India is the sixth largest coffee producer in the world. Legend has it that 400 years ago, a saint named Baba Budan brought magical beans from Yemen, planting them in the Chadragiri hills of Karnataka. Coffee and spice have been intimate partners for a while, given that many coffee plantations in India grow spices as well.
And while turmeric milk, or “haldi doodh,” is a drink that’s coffee-free, it’s deeply steeped in varying rituals across India. The “golden milk” is often prepared fresh: whisked coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, peppercorns and a cup of water are brought to a warm temperature and then allowed to sit for 10 minutes.
Often dubbed a cure-all spice, turmeric is believed to be good for the common cold as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant in ayurvedic medicine. Traditionally turmeric lattes are consumed at night to help with insomnia and inflammation.
Searches for turmeric increased by more than 300% in 2015; the vibrant drinks are a health trend that’s swiftly caught on in the West, making its way into specialty coffee cafes and wellness storefronts.
To honor the tradition, try your hand at a traditional recipe made in your own kitchen.