Yogi Chai | Holidays and Thoughts

Yogi Tea Chai Recipe

Today is a meditation in the kitchen. A settling into the routine of the kitchen. A reconnection with the flow and mindfulness of the kitchen.

If you allow it, your food will speak to you, saying give me this, give me that. Sort this out. Use me, use me. Don’t use me, use them. Let me ripen more fully.

Mindfulness, or awareness, gives us the ability to connect with our food, and to remember the work of every body and every thing that has gone into producing this wonderful item, this wonderful dish. The worms. The microbes. The soil. The sun. The rain. The cold. The warmth. The moon. The workers. The traders. The sellers. The pots and pan makers. The gas and electricity suppliers. The water suppliers. The knowledge held and freely given by my providers. The bloggers that bring me into their homes and constantly teach me and inspire me. Jai to all of you.

I reintroduced myself to my cardamom bush today. Poor thing, it has been neglected for a while, what with water restrictions and my too much busy-ness. But cardamom, under adversity, keeps on thriving. Yes, it gets a little brown around the edges. A bit droopy. Rather pot bound. But through it all comes the green shoots, the new leaves, the determination to do what it needs to do – produce cardamom leaves. It was glad to see me as I pulled the pot out into an area that gets the rain and promised to tidy it up, even re-pot it over the next week or so.

Cardamom leaves make a wonderful addition to tea. Sort of laurel-like in taste, I love a ginger and cardamom leaf cup of tea. It also adds wonderful flavours to soups, sauces and curries. But it is a tough old leaf, needing to be removed before serving. I have in the past chopped it very very finely and added it to dishes, even fruit salads. It is a great addition, but a lot of work to go through to get it suitable for eating. I think it likes to flavour and does not like to be eaten. It is in flavouring that it does its best work.

As I settle into this new relationship with my kitchen and the food there-in, the cycles of the food preparation, the joy of it all, I remembered all of the teas in my cupboard. Sorting them out, I realised I just have to cut down on my coffee intake and increase my tea intake! Makes a lot of sense financially as good coffee is expensive, but also I have been drinking WAY too much coffee over the past months. It will be good to give the body a rest.

Like coffee, teas can be made quickly, without any thought, or can be mindfully made and sweetly enjoyed. Today I bring for you Yogi Tea.

Add the Yogi Tea to your list of meditative things to do in your kitchen. Like grinding spices. Stirring risotto. Chopping huge bunches of herbs. Whipping cream by hand. Making ghee. Watching yoghurt drain.

Yogi Tea Chai Recipe

Yogi Chai (Tea)

Source : given to me by Amberjee many years ago
Cuisine: Indian style
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: many cups

2 Dstspns cloves
2 Dstspns black pepper (whole)
2 Dstspns licorice root (whole)
4 Dstspns cardamom pods (whole) or use cardamom leaves i f you have them
3 cinnamon sticks
6 – 8 slices fresh ginger root
1 black tea bag (optional)

A Dstspn is a dessertspoon, a UK measure of 10 ml or 2 – 2.5 teaspoons.

Boil the above in 4 – 5 cups of water for 10 – 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add one tea bag if using. Allow to draw for 2 minutes and remove the tea bag.

Pour out 1/2 – 2/3 cup through a strainer. Add organic honey to taste if desired and 1/3 cup of milk or soy milk.

If you prefer to drink without milk, add hot water to 1/2 – 2/3 cup of the tea. I often make the tea, then add another 5 cups water, allow to cool then store in the fridge. I heat up a cup each morning. It can be consumed at a cooler temperature in summer.


Recipe Notes

The same batch of spices can be used for 1 week. Add more ginger root on the fourth day. When reheating the spices, bring them to the boil and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes. Don’t add any additional black tea after the initial making of the batch.

You can add 1 tspn of ginger powder to the batch for a stronger ginger Yogi Tea. Or use more fresh ginger and black pepper.

This is a very cleansing tea. DO NOT DRINK MORE THAN 2 CUPS PER DAY. The ideal time is in the morning after yoga, and in the evening after work. Allow 45 minutes before eating.

Enjoy the feeling of this drink on a hot summers night. You can drink it cold with some apricot juice! It is also beautiful added to porridge.

[UPDATE]: Recently I have begun to grind the spices to a powder. I add about a dessertspoon to milk as I heat it, with a touch of ghee and some jaggery/sugar. Delicious.

Finally, to clarify some discussion about measures, this information is from wikipedia.

Measurements Australia UK USA FDA
Teaspoon 5 ml 5 ml 4.93 ml 5 ml
Dessertspoon 10 ml
Tablespoon 20 ml 15 ml 14.79 ml 15 ml
Cup 250 ml 285 ml 236.59 ml 240 ml

The Holiday Series

The Tea and Other Liquids Series


Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

24 thoughts on “Yogi Chai | Holidays and Thoughts”

  1. i love the idea of this tea – i can almost smell it in my head :) – i’m guessing this would work chilled too

    Hi lakshmi, it sure would be great cold. Mixed with apricot juice works really well.


  2. oh it is yummy. i used to carry a thermos of it on cold winter mornings. that is what i must do to get through the next london winter!

    I can imagine it being really good in a London winter. Although maybe a little “cleansing” to be drinking all day?


  3. Everything concerning tea and herbs and their preparation fascinates me! I recently discovered the cardamom seeds and made an infusion with them and some mint… great flavour!
    But, I’m a coffee addict :D

    Hi Nuria, cardamom in very special. You should try some in your coffee!


  4. You have your own cardamom plant! Where, how, did you get it, start it? I’d love to add that to the garden or the inside plants. We make this recipe too. Have had it around for years on an old piece of paper entitled “Yogi Tea.”

    Hi victoria, yes I do. I can’t quite recall – I think I bought it in a nursery. I does Ok here but prefers a more tropical climate. Hunt around to see whether you can get it, maybe even via the internet.


  5. I had no idea I could grow cardamom at home.

    It must be incredible in tea. I’ve been making a tisane with kaffir lime leaves of late, and am surprised by just how thirst-quenching the brew is.

    Lovely tea, here.

    Hi Lucy, you can grow it. It does Ok here but would be happier in a tropical climate. It is so lovely in tea and in rice and curries. I have a kaffir lime tree growing too! Teas on demand.


  6. What are Dstspns?? When you tell me, I’ll feel silly but right now — I have no idea what it is.
    Thanks a bunch — can’t wait to make your tea!

    Hi Judy – its a dessert spoon – it is the spoon that you eat with, rather than a tablespoon (Tblspn) size. Is this not an american thing? If it is easier, just use Tblspns and double the water (and consume twice the amount of tea)


  7. Around here we call them a teaspoon — not to be confused with a teaspoon (quite petite spoon used to stir coffee in South Africa –where my daughter and son-in-law lived) or an iced tea spoon (which has a spoon somewhat smaller than an eating teaspoon but a long handle)! And then there’s the measuring teaspoon (tsp) which I believe is a smaller amount than the teaspoon we use at the dinner table. Regardless, thanks for your response and information. The tea sounds lovely!

    Oh, I am so confused. Yes a measuring tspn is small than a coffee teaspoon (depending on the coffee teaspoon of course).


  8. I have seen cardamom plant just once. I was amazed how unassuming it looks. For its pod packs such a mighty punch.

    Yes it is really. My first time was in Goa on a spice far. Then I saw them growing quite prolifically in the Sydney botanical gardens. then I got my own plant. I love the smell of the leaves.


  9. Read a few of ur posts ,started with one and then one led to another .Beautiful food and thoughts put down in words beautifully-used that twice for lack of a better word :0)

    Hi sunila, great that you enjoyed my posts. I really appreciate you letting me know. It is always lovely to get feedback. Hope you come again – and enjoy the yogi tea….


  10. While looking for a recipe that could somehow manage to imitate the delicious tea I had in a Seattle veggie restaurant called Sunlight Cafe, I encountered your lovely, calm, addictive blog. Last night I tried the baked garbanzo bead recipe and am currently enjoying a cup of this terrifically aromatic yogi tea. Thanks you for your words and recipes.


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