Turmeric Milk: Not Just A Pretty Spice

turmeric milk

Turmeric. I love everything about this spice: its brilliant yellow orange color, its deliciously pungent smell, its slightly bitter taste, its ability to add a pop of color to everything it touches and I love the way it lyrically rolls off my tongue. Tur-mer-ric.

Growing up in an Indian household, I was introduced to turmeric at a very early age. As a kid, it showed up in almost all my meals and in the form of a dot placed on my forehead by the Hindu priest after prayers. Around puberty, it showed up in a skincare cream that promised a glowing blemish-free face and it delivered (see awesome 80s ad below). In college, it made its presence known in my suitcase when it accidentally tie-dyed my clothes. At our wedding, it made an appearance in the form of a tiny cone-like structure to represent Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles.


A year ago, its absence was made known when my husband, a man who started out with a pantry of 3 crusty dusty spices, unexpectedly yelled out in disbelief “We’re out of turr-merr-rrick??!!”, as he gathered the ingredients for his spicy salmon recipe. He was devastated and I was pleased. Mission accomplished. A cook was born.

But, the most vivid memory I have of turmeric was when I was 10 and battling a cough. An aunt, who had recently found her calling as a self-taught Ayurvedic healer, dipped a cotton swab into a small pot of turmeric and honey, and swirled it in my mouth coating the back of my sore throat. When she first suggested it, I was curious and excited; curious of this mystic healing power she possessed in her little cotton wand and excited for the story I would get to tell of me as the girl with a golden throat.

It was nasty! I gagged. I coughed up fire. Smoke billowed from my mouth. It felt horrible but I’m pretty sure it cured my sore throat.

Years later, I read that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is considered to be a potent antioxidant and antiseptic in Eastern and Western medicine, and that adding black pepper enhances these healing properties. It has numerous medicinal benefits, some of which include being a stomach soother, a powerful anti-inflammatory, a natural antiseptic for wounds and a liver cleanser. My torturing aunt was on to something!


She also introduced me to another cure for sore throats and winter blues – warm milk with turmeric and honey. It is deliciously creamy, mildly spicy, perfectly soothing and, thankfully, painless.

With winter and flu season around the corner, I think it’s time to resurrect this recipe with almond milk. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I’d also love to hear about the ways you use this incredible spice.

For a bite-sized description of turmeric check out Short & Spicy: Turmeric.



  1. Yumna says

    This is lovely- I just made some almond milk at home, and am currently enjoying this new delicious and soothing flavour. It’s wonderful!

    • says

      Hi Yumna, I’m so glad that you’re enjoying this recipe. Thank you for writing. Did you make the almond milk from scratch? I’ve been meaning to learn how to do so myself. I can’t get enough!

  2. James says

    Thanks for the recipe. I love turmeric and I can’t wait to try it… in about 5 mins time!

    BTW, the advert is amusing, though I’ve got the jingle going around in my head now: “Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream… Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream!”

    • says

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading. Let me know how it turns out. And the jingle – I know! It just stays with you. I used to find myself humming it as a kid without even knowing it. 😉

      • James says

        I put some extra turmeric in, and a bit more pepper too. It was wonderful! I can see this being a family favourite drink! I’m hooked on your blog now as well!

  3. val swyryn says

    Very good! Although I couldn’t get my husband to try it. He said he’d stick to putting tumeric in his lentils. When I told him it was made with almond milk, he said that was crazy- almonds don’t have nipples. He has a point. :)

  4. says

    I just happened across this recipe tonight while browsing recipes and coincidentally, I have a sore throat! I’ll be trying this tomorrow – thank you for sharing this recipe! I always drink hot herbal tea with lemon and honey for a sore throat, but it only really helps as it’s going down your throat. And my mom always tells me to gargle with warm salt water, but that’s gag-inducing – this turmeric milk sounds like a much more palatable option.

    • says

      Hi Jessica, Sorry to hear you have a sore throat but I’m glad you’re giving this a try. It works for me and I hope it does for you too. Wishing you a speedy & tasty recovery. :-)

  5. Bernadette Chopra says

    Thanks Anji for reminding us of this ‘sometimes forgotten’ super spice!! This drink was the sure cure for everything under the sun when I was growing up in India! And yes, it did make a great face pack too! Thanks !!!

    • says

      Hi Berny! I’m so glad you liked this. I used to use it in a face pack of chickpeas growing up as well. Made me want to eat it right off my face while I waited for the pack to dry. :-)

  6. says

    Hello Anjali! Loved your Tumeric Milk Chai recipe!! Whipped it up for my dad as he was dealing with a nasty bout of the sniffles – it was a hit! Thanks! :)

  7. says

    I made your delicious Turmeric Milk this morning; it was incredibly delicious and helpful for my sore throat. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I LOVED IT, and look forward to making it again soon.

    • says

      Hi Nikki, Thank you for your note. I’m so glad you liked this and it worked. It’s always the drink I reach for when I’m not feeling so well. I hope you’re feeling better!

  8. Siksha says

    Hi I loved your turmeric almond milk recipe , I did however try something new with it I added cumin seed n extra ginger to it was divine!!! Thanks for reminding us off golden oldie remedies!!!

  9. john major says

    Hi, just found your site via laura bond recipe link for this milk. Trying to get tumeric into diet for arthritis. Can you tell me how much FRESH tumeric to use vs powder. Thanks. Also can I just mince it, simmer in milk and strain? I can’t stand bits in anything. Looking forward to trying walnut pesto!

    • says

      Hi John, Thanks for stopping by! Laura’s on such an incredible mission, isn’t she? I’m glad you’re trying the tea out. It’s so incredibly soothing. You can definitely use fresh turmeric. Thinly slice half an inch of the fresh turmeric and soak in the hot milk. You’ll have to strain the milk once it’s hot and has a lovely yellow color to it. And that walnut pesto is SO good. I think I want some now!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>