The temperature has been hitting minus constantly for the past couple of weeks and nothing could be better than sipping on something hot to mellow down the bitterness of the icy cold weather. Here is a fantastic recipe of a refreshing drink that has simple, clean flavour with a whiff of Saffron and cardamom. Saffron adds a royal touch and a warm yellow hue to this drink and cardamom imparts a pleasant warm aroma . Almond milk brings in me fond memories of none other than my mom. She used to prepare this for us when we were little kids. She prepares it slightly differently than my preparation and it was simple, yet delightful. She soaks her almonds, peel them off and then blend them along with sugar and cold milk. As the almonds were blended along with milk, it would still be coarse and grainy which gave me an uncomfortable feeling as the drink passed down the throat. It was still delicious even though the coarse grainy feeling of almonds was not very soothing, at least for me. Later after my wedding she also passed on the almond milk serving tradition to serve her son in law. She doesn’t add saffron and cardamom in her almond drink; neither does she cook the milk. I have read somewhere that cooking the almond milk take away that grainy feeling of ground almonds.
I was introduced to the saffron flavoured almond milk in one of London’s popular Indian eat outs- The Chennai Dosai, the place where they sold cheap and delicious south Indian meals. Chilled Saffron infused almond milk was the drink that we regularly ordered. So I just recreated that lingering taste at home when I got a craving for it out of nowhere!
Saffron and Cardamom infused Almond Milk
60g ground almonds
2-5 tbsp sugar or to sweeten
¼ - 1/3 cup milk
3 ¾ cups milk (Full fat milk gives that rich creamy taste, but semi skimmed milk works well too)
Good pinch of saffron
2 green cardamoms (optional, omit if youdislike the cardamom flavour)
1.In a grinder, add ground almonds, sugar and ¼ - 1/3 cup of milk to grind the almond to fine paste without any grainy feeling.
2. Heat a saucepan, pour in milk, add in the almond paste, cardamoms and saffron. Stir continuously to break up the almond paste and to prevent the milk from sticking to pan. Once the milk comes to boil, lower the heat, cook for couple of minutes and turn off the heat.
3. Serve it in individual tall glasses and garnish with few saffron strands and chopped nuts and have it hot. Else once the drink has cooled down, cover it and chill it and serve chilled. It’s delicious either cold or hot.