, chironji, and dates, and stir well.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Cook the milk for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add sugar and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Check for sugar and add more if needed.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Serve the milk hot or chill it for 3-4 hours before serving. Garnish with slivered nuts and dried rose petals.