Badam milk is made with milk, almonds (=badam), sugar, saffron and cardamon (and possibly some other spices. Some people add pistachio nuts too). The kind of Indian badam milk that I used to drink in the cheapie eateries I frequented was always yellow. The yellow colour comes from saffron, that most expensive of spices, although I’m sure it’s just some yellow food dye in the cheaper places. Since badam milk flavouring is sold in little bags in India’s shops, I’m not surprised if some of the badam milk sold in India does not contain much of genuine saffron.
Just seeing a photo of badam milk takes me back to evenings in India when I used to drink it in Mysore in the local hotel (a word that in India does not mean an actual hotel with rooms, but just a place to eat). This particular hotel down the road had turquoise walls with peeling paint and food that every now and then had bits of wildlife in it (someone I know claims to have found the head of a gekko in his sauce). I would drink it especially on rainy evenings during the monsoon and on those chilled winter nights when even in South India you would need to wear something warm and to sleep under a blanket.
A glass of warm almond milk (it’s always served in a glass or a metal cup so you can burn your fingers while drinking) is the best thing in the evening. It makes you feel sleepy, warm and comfortable. If you can’t sleep at night, try a glass of warm badam milk. Apparently you can also drink it cold but I’m not sure why you’d want to.
I’ve been trying to google a good badam milk recipe but when I see the photo next to the recipe, it never looks yellow enough. Maybe the secret really is in the yellow food dye. But this badam milk recipe looks pretty good.
Photo by Benjamin Chodroff (flickr.com)