My brother and I always used to rush to the refrigerator once we got back home from school because amma (mom) almost always had treats in store for us. Sometime it was fruit juice from our favorite store, paneer soda (Rose water soda), or a chilled bottle of kesar badam milk (or Saffrom Almond Milk) from our local milk store. Anything cold was a treat in a hot and humid city like Madras (Chennai) where I grew up. This bottle of Saffron Almond milk was a delight and I loved biting into the occasional cashews that you'd find if you were lucky enough! In time, I realized how unhealthy or sugar loaded these drinks were, but at least now I know how to enjoy them without the added refined sugar. This nutty and creamy drink is surprisingly easy to make and leaves you craving for more. Enjoy this cold on a hot day or hot on a cold day, or any which way you want.
- Soak almonds and pistachios (if using) in warm water for 1-2 hours. Also soak saffron in 2 tbsp of warm milk at the same time.
- Remove the skin of the almonds and blend it with a 1/2 cup milk into a fine and smooth paste.
- Heat this almond paste in a deep pan on law heat for approximately 3-4 mins and once the mixture starts to bubble, add the remaining milk.
- Bring the whole mix to another boil and once it does, lower the heat to let it simmer. Now add the stevia to it.
- After 5 minutes, add the Cardamom powder and the saffron milk. In a couple of minutes, remove it from the heat. Let the saffron almond milk cook down completely before refrigerating it.
- Serve it cold or warm. Garnish with nuts of your choice.
To enjoy more intense flavors, prepare it the previous night and let the delicate flavors of cardamom and saffron soak in overnight.