Turmeric is so freaking hot right now, embraced as the next great healer, but also appreciated for its sunny flavor. It's not exactly news to the folks in India, where the root has been used medicinally for centuries. One of the most beloved tonics is showing up on menus at specialty coffee bars, a creamy concoction known as Golden Milk, currently re-branded as a Turmeric Latte. Using fresh turmeric makes that drink even better.

fresh turmeric root
Photo by Leslie Kelly

In its native India, this drink's Hindi name is Haldi Ka Doodh, and it's widely believed to knock out colds and coughs, as well as clearing up skin problems and providing a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory properties. When using fresh turmeric root -- now available in many supermarkets -- there's a big boost in Vitamin C. The process for making Golden Milk is super easy, if you've got the long list of warm spices: cardamom, ginger, cloves, allspice, freshly ground black pepper and, of course, turmeric. Those are combined and added to milk, honey, and vanilla and heated on the stove top. (Almond milk makes a fine substitution for those with dairy issues.)

While shopping for veggies at Pike Place Market, I asked my favorite produce guy if he ever stocked fresh turmeric. Yes, indeed. Ask the unsuspecting what it is and they might guess that it's the world's ugliest carrot. "It kind of looks like grubs," said a colleague when I brought it back to the office.

The excellent recipe calls for just 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric for each serving, or "to taste." I upped that quite a bit, going for 1 teaspoon per cup, grating the turmeric root directly into the warming milk. No need to peel this root, the skin is whisper thin and doesn't add a distracting flavor. You can use a microplane meant for grating cheese if you enjoy the fine threads of turmeric in the drink, or slice it thinly if you prefer to fish out the root before serving.

turmeric grating
Photo by Leslie Kelly

When I crowd sourced comments from colleagues who were happy to try this extra colorful version of Golden Milk, the feedback was universally positive. The flavors grew even deeper and the color more golden as it sat. Some described the fragrance as something like fresh corn, and one said it tasted like the best kind of cereal milk. Another said it reminded her of eggnog, in the best possible way. "I can see adding a cinnamon stick and drinking this before bed," she said.

turmeric golden milk
Photo by Leslie Kelly

Read more about turmeric on Allrecipes Dish.

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