Saffron & Cardamom Almond Milk

Badam milk is a popular drink in India made from almonds (badam) blended with milk, saffron and cardamom which can be served warm or chilled. It is rich, creamy, sweet and bursting with aromatics, making it perfect for dessert. Badam Milk is also said to be an aphrodisiac and is why its traditionally served to Indian couples on their wedding night; boosting their energy levels! 

This recipe makes 2 glasses of the goodness, but you can double up the ingredients to make a batch and store in the fridge for a couple of days. I use full fat milk for this and feel the same result won't be achieved with semi-skimmed or skimmed milk. It's kind of like ice cream - you obtain the creaminess from the fat in the milk. 

To start, soak 25 almonds in hot water for ten minutes. Then soak 25 - 30 saffron threads in 2 tablespoons of milk until needed. Whilst the almonds are soaking, place 700ml of milk in a pot and set the heat to medium. 

Once the almonds have soaked for ten minutes, remove the skins. Place them in the blender, along with 3 tablespoons of milk and blend until you get a smooth paste. The milk that you have set to heat in the pot should be starting to bubble. As soon as it begins to, place the almond paste and the saffron-milk mix into the pot and mix. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of rose water. This is entirely optional but brings out a beautiful floral element to the flavor profile. The milk mix needs to now cook for twenty minutes on a slow simmer. In this time, you will constantly need to stir it to ensure it does not stick, burn or boil over. The milk will reduce greatly and become thicker and golden in color from the saffron. Once it has been simmering for twenty minutes, add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom. Cook this for a further two minutes and then take off the heat. 

This can be drank hot but I absolutely prefer and recommend you to drink this chilled! To drink chilled, place it in the fridge for 4 - 5 hours in a jug or suitable container. When its cold and ready to be served, pour into a glass and garnish with a few threads of saffron, (edible) rose petals and crush a full cardamom pod and sprinkle over. If drinking hot, serve the same way. 

Do let me know if you try this! I got so much interest on Instagram for this recipe so I am curious to hear how you like it! And to my Indian readers, I would love to hear your version of this! 

Badam Milk

Prep time: 2 minutes     Cook time: 20 minutes     Yield: 2    Origin: India     Author: Anika Pannu


25 almonds

hot water for soaking

milk, divided - 700ml, 2 tablespoons, 3 tablespoons

25-30 saffron threads, plus extra for garnish

1/2 teaspoon rose water (optional)

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 cardamom pods for garnish (optional)

rose petals for garnish (optional)


1. Soak 25 almonds in hot water for ten minutes.

2. Soak the saffron threads in 2 tablespoons of milk and set aside.

3. In a pot, pour 700ml of milk and set on medium heat.

4. Once the almonds have soaked, remove the skin and place into a blender with 3 tablespoons of milk. Blend until you get a smooth paste.

5. Before the milk starts to boil, place the almond paste and the saffron-milk mix into the pot and stir.

6. Add 1/2 teaspoon of rose water (optional). 

7. Let this mixture simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the milk from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

8. Once the milk has reduced, add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom and cook for a further 2 minutes. 

9. If serving hot, pour into glasses and garnish with a few saffron threads, rose petals and a crushed whole cardamom.

10. If serving chilled, place into the fridge for 4-5 hours, then serve as above. 

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