Kashmiri Saffron Milk

Kashmiri Saffron Milk






You know how some food memories and taste leave an indelible mark for some totally mysterious reason… Well, this saffron milk was one such experience which I had in Kashmir.

Now, I am not at all a milk person. At home, it would never occur to me to make any milk based beverages. My consumption of the white stuff is invariably in a surrogate form via yoghurt or cheese.

Among the many scenic places we visited in Kashmir was one called Aru Valley. As with many areas in that region, the valley has breathtaking and mesmerising beauty to behold.

There are several small shops selling soft drinks and snacks. It was a bit cold and I saw a sign for kesar milk (saffron milk) so impulsively ordered it instead of tea or coffee.

This turned out to be my most favourite drink in Kashmir. The milk was hot and frothy with slivers of almonds, whole cardamom, saffron strands and sugar. Sounds exotic yet simple doesn’t it?

All the ingredients are local to the area but I think it was the quality of milk which did it. Since I am not a milk aficionado I don’t know which words best describe a superlative milk drinking experience but whatever they may be would describe this saffron milk!

Sadly, I didn’t come across saffron milk anywhere else during my Kashmir stay. Perhaps one reason why it has stayed in my mind.

For anyone interested in trying it, here’s a recipe courtesy Kong-Posh. I think warm would be just as good as cold.

Saffron Milk (A Tonic For Health)

  1. Soak about 1mg of pure saffron in 3-4 teaspoonful of luke warm water and leave it for about half an hour till a concentrate of saffron is founded.
  2. Add this concentrate to a glass of 200 ml milk.
  3. Add sugar to taste along with some crushed almonds & pistachio. Serve it chilled during summer.


  1. I don’t usually subscribe to food-blogs for the reason that I don’t have a very well equipped kitchen, and all they talk about is microwave and high end food items- not necessarily healthy 😦 But there is one other thing which turns me off.

    They don’t understand the idea of context. Lets say Kashmiri milk. I bet I can replicate this in my kitchen but what you had in Kashmir is entirely different. The environment somehow adds to the cuisine at hand. But of course, we can not always have that environemtn 😦 It is an interesting concept nonetheless, isn’t it?

    • The idea that the environment adds to the experience is definitely valid. For instance, we cannot recreate the dhaba experience in our kitchen, can we?!

      I don’t have a well equipped kitchen either. Don’t believe in microwave for health reason and don’t have an oven due to lack of space. My recipes don’t call for grilling or baking or microwaving. But it is still possible to create yummylicious recipes using just the humble hob and a bit of imagination :-).

      • Absolutely. It is almost as like what these fancy “travellers” do. Wherever they go, everything is pre-booked. Train, hotel, taxi, guide. 😀 Any art finds meaning only when more and more people are able to follow it. Glad you appreciate the idea as well 🙂

        “With a wee bit of imagination, things can become different”, said the author of Peter Pan 🙂

      • That, I am going to have to agree upon 🙂 But well… you never know how good you are…

  2. I am very intrigued, Ishita. This sounds wonderful, though I can’t quite imagine it. (Maybe after I’ve had my coffee my taste-bud-imagination will wake up!  ) You found many delightful things during your visit to Kashmir. Hugs!

    • Lol Tragan. I can totally relate to your caffeine kick! Not the type of drink to kick start your day for the likes of you and me who are “needy” about tea and coffee ;-).

      Hug back at’cha.

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