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)
- 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.
- Add this concentrate to a glass of 200 ml milk.
- Add sugar to taste along with some crushed almonds & pistachio. Serve it chilled during summer.