As a kid, I spent several sick days hiding under large pieces of furniture to escape the turmeric milk self-prescribed by mom in place of antibiotics. As a somewhat-adult (mom still doesn’t agree with the adult bit!), I am voluntarily downing mugfuls of turmeric milk (called turmeric latte by the trendiest amongst us!) to ward off a sticky virus that’s standing between me and a looming deadline that brooks no negotiation.
And it seems to be working. Turns out mom was right. Even modern medicine agrees that the turmeric-based-drink is one of the most healing beverages EVER. After all, turmeric is antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Result: it defeats germs and calms down colds, coughs, sore throats, fevers, toothaches, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, menstrual cramps, muscular pain and a whole big bucket list of ailments. It also heats up the body, providing quick relief from lung congestion and sinuses.
Then there are all the ways it heals the digestive system: this spice is an excellent blood purifier, it boosts circulation, cleanses the lymphatic system and strains away impurities from the liver. Which makes it perfect for indigestion, diarrhoea, stomach ulcers and colitis.
Added bonus: Turmeric milk helps in the breakdown of dietary fats, thereby keeping weight in check.
And if even all this doesn’t make you rest easy at night, warm turmeric milk produces tryptophan, an amino acid that induces peaceful and blissful sleep.
Add in the strong antimicrobial properties of honey; the healing powers of ginger; and the extraordinarily healthy fats and vitamins present in ghee and you have the ultimate dose of wholesome healing in a cup. Little surprise then that the ubiquitously named turmeric latte is all the rage from San Fransisco to Oxford. In its latest report, Google reveals that searches for turmeric increased by 56% from November 2015 to January 2016. Even Starbucks has jumped on the bandwagon.
Time to hit the kitchen?
The original turmeric latte
You will need2 cups whole milk 1-inch knob of fresh turmeric, peeled and finely chopped (or 2 teaspoons turmeric powder) 1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 2 teaspoons ghee (clarified butter) 1 tablespoon honey
- Mix together the turmeric, ginger and ghee; blend briskly till you have a fine paste
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and spoon in the paste
- Heat the milk till just below boiling point (little bubbles will begin to appear on the sides of the saucepan)
- Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan, allowing the turmeric and ginger to steep about 3 minutes
- Strain the turmeric milk; stir in the honey and continue stirring until it dissolves
- Serve warm
The non-dairy turmeric latte
You will need2 cups almond milk or coconut milk 1-inch knob of fresh turmeric, peeled and finely chopped (or 2 teaspoons turmeric powder) 1-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped Dash of cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon honey 2 teaspoons ghee* (optional) 1 stick of cinnamon (optional) 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom (optional)
- Combine the turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, honey, ghee, cinnamon and cardamom; pour into a deep mug or bowl and keep aside
- Heat the almond or coconut milk till just below boiling point (little bubbles will begin to appear on the sides of the saucepan)
- Add a teaspoon of the hot milk to the mug and mix everything till you get a smooth paste
- Add the rest of the milk and mix well; allow to steep for 3 minutes
- Strain the concoction; serve immediately
* Though ghee is made from milk and is therefore technically a dairy product, it contains only trace amounts of casein (a milk protein) and lactose (milk sugar), which are the prime causes of dairy intolerance.
Ever had turmeric milk? Or turmeric latte? Liked it?