Red seeds (aliv seeds) with milk is a warm cosy drink to beat the cold nip in the air. If you have a pack of garden cress seeds that you don't know how to use, this recipe should be the start. Do check the 'variation' section to find out the different ways you can make this milk drink.
The first time I read about Garden cress seeds was in a chapter titled "Aliv - The Beauty Pill" in Rujuta Diwekar's book, "Indian Superfoods".
It is easily available in all leading Indian stores, maybe labelled differently. I used the seeds to make this thin kheer-like milk drink and a batch of aliv ladoos. However, F prefers the drink... keep reading to know what happened to the ladoos! 🙂
What are red seeds?
Red seeds or Garden cress seeds are known for their healing benefits especially port-partum. They are a rich source of folic acid, iron, Vit E, and Vit A and are great for immunity. In this post, I will be focusing only on a few ways on how to use this seed in a healthy drink.
What are the other names of red seeds?
Garden cress seeds are Habbat Al Hamra or Hab al rashad in Arabic, which literally translates to Red seed. It is known as Aliv in Marathi, Halim in Hindi, Alvi in Kannada and Ashaali in Malayalam. If you know what these are called in your language, don't forget to let us know in the comments. Thank you.
Now, let me share what you will need to make 2 to 3 servings of red seeds with milk.
Rujuta explains in this "all about Aliv video that to neutralize the "warm" nature of the aliv seeds and to get the maximum benefit, it needs to be combined with essential fatty acids like coconut, ghee and/or milk. The ingredients list is based on this fact. You can adjust as per what you have in the pantry.
- garden cress seeds (aliv)
- nuts and dried fruits
- cow's milk
See the Substitutions for options. See the recipe card for quantities.
This red seeds milk drink recipe is not a dessert like aliv Kheer recipes you find on the internet. I have kept it very basic as this is more of a warm drink on a cold night thing.
First step is to soak the aliv seeds in water for 2 to 8 hours. For every tablespoon of red seed, you can soak it in ½ cup of water and leave it on the counter. At the end of soaking time, the seeds swell and become jelly, it is ready to use.
Next, heat a thick-bottomed saucepot and add ghee. Now, add the dried fruits and nuts of your choice. I like to add cashews, raisins, or almonds. Saute the nuts for a few seconds.
Next, add the milk, crushed cardamom and soaked red seeds with all the water. Give it a thorough mix and bring this to a full boil on medium heat.
Reduce the heat to low and keep stirring and let it simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. The longer you boil, the thicker the milk. Keep stirring in between to prevent the milk fat from sticking to the bottom.
Switch off and add the sweetener of choice and a little rose water. I like to add jaggery or stevia or honey or date molasses for the sweet quotient.
Serve this red seeds milk drink warm as is or garnish with sliced almonds or pistachios. Make this ahead and drink it warm post a light meal preferably after dinner to get a good sleep.
Sipping through a piping hot mug of this red seeds milk drink on a cold winter night is much healthier option than a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Only drawback, you cannot drink this one daily.
In that same video, Rujuta insists we use the red seeds in the form of aliv ladoos to get the best of it for several days. I made a small batch of aliv ladoos and we didn't like. I couldn't imagine throwing away the superfood. Thanks to a bulb moment, I could save the ladoos. My aliv ladoos went back into a mug of warm milk like a kheer bomb. Just sharing.
- milk - You can use skimmed milk or plant-based milk like coconut milk. Sometimes I make a batch of milk using milk powder and use it in this recipe.
- sweetener - I have made this mostly with stevia and date molasses. You may use jaggery, honey, or even plain sugar.
- dried fruits and nuts - You can use all or none. If you like coconut, feel free to add sliced coconut or desiccated coconut.
- with custard powder - You can make this drink with the addition of custard powder. A popular winter drink in the UAE called Habbat Al Hamra. You can find the recipe on my friend, Rafeeda's website - The Big Sweet Tooth.
- without ghee - You can skip the ghee and directly start with milk rest of the ingredients.
- with coconut- Stir in some desiccated coconut for a different flavour.
- with coconut milk - For a coconut milk drink version, Mix 1 cup of coconut milk with one cup of water and all of the soaked red seeds into a saucepot. Now, place this on stovetop on low heat. And continue stirring the milk until it starts to steam. Make sure the coconut milk is room temperature. Do not let it boil vigourously. Switch off and serve immediately.
- with turmeric - Make this a golden milk by adding a pinch of turmeric with the milk.
- A thick bottomed saucepot
- a whisk or wooden ladle
You can refrigerate any leftovers and consume them within a day or two. Try to reheat using the microwave or stovetop until warm enough to drink.
Soaked garden cress seeds can be used in drinks with water or milk. It can also be used to making aliv ladoos, which are balls made with soaked aliv seeds, coconut and jaggery with nuts and dried fruits. You can add these seeds as a topping to salads and smoothies.
Soaked red seeds can be used to make healthy drinks with or without milk. They can also be used to make ladoos with coconut. Toasted red seeds can be used in salads and soups.
Haba Hamra or Habbat Al hamra in English is Red seed referring to garden cress seeds.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Red Seeds Milk Drink (Aliv seeds)
- 1 tablespoon red seeds (aliv seeds)
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoon ghee
- 5 to 8 whole cashews optional
- 1 tablespoon raisins optional
- 2 tablespoon slivered almonds optional
- 1 ½ to 2 cups full-fat milk
- 1 green cardamom crushed
- sweetener of choice honey, jaggery, stevia, date molasses, or sugar
- ½ teaspoon rose water optional
- In a small bowl, soak 1 tablespoon red seeds in ½ cup water and leave it covered on the counter for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Heat ghee in a saucepot on a low flame and add the cashews or slivered almonds and fry until lightly golden. Then add the raisins and sauté until plump.
- Next, add the milk, crushed cardamom and soaked garden cress seeds with all the water. (You may boil the milk separately to ensure it is good to use.)
- Bring the mixture to a full boil on medium flame while stirring.
- Reduce the heat to low and keep stirring and let it simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Switch off and add the sweetener of choice and rose water. I like to add jaggery or stevia or honey or date molasses.
- Serve warm garnished with sliced almonds.
- You may add a pinch of turmeric along with milk.