Masala doodh, or masala milk, is a sweet Indian drink made with nuts, warming spices, and the milk of your choice. You can sweeten this cardamom and saffron spiced drink with sugar or keep it naturally sweet by using dates! I love drinking this as a dessert – it’s sweet and filling.
What is Masala Doodh?
That’s because Masala Doodh is:
- A comfort drink on a cold and rainy night. It’s perfect before bedtime – this drink is relaxing and soothing.
- It’s a healthier alternative to hot chocolate on a snowy day.
- It’s a coffee replacement for mornings when you want a warm drink without the caffeine.
You can make masala doodh by simmering powdered nuts and spices like cardamom, saffron, turmeric in milk. I like using full-fat whole milk because it makes for a rich and decadent dessert, but you can use whatever milk you’d like.
I like to garnish masala doodh with sliced nuts and saffron when serving it to guests, but it’s not necessary and I don’t typically do this when making it for myself.
A Naturally Sweet Indian Dessert
You can use any sweetener you’d like for masala doodh. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, then use sugar. If you’re trying to curb sugar cravings, then dates are the way to go.
I love using chopped dates – not only does it naturally sweeten the milk, but you get to enjoy the softened caramely dates once the drink is done. You can also use a spoon to grab some dates and eat them as you sip on the masala milk.
Masala Doodh Ingredients
- Raw Nuts: almonds, cashews, pistachios
- White Poppy Seeds OR Pumpkin Seeds: my nani would add poppy seeds to her masala doodh, so I’ve added it in my mix but if you don’t want to use those or can’t find them, then use pumpkin seeds! They taste just as good – and I like the health benefits that pumpkin seeds add (they’re a good source of iron – which I am always lacking).
- Spices: Cardamom, Saffron, Turmeric
- Milk: you can use the milk of your choice! I think regular milk yields a creamier, richer beverage. Almond milk is also good. Sometimes I’ll combine the two.
- Sweetener: you can use dates or sugar. I think dates make for a nice naturally sweet dessert but if you’re in the mood for something a bit more decadent, add a teaspoon of sugar – or better yet, both!
A note about ingredients + optional additions: this masala doodh is easy to adapt, so feel free to play around with what you add to this recipe. I almost always add ¼ teaspoon of chia seeds – I love that addition! I suggest making it once as written – after that, adjust as you want to! Play around with spices – add some nutmeg or maybe even cinnamon or ground cloves. Try using different nuts – maybe some macadamia or walnuts. It’s a very forgiving recipe – however, the recipe below is my personal favorite combination.
How to Make Masala Doodh Powder + Masala Doodh
First, we need to make masala doodh powder! Toast the nuts and seeds and then let them cool.
Grind the nuts and seeds into a powder, and store the powder in the fridge in an airtight container.
Having masala doodh powder ready makes it easy to make masala doodh whenever you’d like.
When you’re ready to make masala doodh, add milk and chopped dates or sugar to a pot and bring it to a low boil. Then add the masala doodh powder and simmer.
Turn off the heat, pour into a glass, and enjoy! Once you’re done drinking, use a spoon to eat the soft dates at the bottom of your cup!
More Indian Drinks to Try:
Masala Doodh Powder
To Make Masala Doodh:
- 8 ounces Whole Milk or Milk of Choice per person
- 2 dates, chopped or 1 teaspoon sugar per person I like Medjool or Delget Noor dates
- Garnish: sliced nuts saffron strands
To Make Masala Milk Powder:
- Add the nuts and poppy seeds to a pan over low heat. Toast for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat let them cool completely.
- Once cool, add the nuts and poppy seeds along with saffron, cardamom, turmeric to a spice grinder. Grind into a powder. I suggest grinding in two batches. You want to make sure this is a powder – do not over-grind or it could turn into nut butter.
- Pour the nut powder into a container and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
- Use 2 tablespoons of milk masala for every 8 ounces of milk.
To Make Masala Doodh:
- Add the whole milk and chopped dates (or sugar) to a pot and bring it to a low boil.
- Add the masala doodh powder and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and pour the doodh and dates into a glass and enjoy. Once you’re done drinking, use a spoon to eat the soft caramely dates at the bottom of your cup!