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Saffron Milk

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Saffron milk recipe aka Kesar badam milk is a healthy and delicious milk-based drink that is laden with the goodness of saffron. It is prepared using whole milk, saffron strands, cardamom, almonds, and ghee. A soothing drink for winters or any other time of the year. 

Made with just 5 ingredients, it gets done in just 15 minutes. Flavored with saffron and cardamom, this milk has an amazing nutty texture from ghee roasted almond flour, which makes it a fabulous flavored drink for any time. 

saffron milk in a transparent glass and one more glass in the background

This thickened milk-based drink has a lot of health benefits, and thus it is widely consumed throughout India. Filled with deliciousness, making this Indian saffron almond milk is very simple and easy. You can easily make this saffron-infused milk at home with only a handful of ingredients. Plus, it can be made vegan with slight modifications.

It tastes so good when it is served warm/hot, but it can also be served chilled. A glass of this refreshing and energizing milk gives a quick energy boost. 

About Saffron Milk:

Saffron Milk (aka Indian Kesar Milk) = A traditional and classic flavored Indian milk drink crammed with the goodness of saffron. Here saffron is referred to as Kesar, and milk translates to doodh, so in a literal translation this is called ‘kesar doodh’.

Enriched with nuts, this milk has richness and nuttiness from badam (almonds). Hence, it is also known as Saffron almond milk (kesar badam doodh). Saffron strands give a beautiful floral fragrance and cardamom adds a sweet aroma to this milk.

Indian flavored drinks are very popular and loved by everyone for their classic taste and amazing health benefits. Other than haldi doodh, rose milk, masala doodh, ginger milk, I just adore this Indian kesar milk. 

The recipe I am sharing on this page is my mom’s recipe which includes almonds, milk, ghee, sugar, cardamom, saffron, and cashews. The cardamom powder adds a nice aromatic flavor to this milk which certainly does not overpower the saffron flavor. In fact, it complements the delicate floral flavors of saffron.

Saffron is also a very revered spice and is known as the king of spice. It is because it requires a lot of labor and sweat to grow saffron flowers. And you only get three yellow or red-colored thread saffron threads from a single flower.

So are you ready to pamper yourself with a comfy glass of flavored milk made with the world’s most lavish spice? I certainly am, what else could be comfier than a hot mug of saffron almond milk on a cold evening? :) 

What is Saffron Milk? 

Saffron milk is a classic and old-fashioned Indian-style sweetened flavored milk. It is an incredibly rich and delicious drink packed with the nutrients of saffron and nuts.

This milk can be made with or without nuts. It is one of such recipes that is made in every Indian family and everyone has their own version. So there is literally no right or wrong recipe.

Some like to make this kesar milk just with saffron, milk, and sweetener, while others like to have it with nuts and other flavorings such as cardamom or rose water. I like my milk spiced up with the combination of saffron and cardamom and with the richness of nuts.

It can be made by soaking saffron in some warm milk for about 10 minutes, or you can add hot milk to crushed saffron strands. I prefer the second way because it gives intense flavor and such a gorgeous yellow bright color to this saffron almond milk.

Kesar doodh also makes a lovely royal drink to serve during weddings, special occasions, and festivals such as Diwali and Holi.

This drink is served warm/hot, and I like it hot. I don’t prefer it cold as the temperature plays an important role when you are consuming this milk. If you want to have all the benefits, then it should be consumed hot/warm. 

Also, this kesar badam milk recipe has some ghee in it, so when it gets cold you get a solid layer of ghee on the top or some ghee chunks in the milk. I personally don’t like the ghee chunks in my drinks, ghee should be melted in my drinks.

This Saffron Milk 

✔ is rich, creamy, and flavourful

✔ has lots of health benefits

✔ is quick & easy to prepare

✔ is made with simple ingredients

✔ can also be made vegan

✔ is vegetarian & gluten-free

✔ is suitable for all age groups

✔ keeps you warm during winter

✔ tastes like a dessert

saffron milk in two transparent glasses and person holding a black cup in the background

Saffron Milk Benefits

This fragrant and bright yellow-colored milk has a lot of medicinal properties. Thus it is often consumed as a medicine for cold and flu. In India, this milk is also given to little children to keep their bodies warm during winters, and to boost immunity. 

This is a delicious bedtime drink, but frankly, you can have it anytime you feel like.

Due to its amazing health benefits, kesar milk is also known as a wonderful drink during pregnancy. Drinking kesar milk during pregnancy is a thing in India. This milk is often given to pregnant women, as it is believed that the saffron improves the complexion of the baby. However, there is no proof that this milk lightens the skin tone, but it surely does nourish the mother and baby in the womb.

Because saffron has heating properties, it increases the body heat. So I would not recommend it as a daily drink. Some studies show that it is okay to have 10mg of saffron in a day, which would be about 6-7 strands. 

But I go with the age-old wisdom. My Grandmother used to say that having kesar badam milk is okay twice or thrice a week, but not more than that. So don’t over-consume this magic spice saffron.  

Drinking saffron milk benefits in a nutshell: It gives you good night sleep, relaxes the tensed muscles, helps in digestion, regulates blood pressure, has anti-inflammatory properties, improves memory, is rich in antioxidants, treats sore throat and cold, boosts your overall immunity, reduces seasonal allergies, boosts mood, improves memory, and helps treat PMS symptoms.

a hand holding saffron milk served in a transparent glass

Ingredients

Saffron milk is made with some simple ingredients which are generally accessible in most kitchens. The ingredients you will to prepare this Indian Kesar Milk are:

Saffron – It is the key ingredient for this saffron almond milk recipe, so use the best quality saffron to make this drink. Make sure that the saffron you are using is original and unadulterated. 

Milk – For the best tasting rich and creamy milk, I would suggest using whole, or full fat milk. However, if you are not comfortable in using full cream milk, then you can use semi-skimmed milk. 

Sweetener – I sweeten my milk with white sugar, but you can also use brown sugar in this recipe. For a healthier version of this milk, you can use less processed sugars such as palm sugar or coconut sugar. If you don’t like artificial sweeteners, then you can also use date paste or honey.

Almond Flour – I have roasted almond flour in ghee. This adds a nice overall rich texture and delicious taste to the milk. You can also use almond paste or almond powder instead of almond flour. To make almond paste, soak the almonds overnight, remove the skin and blend them with 1-2 tablespoons of fresh water or milk.

Ghee – Roasting almond flour in ghee is totally optional in this recipe. It makes this drink richer and aromatic and enhances its health benefits. If you don’t want to roast the almonds in ghee, then simply add the almond flour to the boiling milk. 

Dry Fruits – I have added flaked almonds, and chopped cashews to add a nice crunch to this drink. You can also add chopped pistachio to this milk recipe. Or if you don’t like nuts at all, then you can omit adding them.

Cardamom powder – I like to add some cardamom powder to saffron milk because it intensifies and complements the saffron flavor. However, adding cardamom powder is utterly up to you.

Love saffron flavored dishes? Then you should also check out these amazing recipes: Kesar Chai, Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand, Saffron Rice Kheer, Kesar Rasgulla, Makhana Kheer, Bread Malai Roll, and Rasmalai.

overhead shot of saffron milk glass garnished with saffron and rose petals

How to make Saffron Milk?

Making saffron milk is very quick and easy. Here is how to make milk with saffron in 6 easy steps:

Step 1: Roast almond flour in ghee until it is light and fluffy.

Step 2: Add the milk to the pan and let it come to a boil. Also, crush the saffron strands in a mortar and pestle and keep it aside.

Step 3: Once the milk starts boiling, add 3-4 tsp boiling milk to the mortar and add this saffron-flavored milk to the pan.

Step 4: Boil for 5-6 minutes on medium heat, then add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.

Step 5: Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add cardamom powder, flaked/sliced almonds, and chopped cashews. 

Step 6: Mix well and boil for 3-4 minutes, and serve.

For a full step-by-step picture and detailed video recipe, follow the instructions and video recipe shared in the recipe box on this page.

Storage:

This milk can be consumed fresh, or you can also store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. To store, let the milk cool down completely then transfer it to an air-tight bottle or a pitcher with a lid. When you want to consume, simply warm the milk in a stovetop pan or in a microwave.

Important Tips & Tricks to make the best saffron milk

  1. Saffron: I like to crush saffron strands in a mortar and pestle and then add it to the boiling milk. You can also soak the saffron in hot milk for about 10 minutes before adding it. If you prefer to add saffron strands directly to the milk, then dry roast saffron for a few seconds before adding to the boiling milk. It would give a deep flavor to this milk.

  2. Nuts & Seeds: Adding nuts & seeds always makes this milk taste so good and have amazing health benefits. I have only used almonds and cashews in this saffron milk recipe, but you can also use other seeds and nuts such as pistachios, soaked and pulsed poppy seeds, and melon seeds.

  3. Sugar: I have added 3 tablespoons of sugar for 1-liter milk which is reduced to 3 cups. This means 1 tablespoon is in 1 mug. If you are drinking daily/frequently, then reduce the amount of sugar or switch it to healthy alternatives. 

  4. Spices: This milk has saffron and cardamom. If you like hot flavors then you can also add some black pepper powder, ginger powder or a pinch of clove powder. Cinnamon powder can also be added here.

  5. Feel free to make some adjustments to make this milk more suitable for your taste buds.

  6. You can easily double or triple this recipe if you are making it for a large group.

a hand pouring saffron milk in a transparent glass

FAQ

What is the best time to drink this milk?

If drinking kesar badam milk for its health benefits then it is best to consume it the night before bedtime. However, there is no problem in having this drink as a breakfast drink or during brunch. Basically, you can have it anytime you want a warming and enriched saffron milk.

Is saffron milk good during pregnancy?

Yes, it is definitely beneficial to drink this milk during pregnancy. It helps in reducing pregnancy pain, mood swings, and provides warmth to the mother’s body. 

How to make Vegan Saffron Milk?

For making a vegan version of this Indian Kesar Milk, you need to substitute regular milk with non-dairy milk. Unsweetened almond milk tastes good in this recipe. You can also use coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, or other plant-based milk. Also, replace ghee with coconut oil or vegan ghee.

Can we drink this milk every day?

Technically you can enjoy this delicious milk every day because it is super tasty and has lots of health benefits. But it is not advisable to drink it every day because saffron milk keeps the body warm, so if you have it every day it would overheat your body. Having too much saffron every day has some side effects, that’s why it is recommended to have it twice or thrice a week only.


Saffron Milk (Step-by-step photo instructions)

Making Saffron Milk

  1. Add 1.5 tablespoon ghee to a saucepan and heat over low heat. Once the ghee is hot, turn heat to low and add almond flour or almond powder. Saute the almond in the ghee until it turns aromatic and fluffy. TIP: Do not let the almond change its color.
  2. Image of the cooking step-1-1 for Saffron Milk
  3. Once the almond is fragrant, add 1-liter full cream or whole milk. Stir well and let it come to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, crush 25-30 saffron strands in mortar and pestle. Keep it aside.
  4. Image of the cooking step-1-2 for Saffron Milk
  5. Stir often until the milk comes to a boil, it prevents the milk from sticking to the bottom. When the milk comes to a boil, turn the heat to low. Now, add 4-5 teaspoons of boiling milk to the mortar and stir with the pestle. Add this to the boiling milk.
  6. Image of the cooking step-1-3 for Saffron Milk
  7. Do this one more time to remove all the crushed saffron from the mortar. Let it boil for 7-8 minutes over medium heat.
  8. Image of the cooking step-1-4 for Saffron Milk
  9. Now add the sugar, and mix well to completely dissolve the sugar. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  10. Image of the cooking step-1-5 for Saffron Milk
  11. After that, add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 2 tablespoons chopped cashews, and 2 tablespoons flaked or sliced almonds. Mix everything well and boil for 3-4 minutes.
  12. Image of the cooking step-1-6 for Saffron Milk
  13. Saffron milk is ready, remove it from the heat. Transfer it to a pitcher or a bowl. Pour the hot saffron milk into serving glasses. Garnish it with saffron, almonds, and dried rose petals. Serve saffron milk hot or warm.
  14. Image of the cooking step-1-7 for Saffron Milk


Saffron Milk [Recipe]

Recipe Image
Saffron milk recipe aka Indian Kesar milk is a healthy and delicious milk-based drink that is laden with the goodness of saffron.
★★★★✰
(Rating: 4.9 from 4 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
20 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Drinks Indian 4
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
340 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

For Saffron Milk
  • 1 liter whole or full-fat milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons almond flour or powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons ghee
  • 28-30 saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoons flaked or sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cashews
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Making Saffron Milk
  1. Add 1.5 tablespoon ghee to a saucepan and heat over low heat. Once the ghee is hot, turn heat to low and add almond flour or almond powder. Saute the almond in the ghee until it turns aromatic and fluffy. TIP: Do not let the almond change its color.
  2. Once the almond is fragrant, add 1-liter full cream or whole milk. Stir well and let it come to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, crush 25-30 saffron strands in mortar and pestle. Keep it aside.
  3. Stir often until the milk comes to a boil, it prevents the milk from sticking to the bottom. When the milk comes to a boil, turn the heat to low. Now, add 4-5 teaspoons of boiling milk to the mortar and stir with the pestle. Add this to the boiling milk.
  4. Do this one more time to remove all the crushed saffron from the mortar. Let it boil for 7-8 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Now add the sugar, and mix well to completely dissolve the sugar. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. After that, add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 2 tablespoons chopped cashews, and 2 tablespoons flaked or sliced almonds. Mix everything well and boil for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Saffron milk is ready, remove it from the heat. Transfer it to a pitcher or a bowl. Pour the hot saffron milk into serving glasses. Garnish it with saffron, almonds, and dried rose petals. Serve saffron milk hot or warm.

WATCH RECIPE VIDEO: Click the play button and video will load ...


NOTES:

  1. I like to crush saffron strands in a mortar and pestle and then add it to the boiling milk. You can also soak the saffron in hot milk for about 10 minutes before adding it.
  2. If you prefer to add saffron strands directly to the milk, then dry roast saffron for a few seconds before adding to the boiling milk. It would give a deep flavor to this milk.
  3. You can easily double or triple this recipe if you are making it for a large group.

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