Ever since I was a little girl, Haḷadara, or Tumeric, in English, has always had a prominent place in my mom’s spice box. If I got a deep cut, she quickly ran to her spice box and put a big pinch of tumeric in the wound to stop the bleeding, act as an antibiotic, and to help the skin heal without scarring.
A twisted ankle or wrist? A warm paste of tumeric and water acted as an anti inflammatory and stained my skin bright yellow; the swelling always went down within hours. And when I wanted a facial, mom pulled out her spice box and mixed tumeric in with ground chickpea flour and yogurt; she lathered it on my face while I read a book. An hour later, my face was glowing; still my go-to facial 30 years later.
And when the weather started to turn cooler, Tumeric Milk, always made an appearance every morning before breakfast. Now that I have my own kids, it’s the passing on of these traditions that I love the most. My mother, Nani, as the triplets affectionately call her, has had her biggest impact on them in the kitchen. Whether she’s making hot curries and fresh indian breads, or oatmeal and pancakes, she always includes the kids when she cooks.
I decided to share my recipe for Tumeric Milk because it’s one of my favorites. It’s a warm, comforting, immune boosting substitute for coffees and teas. I set up the ingredients and the pot and started to video. One of the triplets decided not to nap that day and was listening to my instructions carefully. He said, “That’s not how Nani makes it” and then started to tell me the order and quantity of ingredients. So I taped him. Here is Nani’s version of Tumeric Milk, made by her 3 year old grandson.