You’ve seen it on Instagram. You’ve seen it on Pinterest. You’ve read about it while researching Ayurveda. Maybe you even have had it made at home.
Whatever you call it — turmeric latte, golden milk, or haldi doodh – it’s nothing new. This turmeric-infused milk drink is entrenched in Indian culture, touted as a home remedy for colds and fever.
It’s not all wives’ tales; medical studies show that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties.
If your mom has ever pushed this golden elixir on you, it was likely composed of milk, ground turmeric powder, and maybe a little ghee (in Ayurvedic cooking, binding spices to fats unlocks their healing properties). If she was feeling generous, she may have added some cinnamon, cardamom, and honey.
Today, turmeric is a food buzzword, having made its way onto menus everywhere, beyond Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants. It only makes sense that drinkable turmeric is on trend as well. The versions you may find co-opted by healthy food joints, vegan restaurants, and juice bars are typically made with almond, cashew, or other mylks (that’s a trendy spelling for an alternative, nondairy milk), sometimes spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, or black pepper, and usually sweetened with honey or dates.
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Here are trendy golden milks that you can find in Phoenix:
Turmeric Latte from Pomegranate Café, Ahwatukee, $7
Ingredients: POMilk (almonds, cashews, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt), fresh turmeric root, and honey. Order iced or hot.
Solid Gold from Radish, DeSoto Central Market, downtown Phoenix, $7.50
Ingredients: House-made cashew mylk, alkaline water, dates, turmeric, cinnamon, and pink Himalayan salt. Buy this “gold plated horchata” in a grab-and-go bottle.
In addition, we were able to find a handful of Indian restaurants that have bantam milk on the menu – a spiced almond milk, tinged gold by saffron rather than turmeric. It's different than haldi doodh, but so good. This is available at both Woodlands South Indian Kitchen and Chenai Chettinaad Palace.
If we could request one thing from the Phoenix Food Scene Gods, it would be a turmeric latte made with a nice, creamy whole milk from a local dairy, like Danzeisen, maybe.
In the meantime, make golden milk in your own kitchen, doctored up with as much spice as you want and a spoonful of butter or ghee for good measure. Pinterest is there to help.