Masala milk is a kind of catchall phrase which is used to describe flavored milk. The flavors usually include cardamom, sugar and any combination of pistachios, almonds and saffron. There are many variations of this milk that I have tasted and I enjoy most of them.I started making this particular version for the first time with a view to recreating masala milk that I had tasted during the brief time we spent in Bangalore. I remember each Saturday, R and I would set out after our breakfast and walk for miles just enjoying the weather or combining a few errands with our walk. We would then inevitably head towards a sweet shop in that area that sold this masala milk that we both enjoyed. By the time we got to the store our breakfast would be long forgotten and we would have walked ourselves into a reasonable hunger. So our stop at this store would serve the dual purpose of enjoying the milk and filling us up, at least until we got back home and had our lunch.
We both enjoy this masala milk just as much now, as we did then, and I find that this is a good way to indulge a little without overdoing the sweet part. This is also a great way to sneak in some healthy nuts and saffron along with milk into our diet. If you have never tried this milk and you like the flavors of almond and saffron you should try this, I am pretty sure you will enjoy this delicious beverage :-)
Ingredients and method to make the Masala Milk
12 raw unsalted almonds
2 tsp raw unsalted cashew pieces
2 tsp unsalted pistachio
2 very small pinches of good quality saffron (about 3-4 strands per cup)
2 tsp of sugar (or according to taste) ( I used brown sugar but any sugar should be fine)
1/4 tsp cardamom seed powder
2 cups of milk ( I used 2 % but any milk should be fine)
Soak 12 almonds in hot water for about an hour along with 2 tsp cashews and 2 tsp unsalted pistachio.
Soak 2 very small pinches of saffron in 1/4 cup of warm milk.
Blanch the almonds and drain the other nuts. Then grind the almonds along with other nuts in the milk used to soak the saffron until smooth.
Heat the balance of the milk (I heated the milk in the microwave), mix the nut + milk + saffron mixture to it and add sugar and 1/4 tsp cardamom seed powder.
Mix well and serve hot (in winter I serve this hot and in summer I serve it cold) It tastes delicious in both ways.
You can serve this beverage cold too, just cool to room temperature and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve cold
Blanch the almonds means that after soaking the almonds in hot water, remove the skin. It is pretty easy to do that and once soaked for an hour the skin comes out easily.
If you use the stove top to heat the milk, place in a heavy bottomed pan and stir continuously on low heat so that it does not burn. If the milk burns it will ruin the taste of this beverage.
With the quantity of sugar I used the milk was mildly sweet, so adjust the sweetness according to your taste.
This almond milk is off to the Lets go Nuts- Almonds event being hosted by JZ.