Traditional Golden Milk: Recipe and History

Looking for an immunity boost? We’ve got a super simple recipe that people have sworn by for millennia: Golden Milk!

A cup of traditional golden milk in front of a plate of turmeric powder and honey

You may have tasted today’s topic of discussion in some of your favorite dishes, like our Chicken Coconut Curry with Mango and Veggie Turmeric Melt Naanwich. That’s right — we’re talking about turmeric. 

This potent gold powder has become somewhat of a fad in popular foodie culture, and there’s a good chance you’ve seen it pop up in many recipes, restaurants, and supplements. Not only does it add delicious flavor to every dish and drink it’s in, but it also comes with a whole host of health benefits. 

Let’s learn a bit about the history and potential medicinal effects of turmeric, and see how it takes center stage in our traditional Golden Milk recipe! 

Brief History of Turmeric

Turmeric’s history stretches back much further than its recent popularity surge in foodie culture.  Turmeric was used medicinally in India almost 4,500 years ago and carried some spiritual significance. 

Beyond medicinal purposes, the Hindu religion views turmeric as sacred and incorporates the spice in marriage ceremonies as well as jewelry like pendants to ward off evil spirits. Additionally, it’s been used for many years as a food and fabric dye due to its bright, golden-yellow color.

Fresh Turmeric root in a plate, cut in half for making turmeric golden milk

What is Golden Milk? 

Turmeric can be utilized in many different ways, but one of the most popular ways is to turn it into golden milk, also known as haldi doodh! 

Originated in India, haldi doodh is milk infused with turmeric and has been used to aid many ailments, including colds, coughs, inflammation, aches, pains, and restlessness. In Indian culture, it’s mom’s go-to solution for everything, and a tradition found very comforting.

The best part about golden milk is how easy it is to prep! There’s a good chance you already have all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Heat your cup of milk, add some turmeric and sugar to taste, and that’s all there is to it! Who knew being healthy could be so easy?

Golden Milk Benefits

India has been the largest consumer and exporter of turmeric since ancient times. The turmeric plant is only slightly over two feet tall and grows a flower and an underground stem, also known as a rhizome. Like ginger, the root is ground into the rich gold powder we know as the turmeric spice.

Turmeric has an impressive list of credentials for a healthy body as it has been shown to have a broad spectrum of biological benefits, including: 

  • Decreased inflammation
  • Improvements in memory
  • Natural painkiller
  • Antioxidant
  • Potentially reduced risk of heart disease
  • May prevent cancer
  • May lessen depression symptoms

Not too shabby for a simple spice, right?

everything you need for golden milk | sukhi's

Golden Milk Ingredients

For this turmeric golden milk recipe, you’ll need the following essential ingredients:

  • Milk (whole or plant-based alternatives like soy or almond milk)
  • Turmeric powder
  • Honey
  • Whole cardamom pods

Recipe For Golden Milk

A cup of golden milk, a plate of turmeric powder and honey
Haldi Doodh or Turmeric Milk aka “Golden Milk”

Golden Milk Variations 

If you’re lactose-intolerant or vegan, feel free to substitute cow’s milk for a plant-based alternative like coconut milk or cashew milk. We do recommend that you stick to higher fat content milk. Why? To increase absorption of curcumin.

Curcumin is one of the most powerful compounds in turmeric. It’s linked to many positive health benefits, like reduced inflammation, milder arthritis symptoms, and even lower anxiety levels. However, your body might find it difficult to absorb curcumin on its own. Help your body out by pairing your turmeric with a substance high in fat or compounds like piperine (commonly found in black pepper). 

Not a regular sugar fan? No problem! Use honey or agave for a similar taste. Jaggery, made from the sap of palm trees, can also be used as a substitute for regular sugar. It’s made of different types of palm, most commonly date palms or coconut palms.

Whether you’re looking to kick that cough or you’re in the market for a peaceful night’s sleep, golden milk can help get you there. After all, this millennia-old tradition has stuck around for a good reason!

A cup of turmeric milk with a plate of turmeric powder and honey


5 from 7 votes

Traditional Golden Milk Recipe

Originating in India, Turmeric Milk or Golden Milk is simply milk infused with turmeric and has been used to aid many ailments, including colds, coughs, inflammation, aches, pains, and restlessness.
Course Drinks
Cuisine Indian
Cook Time 5 minutes


  • 4 cups Milk high-fat content recommended, so opt for whole milk or a plant-based alternative like coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tbsp honey or sweeter of choice sugar, agave syrup, jaggery powder
  • 2 whole cardamom pods optional


  • Bring milk to a rolling boil in a small saucepan.
  • Stir in turmeric powder. Add cardamom if you like. Cover and allow the mixture to steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain into serving mugs or glass. Stir in honey or sweetener of choice.
  • Enjoy!


If available, fresh turmeric root is more beneficial and should be used in turmeric milk. Simply replace turmeric powder in the recipe with freshly grated turmeric root. Steep and strain before serving hot.

More Indian Drink Recipes:

21 responses to Traditional Golden Milk: Recipe and History

  • 5 stars
    I tried it and it was so soothing. Used almond milk & agave, was lovely. I’m hoping it will help aleviate some of my allergy issues. BTW, why did you stop making the naan chips? I cannot find them anywhere and they are so much better than the tortilla or potato chips, tho I like sweet potato chips. What can you recommend?

  • 5 stars
    Hello Sukhi,
    As a loyal user of numerous of your products and a lover of Indian cuisine, I am thoroughly enjoying learning more about the frequently used spices, herbs, roots and their properties from your posts. A couple of things come to mind. First, do you have a kitchari recipe you could share? Also, I loved your lime pickle which you no longer sell. Do you have a recipe for that you could share? Thank you for offering us such wonderful advice. Mary K. Arcata CA

  • 5 stars
    Thank you so much I was in the hospital with severe pain in my stomach/pelvis area and after many tests with blood and ultrasound the doctors said that everything came back negative. I went home in still a lot of pain and a little voice in my head (GOD) told me to make golden milk. I had tried it years ago, but anyways I looked up this recipe and drank it and I swear by the morning I was healed! I got a call from the doctor a couple days later to find out my urine culture came back positive of ecoli! So I just wanted to thank you for this super healing recipe! And most of all THANK GOD for HIS perfect medicine!

    • Oh my gosh, hope you feel better soon! So glad you were able to reap the benefits of turmeric milk. This has been part of Ayurvedic medicine for centuries in India and only recently has been gaining the much deserved exposure in the the west.

  • 5 stars
    I haven’t tried this yet, but I want to. I was just wondering if I could do this with soy milk as well as the other milk alternatives you have listed.

  • […] Golden milk is a traditional Indian drink that has its roots in Ayurveda. In its simplest form it’s a blend of hot milk and ground turmeric, such as in this traditional recipe. […]

  • This was amazing. I used fresh turmeric and cardamom powder with coconut sugar. My only question is how well does it hold up in the fridge? The batch is way to large to consume in one sitting.

    • Hi Toshia – you can also make one cup of milk at a time and just use less turmeric, cardamom, and sweetener. If you want to keep it in the fridge, we would only recommend for ~24 hours. You will have to heat it and stir well before drinking.

      • Hello,

        I heard that we should have black pepper with turmeric, otherwise we won’t absorb it. I found some recipes that include black pepper, but I see that yours does not. Could you let tell me more? Thanks.

        • Yes that is true that black pepper helps turmeric absorption, but so do healthy fats! Hence, golden lattes are the perfect way to consume turmeric. You can add black pepper to the latte as well – it is really customizable to your favorite spices. I also like adding cinnamon. Let us know if you try it with the black pepper. We would love to hear how it turns out.

  • 5 stars
    Upon the advice of my doctor, I have been taking Turmeric for several years in hopes it will help my poor immune system. I only recently discovered what it tastes like since I’ve only taken it in capsule form, up to now. Today, he suggested that I learn to make Golden Milk, so today I did. The recipe I used included fresh ginger, honey, cocoanut oil, ground cinnamon, some fresh ground black pepper and of course Turmeric. Today I made enough for only one mug, and I plan to make one daily, so storage isn’t an issue yet. It is a delightful drink. I was pleasantly surprised that the pepper contributed a slight bit of heat that blended very well with the rest of the sweet flavors. I look forward to my daily mug of Golden Milk, and the health benefits it brings. It is so much better than taking a pill.

  • 5 stars
    My acupuncturist wants me to eat congee on a regular basis to nourish my digestive system prior to chemo. I just watched the 30 minute video she sent a link to, so I’m going to give it a try. A friend suggested I add golden milk powder to the congee for an extra boost.

    • Hi Michael – Now that sounds like a delicious combination! Let us know how it turns out.

  • 5 stars
    I’m using it for a long times. Cur cumin is largely used as wound healing medicine and internal wounds or bleeding in Pakistan. Yellow colour, perhaps because of curcumin, is a religious colour.

  • I noticed that the golden milk recipe calls for the milk to be heated in a pot on the stove top. Can it be microwaved instead?

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