According to Ayurvedic tradition masala chai boosts the immune system, enhances metabolism, relieves stress, aids digestion and sharpens the mind. There are myriad chai recipes associated with various regions in India.
Preparation methods vary, too. I usually use the whole spice rather than the ground, and then strain the chai through a sieve or tea strainer before serving.
Experiment by adding fennel seeds, coriander seeds, nutmeg, star anise, and lemon or orange peel to create your own special blend.
This a lovely warming drink for the cold damp winter days in Ireland.
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 black or green tea bag or 1 tsp loose leaf tea– optional
- 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
- 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1/4 tsp coriander, ground
- 1/6 tsp ground clove, or 3-4 whole cloves
- 5-6 cardamon pods - split
- 3 – 4 grinds of a pepper mill
- pinch of chilli powder or flakes – optional, but good for colds
- 1 cup milk (or your favourite fake dairy: coconut, soy, rice, oat) sweetener if required (honey, agave, sugar) - optional
- Put all the spices (and tea if using) in a small milk saucepan, add the water, bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of milk (or your favourite fake dairy: coconut, soy, rice, oat)
- Heat gently for another minute or two then strain into mugs or cups.
- Sweeten with honey, agave syrup or sugar to taste.
- Serve in big mugs.