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Kesar badam doodh

If you’re having that kind of day, consider having this soothing beverage of saffron-scented chai-spiced milk with almonds to help you get back on track.



  • 2 tablespoons whole almonds
  • 2 cups 2% or whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Perfumy Chai Masala
  • 2½ teaspoons jaggery or raw cane sugar (optional)
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground pistachios, to garnish


  1. In a small bowl, soak the almonds in warm water for one hour.
  2. Remove the skins from the almonds. Place the almonds in a small food processor or a clean coffee grinder and finely grind.
  3. In a medium non-stick saucepan on medium-high heat, bring the milk to a gentle simmer, then add the chai masala, jaggery, and saffron.
  4. Continue to simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the jaggery to dissolve.
  5. Add the almonds and continue to simmer for a few more minutes to allow the saffron to release its flavor.
  6. Pour into four small demitasse cups or two mugs. Garnish with pistachios. Enjoy! 

TIP: You can sweeten this hot beverage with honey, but I recommend stirring in the honey after pouring the beverage into mugs, rather than simmering the honey in the pot.

Excerpted from New Indian Basics: 100 Traditional and Modern Recipes from Arvinda’s Family Kitchen by Preena Chauhan and Arvinda Chauhan. Copyright © 2022 Preena Chauhan. Cover and book design by Andrew Roberts. Photography by Reena Newman, with photos on pages iii, 10, 18, 28, 129, 209, 255, and 272 by Sandy Nicholson. Published in Canada by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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