I used to be a happy milk-loving baby, as per my mother. However, my love for milk disappeared when I grew into a teenager, she says. I started hating plain milk, the very smell of it putting me off. Like most Indian moms, she would get paranoid if I refused to have at least one glass of milk a day – and hence began her journey to find various sorts of flavouring powders that would mask the smell of milk. The regular chocolate-flavoured ‘health powders’ were there, of course, but she wasn’t very happy with them. And then, a Gujarati neighbour of ours taught her how to make Doodh Masala, and life as we knew it changed – both for her and me. It made me a happy milk drinker, all over again, and mom became much more calmer and relaxed.
I’m here today to share with you all the recipe for Doodh Masala, the way my mom made it all those years ago, the way she taught me how to go about it.
What is Doodh Masala?
Doodh Masala is a powder that you mix into hot milk, to add flavour to it and, like in my case, to mask its actual smell. This powder is made using ingredients like nuts and a few spices, to give that unique mildly sweet, mildly spicy taste.
It makes for a wonderful winter warmer. The nuts, black peppercorns, cardamom, saffron and all other ingredients going into the Doodh Masala are great for the body in winters. That’s definitely not to say that you can’t use the masala during the other months of the year.
The Doodh Masala as such is completely vegetarian, plant-based or vegan, and gluten-free. We use it with regular pasteurised milk, but you may add it to soya milk or cashew milk if you prefer it that way.
Why you should be trying out this Doodh Masala recipe
~ Mildly sweet and spicy, this Doodh Masala adds a lovely taste to milk. I recently made a batch, and all of us at home are loving it!
~ It is super easy to make the Doodh Masala. Just get the ingredients together, and making this is a matter of minutes.
~ When stored well, the Doodh Masala has a good shelf life.
~ It is very Indian, very unique in taste, very different from all the flavoured milk products out there.
~ It is made using all-natural ingredients, no preservatives or artificial colours or flavours.
~ Using the Milk Masala Powder is very easy too.
~ I think it makes for a great edible gift for Christmas. Pack it in small jars, tie it with a ribbon, and voila! There’s a beautiful favour you can give to the guests who attend your Christmas party.
~ You can also use this masala to flavour kheer, milkshakes and other desserts.
Doodh Masala or Masala Milk Powder recipe
Here’s how I go about making the Doodh Masala.
I share this recipe with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Mayuri of Mayuri’s Jikoni suggested the theme for this week, #ChristmasTreats, to showcase various edible gifts we can prepare at home this Christmas season. I’m so glad this theme made me go down memory lane and zero in on this Doodh Masala recipe.
Ingredients (makes about 1 cup of masala):
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup cashewnuts
- 1 teaspoon saffron strands
- 6-7 green cardamom
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 big piece of palm sugar candy (tal mishri or panam kalkandu)
1. Crush the green cardamom roughly, using a mortar and pestle.
2. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan, and add in the pistachios, almonds and cashewnuts. Now, reduce flame to low-medium.
3. Dry roast the nuts on low-medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till they start getting crisp. Make sure you stir them constantly and that they do not burn. Transfer the roasted nuts to a plate, and keep aside.
4. Add the crushed green cardamom (along with the peels), saffron strands, black peppercorns, fennel seeds and ginger powder to the pan. Switch off heat. In the residual heat of the pan, roast the ingredients for about a minute. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Transfer these roasted ingredients to a plate too.
5. Allow all the roasted ingredients to cool down fully. Then, transfer them to a mixer jar.
6. Using a mortar and pestle, roughly crush the palm sugar. Add the crushed palm sugar to the mixer jar too.
7. Pulse the ingredients in the mixer jar together, for a couple of seconds. Then, stop to scrape down the sides of the mixer and mix up the ingredients with a spoon. Pulse again for a couple of seconds. Repeat this proceedure till you get a coarse powder. Your Doodh Masala is ready.
8. When the powder has cooled down fully, transfer it to a clean, dry, air-tight bottle. Store refrigerated.
How to use this Doodh Masala
There are two ways:
1. Bring a cup of milk to a boil. Add in sugar or crushed palm sugar candy if needed. Mix in 2-3 teaspoons of the Doodh Masala, as per taste. Serve immediately.
2. Take a cup of milk in a saucepan, and add in 2-3 tablespoons of the Doodh Masala. If required, add sugar or crushed palm sugar candy. Mix well. Place on high flame and bring everything to a boil. Serve immediately.
Tips & Tricks
1. Use good-quality unsalted pistachios, almonds and cashewnuts, for best results.
2. Adjust the quantity of ginger powder, fennel seeds and black peppercorns as per personal taste preferences. The above quantities work perfectly for us.
3. Regular refined sugar or candy sugar (mishri or kalkandu) can be used in place of the palm sugar candy. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences. You may even leave out the sweetener altogether.
4. Some people add a bit of nutmeg, dried rose petals, milk powder and turmeric to the Doodh Masala. I have skipped these ingredients.
5. Make sure you dry roast the ingredients on low-medium heat, taking care to ensure that they do not burn. The ingredients don’t need to change colour – the roasting is done just to ensure that all the moisture from the ingredients is removed and to bring out the flavours from them.
6. Make sure all the roasted ingredients have cooled down fully before you start to grind them.
7. Don’t grind the ingredients at a high speed after roasting them – this will lead to the nuts releasing their oils, and the masala becoming a lumpy paste. Make sure you pulse the ingredients gently, stop after a couple of seconds, then pulse again.
8. I prefer keeping the Doodh Masala coarse. If you want, you can make a finer powder.
9. The Doodh Masala is best stored refrigerated, in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and used hygienically whenever needed. This way, it stays well for a couple of months.
10. In case you add nutmeg to the Doodh Masala, do not boil the milk after adding in the masala. The nutmeg might cause the milk to turn bitter. Boil the milk first, then mix in the Doodh Masala, and serve immediately.
11. You can add other nuts of your choice in the Doodh Masala too – chironji, pine nuts, walnuts, etc.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
Check out the other edible gifts from my kitchen:
Tomato Thokku| Strawberry Jam| Strawberry Chilli Jam| Jalapeno Jam| Orange Marmalade| Rasam Podi| Jeeravan Masala| Chai Masala| Chaas Masala| Bhavnagri Red Chilli Pickle| Methi Greens Pickle| Turmeric Root Pickle| Garam Masala