Fresh turmeric is knobbly and ugly, like Gollum’s feet, but scratch the surface with your fingernail and its beautiful blinding carrot-orange root is revealed beneath.
Infused into this warm drink it tastes sweet, earthy, pungent and zingy. For me (and many Indians) it is the taste of childhood, of a few days off school, tucked up in bed and being looked after. While it may stain your fingers, it rewards with its many health benefits: it is anti-inflammatory and contains anti-oxidants, it soothes sore throats and helps kick colds.
Drink it first thing in the morning for a jolt of health or last thing at night for a soothing evening drink. If you can’t find the root, use ground turmeric.
(NB. Only peel the turmeric if you don’t mind getting yellow fingers, or else leave unpeeled)
- 2cm turmeric root, peeled and grated or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 cm ginger root, peeled and grated
- 500ml milk (I like unsweetened almond, but any is fine)
- a pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
- 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons honey
Place the milk, turmeric, ginger, cardamom (if using) and honey into a small sauce pan and bring up to a simmer then turn the heat off. Leave to infuse for a couple of minutes, stir, then pour the milk through a fine sieve or mesh strainer into two mugs. Squeezing out the last of the gingery turmeric juice with the back of a spoon. Stir and check for sweetness, adding more honey if need be.