Almond Pista Milk

Last year on my return from the Kailash Manasarovar yatra, I had a severe case of acid reflux which was affecting my throat and vocal chords. Apparently, eating foods cooked in an unknown quality of oils and lying in sleeping bags (without pillow) can cause this. Of course, my intense running also brings up stomach acid and aggravates it. In addition to medications and other dietary changes, my doctor recommended that I stop drinking coffee! I could not imagine starting my day without a double shot of espresso. But I loved running more. So for several months I drank green tea in the mornings (and yawned at my desk). I came upon Masala Milk Mix in the grocery store and loved its refreshing taste. My mother noted that it was easy to make the powder at home and that got me started on grinding my own Badam Pista Milk Mix.

Now, I start my day with a warm cup of Badam Pista Dudh. I still drink about half a cup of coffee after lunch. My acidity problems have been essentially resolved and I feel great.

Easy to make.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup almonds (roasted, unsalted)
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios (roasted, unsalted)
  • seeds of 30 cardamom cloves (about 2 teaspoons of seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon kesar (saffron)
  • To prepare:

  • Grind almonds, pista and cardamom seeds, separately in a dry grinder
  • Add kesar at the very end by simply crumpling it with fingers
  • Mix well and store in a dry cool place.

  • To make Badam Pista Milk:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of powder
  • 1 cup of milk; 1% low fat!
  • microwave for 2 minutes.
  • For sweetening, I use a teaspoon of kolhapuri jaggery, instead of sugar. Jaggery thickens the milk, and has a lower glycemic index. Thus you avoid the sugar high and is particularly good for diabetics.
  • Early mornings as I sip the badam milk, I do my floor stretches and munch on a Nutella sandwich. Rejuvenated, I am ready for the day!

    Health benefits of Almonds and Pistachios:
    Everyone touts the health benefits of almonds, but I was pleasantly surprised to find good scientific data indicating these nuts do indeed improve cardiovascular health. A daily snack of almonds is effective in lowering Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) the bad cholesterol, by upto 16%. Pistachios increase High Density Cholesterol (HDL) the good cholesterol; and both these nuts lower total cholesterol. I have provided links to a few references below.


  • Effect of Pistachio Nuts on Serum Lipid Levels in Patients with Moderate Hypercholesterolemia (Abstract)
  • Pistachio Nut Consumption and Serum Lipid Levels (Abstract)
  • Nuts and Plasma Lipids: An Almond-Based Diet Lowers LDL-C while Preserving HDL-C (Abstract)
  • Effects of Plant-Based Diets High in Raw or Roasted Almonds, or Roasted Almond Butter on Serum Lipoproteins in Humans (Abstract)
  • Critical Review: A Systematic Review of the Effects of Nuts on Blood Lipid Profiles in Humans (Abstract)

My Other Breakfast Drinks:

Life is Beautiful! Live it the Fullest!


  1. Leilani says:

    Hi Arun Shanbhag,
    I am interested in making the tumeric milk drink I do buy the almond mikl so can I just add the tumeric to the milk or is it better for me make it from scratch? just to let you know I saw the recipe on a forum for women called Whole Woman.
    Thank you

    • Hi,
      You can use the almond milk, but I worry the turmeric may not mix readily in the almond milk.
      So here is what I’d recommend, add some turmeric to a few table spoons of warm water, mix well, and then add the almond milk.

      You do realize, you can simply do this in water and skip the milk completely. Just add a tiny amount of turmeric to hot water, add a bit of honey, mix, let the turmeric settle and sip hot. Yumm.

      To you health

  2. Leilani says:

    Hi Arun Shanbhag,
    I am new to your website I am very interested in getting advise from you for my 14 year old granddaughter who just completed her first year as a runner on her schools tract team, can you recommend something for her? she complains of her hip and ham string hurting after a track meet, I am interested in maybe something she can drink before or after her meets? Thank you!

    • Hi Leilani,
      I am not sure what to recommend. Considering this is her first year on the track team, I recommend she take a break from running for a few days or a week to see if the hip and hamstring pain goes away. Also, I strongly recommend ice-ing to relieve the pain.

      Nothing specific to drink, just make sure she is hydrated and depending on the number of miles she is running, she may need to replenish her electrolytes with some sports drink (I best whatever is on sale).

      Best Wishes

  3. prakash says:

    i’m suffering from acid reflux for more than 30 yrs. i have surprised to see this valuable suggestion. i’m going to try it. after getting curied i will send thanks msg.

    • Hope this works for you.
      BTW, coffee is not the “only” contributor of acid reflux; other suspects include, very spicy foods, tomato paste (on pizzas, pasta etc) , etc.


    • Also good for acid reflux is meadowsweet herb. I got a lb of it online (organic) and make it as a tea and it works every time for me!

  4. hi arun,

    i tried this……. it came out well……. my sons just enoy in the morning…………
    thanks for the recipe

  5. I sometimes cut back on foods that are high in fat.

  6. Nilda Y. Torres says:

    Hi Arun,

    I am from the philippines and also suffering from acid reflux. Sounds this Almond Phista Milk is delicious and good substitute for coffee. I just don’t know if seeds of cardamom cloves is available here in our country. I hope there is..This phista milk might be the solution to my 3 years acid reflux condition.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and it could help many with the same condition as ours.

    More power! Nice website!

    • Hi Nilda:
      Yes, acid reflux can restrict your activities. Cardamom seeds must be easily available in the Philippines. Try the indian grocery stores there. The seeds, or sometimes they are available as closed cardamom cloves. you need to just peel them to get the seeds. It is also called “Elaichi” in India.

      Good luck and hope you enjoy – And it is actually a delightfully refreshing drink, particularly in the evening when I don’t want any caffine.

      Thank you for visiting.

  7. Hello Arun,

    You may want to try “Natrum Phosphoricum 30 X” for your acidity issues. It is a homeopathic biochemic salt. I used to have a lot of heartburn, and was prescribed Aciphex, which helped me as long as I took the medicine everyday.

    I switched to to the above remedy, for about 4 weeks, and then stopped the remedy. I have been free of the heartburn for a couple years now.

    Hope this helps.

    • Thank you Shiva for that useful tip;

      I will most definitely pick it up on my next visit to Mumbai (next month);
      BTW, with changes to my eating habit I am not bothered by acidity now, but it does tend to aggravate when I start long-distance running. So will try the homeopathic medication.

      Many thanks.

  8. Hi Anuvidya:
    Sweeth Tooth? Join the Club! Its sweet! :-)

    It is a great time saver and I LOVE this drink! What a divinely beautiful way to start the day. Give this a try! and lemme know.

    We got the Saffron from the Indian Grocery Store in NJ and it is from Spain! Yes, delicious! And we also got a batch from an Iranian friend. :-)) I love saffron.

    For my after dinner sweet fix, I mix yogurt with granola and honey, and add a few strands of saffron! YES!

  9. Oh and have you tried the Spanish saffron from Costco? It is awesome…

  10. Ha! So you have figured I have a sweet tooth huh? Is that what this temptation is all about??? LOL.
    Looks and sounds amazing. I usually make mine by soaking the almonds and grinding them, but this seems like a great idea, saves time and energy peeling the skin off, and to top it all off it is SWEET!

  11. Paramjit:
    You could certainly drink this at night;
    generally I don’t recommend sweetened drinks at night, coz the sugar (or jaggery in this case) may keep you energized and difficult to fall asleep.

    Warm milk is actually good and is an aid to better sleep.


  12. Thank you for all the good info. My question is why can’t we dringk this at night because of jaggery.

    thank you

    Paramjit Sagoo

  13. Jennifer – yes, you can drink it at bedtime too, but not recommended as it has the jaggery.
    Yes, I now have a tin of jaggery on the counter for all my drinks! I like it. Also, it feels so much more earthy and organic than the superprocessed white sugar crystals.

    my marathon training aggravates the acidity, but after watching my diet closely has helped it immensely. Now, I am eating more healthy foods.

    Heh, see this post on the making of jaggery! :-)

  14. Oh, also, I love your teacups!

  15. Oh I am so glad that you led me to this post. I am going to make this on the weekend. It sounds as though it would also be a wonderful night time drink.

    I love the taste of jaggery. I dont use sugar a lot at all, but use jaggery almost exclusively when I do need some. White sugar in my place is only for visitors.

    Good luck with your acidity problems. Sounds like there was a lot in your diet that needed correcting, and wonderful that you were given a chance to.

    Glad that you liked my posts on teas too. I do love my saffron tea.

  16. Hi Priya:
    The readymade mixes do contain a lot of sugar. The ones I make are very healthy. See some of the scientific papers I referenced; they recommend a daily intake of ~ 15 grams (a handful) of nuts each day. When mixed with 1% fat milk, there is only goodness in it. And it is so refreshing in the morning! Give it a try! :-)
    I cut other things out of my diet, such as muffins, pizza, bagels etc, which are far more harmful for you!
    Have a wonderful Ganesh Chaturthi!

  17. The kesar-badam mix sounds really yumm…I used to love it, but someone mentioned its too fatty :( 1% milk and 1/2 tsp of the mix definitely does not sound like too much harm to me :) Thank you soo much for the recipe :)

  18. Hi Latha:
    you are right, I generally don’t, but I have been inspired by all the food blogs of you and your friends and wanted to share this which I am passionate about.
    yes, that Kailash yatra was a once in a lifetime experience. the vistas are stunning. Thanks for visiting!

  19. I din’t know you post recipes too! Badam milk is good for health!Your kailash yatra is amazing!:)

  20. Sorry Rachna – just realized it was part of a friend’s ‘private’ post. Oops! We were only saying how it is making us drool and think of pedas, only! :-))


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