Posted 29th January 2015
January marks a most important day for me. And each year it arrives with the same dramatic series of events.
First, I sulk at the prospect of ageing. Woe is me. There’s another wrinkle. Bother. Bother. Bother.
Then, as if by magic, I realise that this is yet another excellent excuse for a big celebration. After all, this only keep getting better, right? I hand my man an impossible wishlist of presents right before d-day and table my highest expectations for the soiree.
This year, the man was genuinely baffled. And kids tried their best to help. Miss Basu asked if I wanted a Frozen party. And Micro Mini Basu wondered if I’d be happy with a new toy car.
The soiree did eventually materialise, along with the far more exciting new kitchen gadget: The Vitamix. I’ve been on healthy green smoothies ever since, some soup dinners and have started attempting various Indian recipes.
The very first is an easy Badam Doodh, almond milk laced with gorgeous aromatic spices and sweetened with scrapings of gur, or jaggery. I remember this drink well from our winter holidays in mother’s family home in Delhi. Our uncles would drink a pint of it at a time, gently warmed to provide comfort on chilly days. I also remember the grainy texture as I drank it. Grains didn’t stand a chance in my Vitamix. And you can use any good blender, as you’ll see in the recipe.
I tossed in a centimetre piece of raw turmeric into this easy Badam Doodh too for good measure. Recently given some quality airtime, my earliest memories of this powerhouse root was mother making me swallow a raw piece dunked in honey every morning. Good for collagen supplies in old age, she used to say.
The perfect drink when age is on the mind. Here’s to breaking bad habits for good.
Makes 2 mugs:
1 pint whole milk
20 almonds, soaked overnight and skinned
Half tsp cardamom seeds
Pinch of saffron
Two tsp jaggery or dark brown muscavado sugar
1 cm raw turmeric (optional)
Put everything in the blender and blitz on high for at least a minute to blend to smooth. If you have a professional version of the Vitamix you can keep the machine running for 2-3 minutes until the drinks warms up. If not, pour into a milk pan and heat gently until warm. Then serve warm in mugs with a sprinkling of the saffron.
If you want to use a hand blender, blend the almonds, cardamom seeds and turmeric with enough milk to create a thick paste. Then stir this along with the rest of the milk, and the sugar, in a milk pan on a medium low heat. As before serve Badam Doodh warm in mugs with a sprinkling of the saffron on top.