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Shivani's Masala Doodh

Recipe By: Shef Shivani Bhat

Serves 4

Shivani's Masala Doodh in a glass served on a blue tray with flowers for decoration.

Masala Doodh is a rich, celebratory drink made during special occasions in many Indian households. It’s the ultimate drink of choice for family and friends gathering during festivals like Diwali — it brings us all together with cups in hand and smiles on our faces. This particular recipe has been passed down to me by my mother, the most loving chef I know. It’s prepared with a homemade mix of dry fruits and spices, which makes the masala doodh (milk) aromatic and delicious. 

A whiff of the milk brewing with the masalas takes me back to my mother’s kitchen where we waited in anticipation for this golden beverage. I hope you can share a beautiful moment with this recipe as well. I welcome you to explore my menu and culture on Shef.com.

 - Shef Shivani B.

This is a culinary partnership with Shef


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For the masala milk powder
For masala milk
  • 6 cups whole milk or full-fat milk substitutes
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder (optional)
  • 5 to 6 threads Kashmiri Saffron
  • ¼ teaspoon Pragati Turmeric
  • Granulated sugar or Brown sugar (optional) 
  • 4 teaspoons of crushed almonds, pistachios, or cashews


To make the masala milk powder
  1. Place the almonds, pistachios and cashews in the freezer for 30 minutes. Grind the nuts, in a high-powered blender or food processor, until finely ground. Place the ground almonds, pistachios and cashews in a bowl and set aside.

  2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and dry toast the green cardamom until they turn fragrant and their husks lighten in color slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Deshell the toasted cardamom pods and transfer to a spice grinder and allow to cool slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Then, grind into a fine powder and transfer to the bowl with the ground almonds, pistachios, and cashews.

  3. While the cardamom is cooling, place the saffron in the hot skillet off the heat, letting the saffron lightly dry in the residual heat of the pan, about 1 minute. Crumble the saffron, using your fingers, into the bowl with the ground nuts and cardamom powder.

To make the masala milk
  1. Place the milk in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

  2. Reduce the heat to low to medium and whisk in 5 tablespoons of the masala milk powder, milk powder, if using, saffron, and turmeric. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, allowing the saffron and turmeric to infuse into the milk.

  3. Add the desired amount of sweetener (I used about 2 tablespoons of white, granulated sugar, but you can sweeten the masala milk to your own tastes, or even make it sugar-free) and stir it until the sugar has dissolved into the mik. 

  4. Add the crushed nuts and continue to stir for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. The crushed nuts add an extra bite! 

  5. At this point, you can enjoy the masala milk hot. Or, you can also chill the entire mixture to room temperature, refrigerate and serve cold.


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We partnered with  Shef to produce this recipe, featuring our spices and their local cooks like Shef Shivani B.  from the Bay Area. 

Shef is a community-based homemade food platform for immigrants, refugees, and local cooks to share their cuisine with their neighbors. Shef is dedicated to economic empowerment, meaningful connection, and cultural inclusion. You can order from Shivani's menu and explore hundreds of shefs cooking near you on shef.com.

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