This recipe goes back to my childhood - its probably something every Indian mother has in her repertoire, a concoction that gets prepared when a cough and a sore throat makes itself felt. It combines two of my favourite immune system boosters - turmeric and fresh ginger - and is a wonder. On my recent trip home, I fell ill with a cold and a cough and a throat so sore it was an effort to breathe. My mother jumped out bed one morning at 5, after I woke with a coughing fit and was back up in 5 minutes, with a cup full of this golden wonder. It was such help, soothing, warm and spicy and made such a difference. And funnily enough, I was on the phone with a friend in Frankfurt two days later, who had a cold and cough. Even though he was quite skeptical about the turmeric, ginger and milk combination, he followed my telephone instructions and made a cup of this tea and said it really helped!
Now that the temperatures have dropped so much and everyone seems to have a cold, I make a cup of this tea every week, and it works wonders. I recommend heating everything on a very gentle flame to avoid the risk of the milk breaking. Letting the tea simmer longer also teases out more flavour from the ginger and turmeric.
250 ml milk
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 inch piece of ginger, washed, peeled and smashed
1?2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
honey to taste
Pour the milk into a pot, preferably one with a heavy base. Add the ginger, turmeric, honey and pepper and warm on medium-low heat. Stir once in a while to dissolve the honey. Once the milk starts to simmer, turn the heat down and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain into two cups or glasses and serve immediately. Sip down slowly whilst warm!
Serves two // Prep and cooking time: about 10 - 15 minutes