This is a major festival celebrated in most parts of India on a grand scale. Many fast by eating specific foods that contain dairy milk or yoghurt. And though most people offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi, it was also Lord Krishna who got prominence at the Gaushala.
The highlight of the festival is the serving of sweetened masala milk late in the night. We served coconut masala milk to introduce the delicious taste to those present and to help change the practice. Here are two simple and easy to make recipes for the delicious drink. We made the instant version this time.
Instant Coconut Masala Milk
- 1 tetra pack (200 ml) Dabur coconut milk
- 1 tsp Everest kesari milk masala
- 2 tbsps jaggery
- 1 cup (200 ml) water
- Bring the water and jaggery to a boil stirring it to dissolve the jaggery. Strain this to remove any sediments and put it back on the gas.
- Add the masala and allow it to simmer for around 30 seconds.
- Turn off the heat and let it rest for a minute for the saffron to release its colour and aroma.
- Add the coconut milk and serve warm.
- Do not reheat the milk as the fat will separate from it.
Kesari Milk Masala
Makes 14 tablespoons enough for 28-30 cups
- ¼ cup/50 gms almonds
- ¼ cup/50 gms cashews
- ¼ cup/50 gms pistachios
- 20 cardamom pods crushed to open them
- 20 strands (.025 gms) saffron
- ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
- 2 thin strands of mace (jaiwantri)
- Dry roast the almonds on medium heat for a couple of minutes to remove any moisture. Chop each almond into two or three pieces once they are cool. This is necessary as almonds don’t grind easily.
- Dry roast the cashew nuts and pistachios on medium heat to remove any moisture in it.
- Allow all three nuts to cool down completely and then transfer all the ingredients into a blender jar.
- Pulse a few times and then grind them till they become a rough powder. Remove any cardamom pod peels left in the powder and transfer the mixture into an airtight container. This will keep for around 2 months in a refrigerator.
- 1 coconut
- 2 cups very hot water
- Grate/scrape the coconut or remove the core and cut it into small pieces. 1 coconut should yield around 2 cups of coconut flesh.
- Place the grated coconut in a bowl and add the very hot water to just about cover it or a little less than that. Place a lid on the bowl and let it soak for at least 10 minutes. This is done so it blends very finely.
- Place half the soaked coconut in a blender jar with enough water to allow the blades to move smoothly and blend it till it is fine.
- Strain this mixture through a muslin cloth.
- Repeat with the other half of the grated coconut. This will be the first thick extract of coconut milk and should yield around two cups of milk.
- Now place half the fibre from the muslin cloth in the blender jar and add just enough water to allow the blades to move smoothly.
- Strain this through the muslin cloth into another bowl and repeat with the rest of the leftover fibre. This will give you the second thin extract of coconut milk and should yield another 2 cups of milk.
To Make the Masala Milk
- Heat 1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of jaggery on medium heat stirring it all the time till all the jaggery is dissolved. Strain this and put it back on the gas.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the masala and let it simmer for 30 seconds to a minute till the saffron releases its colour and fragrance.
- Turn off the heat and add one cup each of the thick and thin extracts of coconut milk.
- Stir it all well and serve in cups or glasses and garnished with a rose petal and a strand of saffron.