It is humbling to know anyone would think I would know anything about Ayurveda. Honestly, I don't. What I do know nevertheless is simple Indian home remedies, which almost every Indian household has. One such remedy is haldi ka doodh which translates into turmeric milk, which is simply that, turmeric (haldi) with milk (doodh).
In a family of six, at least one of us would be suffering from cold and sore throat during winter. Everyone had to drink turmeric milk regardless of who was really sick. The minute the aroma of earthy turmeric and cardamom boiling along with milk hit our nostrils, we ran to our rooms and locked ourselves up. When mom finally knocked long enough to get us all out, we plugged our nose tight enough to avoid tasting the milk that almost instantly warmed and soothed the throat. Sometimes, mom would also add a little saffron to the milk, which made the milk more appealing to the eye apart from bettering the taste, but never added any sweetener.
Turmeric, in recent years has attracted a lot of attention for its countless health benefits but for us Indians, it has always been a healing spice. It is a well known home remedy for skins problems, cold, chest pain, sore throat, toothache and many other ailments that every Indian mother trusts. Recent studies have even claimed it as substantial for curing diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Its undeniable how powerful this warm, bitter and almost peppery spice is. Even the sight of turmeric coloring and adding a beautiful golden hue to food it touches is as healing and therapeutic. Well, I can't say the same thing about my turmeric stained wooden cooking spoons, but they do become a part of daily Indian cooking and nothing much you can do about it.
If there was anything worse than turmeric milk in our little young minds, it was the raw and fresh milk from the diary we got while on vacations in India. The raw milk smelled weird and we would tease our cousins, how we at least had milk that didn't smell so awful in Kuwait.
2 cups fresh whole milk
1/2 - 1 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 whole black peppercorns
2-3 whole cardamom pods, cracked
1/2 inch ginger, roughly chopped
Pinch of saffron, optional
Sweetener like honey, jaggery or regular sugar can be added to sweeten the milk.
Heat the milk along with the spices for 2-3 minutes. Add the sweetener to taste if using. Let it cool until its warm. Strain and serve.