Kashaya ( Spiced Milk)


Its really cold here in the US this year, with temperatures hitting record lows. With the cold weather comes runny, sniffly noses and coughs that don’t let up easily. While growing up in Bangalore, my Ajji’s cold remedy was really a simple cup of hot milk with some black pepper powder and turmeric mixed in it. I had never had ‘Kashaya’, till I met my husband Hari. He made his Mother’s special Kashaya once when I had a bad cold. I have been hooked ever since. It has the goodness of all the spices and smells heavenly when its being made. It tastes and is an elixir that can cut a cold short by at least a few days. But, this has become a regular substitute for coffee for me. I don’t wait to get a cold anymore to make this medicinal treat, there is a batch always ready on my stovetop.



  1. Coriander Seeds- 2 TBSP
  2. Black Pepper-  about 20 to 25 coarsely powdered
  3. Bay Leaves- 4
  4. Cloves- 8 to 10 crushed
  5. Cardamom- 4, slightly crushed
  6. Cinnamon- 4 inches, broken
  7. Star Anise- 2
  8. Fennel seeds( Saunf)- 2 Tsp
  9. Jeera- 2 Tsp
  10. Fresh Ginger- 2 Inch piece, peeled and grated
  11. Raisins- 2 TBSP
  12. Red Rock Candy- if available, 2 TBSP
  13. Jaggery- To taste( Optional)
  14. Water- 1 Liter, approximately
  15. Milk- For making the Kashaya



Take approximately about a liter of water in a vessel with a lid and add all the ingredients mentioned above. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling on a low flame, covered, till the liquid becomes a little more than half. This is the decoction that is used to make the Kashaya. Mix 1/4 cp of the Kashaya decoction with 3/4’s of a cup of milk. Heat the mixture till its nice, hot and comfortable to drink. Enjoy hot. The remaining decoction can remain with the spices in the same vessel for a couple of days, and can be used as necessary, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Homemade Badam Milk Powder

Badam milk is wonderfully nutritious, and can be served, either hot or chilled. This homemade powder is my Grand mom’s recipe, and tastes so much better than any store bought.

Almonds- 1 cup, blanched
Saffron- 20 strands
Cardamom- seeds from 5 pods
Edible camphor( Pach karpoora)- a very tiny pinch
Rock Sugar- 1/2 cup or according to taste( I added very little, so that I could add more to the milk if required)
Ghee- a few drops

Soak the Almonds in water for a few hours and peel the skin. Dry them on a paper towel for a few minutes. Mix the almonds with the ghee and toast them in the microwave, till the moisture evaporates and the almonds crisp up again. This will take 3 to 5 minutes. Check in between to make sure the almonds don’t burn. This process enhances the flavor of the almonds.
After the almonds cool, grind them with the remaining ingredients to a powder. The powder does not need to be very fine. Store in an airtight container. Mix a spoonful with hot milk and enjoy the goodness.