Masala Milk is a traditional Indian drink made using milk blended with nuts, spices and flavors. I am not sure which part of India this drink originated from. In Maharashtra, during Kojagiri Poornima, it is a ritual to serve Masala doodh (Milk) after watching the full bright moon. Many people fast on this day and make this Masala Doodh and keep the milk in a container directly under the Moonlight as a prasad and get blessings from the Moon God. I always enjoyed having this drink as a child since we had lots of Maharashtrian neighbors growing up and we girls would always have a blast on Kojagiri Poornima. Drinking this milk was the best part for me 🙂
Now that I avoid dairy, I decided to come up with a vegan version of this milk, which was not difficult at all. I just used cashew nut and coconut milk to be the ‘milk’ source and additionally I also used dates to be the sweetener so no other sugar was necessary! So I have a really healthy version of this traditional drink and this is one delicious drink that makes you feel special! I indulged myself with this drink on one hot lazy afternoon last week as I stayed indoors enjoying the view from our sunroom. I felt like royalty -It was just perfect 🙂
As we celebrate Diwali over the next few days, this would be a great drink to serve to your guests!
- 20 cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for 2 hours (or overnight for 6-8 hours)
- 4 dates
- 1 cup warm water
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ⅛th teaspoon saffron (4-5 strands)
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder (by crushing green cardamom pods)
- ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
- 1-2 drops of rose extract/essence
- 1 tbsp crushed pistachios (optional)
- Drain water from the soaked cashews. Place in blender/food processor jar. Add the dates and half of the warm water. Blend until smooth. Add the rest of the water and the coconut milk and blend again.
- Add the saffron, cardamom and nutmeg and rose. Mix well using a spoon. Transfer to two serving bowls/glasses. Add the crushed pistachios on top.
- You can serve as is or chilled.