Kesar doodh – aromatic saffron milk

Kesar doodh. saffron milk.
Among the divine elixirs that cures everything from a cold to homesickness, there is Kesar doodh. Kesar doodh is my quick go-to on festival days when there is absolutely no time to fix up an elaborate dessert. With the cardamom-infused boiled milk and the golden colour, there is no escape from the aroma that permeates the entire house, giving the warmth of a celebration.

What’s kesar?

Kesar or saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices. Why not!  Crocus sativus, is the mother plant that yields a beautiful purple flower with a red stigma. Three stigma of each saffron flower is all you can collect to make this exotic spice. When immersed in a warm liquid these stigmas impart a deep orange hue with a distinctive pleasing aroma. This is what characterises this saffron milk recipe.

Saffron , kesar
Benefits of kesar doodh.

Hailed as an elixir saffron milk saves us from a lot of little troubles
Start with the cold – the warm milk soothes the itchy throat and clears out a lot of the sinuses. This sure helps easier breathing and a feeling of wellness.
Let’s get some good dreams -saffron is rich in magnesium. Hence saffron-infused milk is perhaps one of the best-known moon milk.
Kesar doodh makes you brainer– this is what my grandmother said!! Studies have shown that saffron reduces oxidative stress and protects cells. so, not exactly but the saffron in the milk did help in well being of one’s cells.  ( source )
Allergies and hayfever – it is again the same logic of keeping the nasal passages clear and improving the number of liquids you consume that help through this season.
Reduced cramping – the warmth of the kesar doodh certainly helps in feeling far better on the menstrual days with heavier cramping. It is also ap nourishing drink so keep up the nutrition when you really cannot eat much.

Making it vegan.

Time and again I have made kesar doodh with soy and oat milk. It is equally delicious moon milk what ever be the kind of milk you use. If you like it creamier, try cashew or macadamia milk (yum!!)

Kesar doodh , festival dessert.
Serving it warm or cold

Most of the time, I like the warmth of saffron milk. The kids love chilled kesar doodh in summers. So warm or cold the kesar doodh does hit the right notes of happiness. Serve it as per the season or the situation you are in. I certainly won’t want cold saffron milk when I have cramps. Whatever way you serve, please don’t drown it in sugar, honey or any other sweetener. It totally takes away the subtle aroma of this rare spice. Keep it all about the kesar!


Kesar doodh

Aromatic saffron milk is the perfect moon milk that can get you out of the blues in no time.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 16 mins
Course Desserts, Drinks, Sweets and savories, Traditional
Cuisine Baby toddler food, diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Kids choice, Medicinal, Microwave, One pot, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 cups


main ingredients

  • 4 cups full cream milk / plant based milks ( see the best options for the plant milk in the post)
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • sweetner (add as per choice, We have some ideas listed in the post above)


  • 2 tbsp almond flakes


  • Heat the milk over low flame. 
  • When the milk is warm remove 2 tbsp and add to the saffron in a small bowl. 
  • Boil the remaining milk and add the soaked saffron,stir well.  
  • Add c almonds (optional) and remove from heat. 
  • Add sweetner of choice and mix well.
  • Drink warm.
Keyword Indian desserts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


The comforting mug of kesar doodh has been my companion when I miss being in India. It has stayed on this blog for nearly 4 years with no change. So, it is time to give it a makeover with new images and a bit more of the benefits I experience. Hence it is on Foodies redoing old posts this time.

If you are looking for some more comforting drinks that can keep you going through a rough patch try these

Korean pear nectar– delicately flavoured with nashi pears, this is a perfect companion for the cold and sniffles.
Palm jaggery milk– chuck the caffeine and enjoy the complex sweet milk infused with spices.
Fresh mint hot chocolate– the warmth of hot chocolate with infused fresh mint is perfect for the stargazing days
Arrowroot drink– Malabar cuisine special, this is a slightly thickened milk drink that you can use to swap for a light lunch.
Dragon eye tea– have some fun, with this longan oolong tea that is perfect for Halloween.
Cranberry  Mors– known for the best resistance to cold, pack in a bit C punch with this Cranberry drink.

Cups of kesar doodh.
Hope you are enjoying our posts. Do let us know how you like them in the discussion below. Stay with us and subscribe to get updates on future posts. Pin the recipe directly onto your boards from the recipe card or tag us @mildlyindian when you make this recipe. Stay safe and see you at the next post.

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Poonam Bachhav
4 years ago

Kesar doodh is my all time certainly makes any occasion festive..Happy Holi to you Seema !

Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth
4 years ago

I totally love kesar doodh, in fact it is one of the most cherished milks by the locals in the UAE during the winters! Thank you so much for adding my link… 🙂

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
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Delicious saffron or kesar milk, love it. I’ve probably had tonnes of it during both my pregnancies. It was must and I didn’t complain at all as it is so flavourful and aromatic.

1 year ago
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remember having this when the first nip of winters seeped into Bangalore.. this kept us warm and nourished for many years, and now doing the same for the kids too, although we dont have too much winter here. beautifully captured pics, Seema

1 year ago
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I love the beautiful kesar strands you have got. So long. Ah, kesar doodh love it, I would add some good amount of nuts in this too. Delicious and healthy.

8 months ago
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Love this indian Drink, I got the saffron from the store as you messaged. My house too smells so good.

Uma Raghupathi
8 months ago
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Kesar doodh looks and tatse amazing! It is my all-time favorite drink. I will make this again and again for sure!

Lata Lala
8 months ago
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I love this delicious kesar milk. We make this regularly in winters and made it again yesterday after seeing your post. Though this time I tried it chilled and it turned out yummmmmmmmmmm.

Anshika Juneja
8 months ago
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This kesar doodh looks so delicious. It’s my all time favourite. It’s perfect for festive days. It’s so flavorful yet healthy. I’m definitely trying this rich recipe again.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan
Sandhya Ramakrishnan
8 months ago
Rating :

This is one of my favorite to drink right from my childhood. Your post brought back memories and I made it right away. So comforting.

Hayley Dhanecha
8 months ago

Kesar milk or doodh always a hit in my family, especially after doing a night shifts I and my dad drink it in the morning, guaranteed a good sleep. Love this making again and again.

Hayley Dhanecha
8 months ago
Rating :

Kesar milk or doodh always a hit in my family, especially after doing a night shifts I and my dad drink it in the morning, guaranteed a good sleep. Love this making again and again.

Amrita Roy
Amrita Roy
7 months ago
Rating :

Kesar doodh definitely has a lot of health benefits. Thank you sharing the detailed recipe. Now I will follow this recipe to make for my daughter.

7 months ago
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I don’t drink milk but made this for my husband and he loved it. Thanks for this recipe, will make it regularly for him now.

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