Indian Chai Variations

Chai – a sweet, milky black tea with spices – begins the day for many Indian households. The spices and herbs added to the tea adds flavour but an oft-ignored benefit is that it also increases medicinal benefits. The daily supplement – better than popping a pill.

From Chai Masala, to a simple Chai with Ginger, the variations are endless. Here are some common ones to experiment with.

Because of the health giving properties of turmeric, we recommend adding a little turmeric to each cuppa chai that you make – about a pinch per cup.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes, and our general Tea recipes. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy our Late Winter recipes here and here.

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Tulsi and Mint Chai with Cinnamon | Tea with Herbs and Spices

Relax with a beautiful, health giving, herbal Chai

In many parts of India, tea is a daily preoccupation. But whereas in the West, tea is consumed as-is, with only perhaps some milk and sugar, it is common in India to brew it strongly with a range of spices and herbs. It is always served sweet and very milky.

Masala Chai and Cutting Chai are well known tea drinks, but every Indian family will have their own range of herbs and spices that they include. It is very common to use ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, perhaps mint and Tulsi (Indian Holy Basil). I have heard of curry leaves being added. Lemongrass, vanilla, black pepper, fennel, nutmeg, tej pata (Indian Bay Leaves), ashwagandha leaf, pepper, galangal are other possible additions.

Today’s Chai is Tulsi and Mint with Cinnamon Chai. It was such beautiful winter weather this morning, I drank chai in the garden.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Chai for the Relief of Colds, Cardamom Chai, Peppery Chai and Chai Variations.

You might like other Tulsi recipes – Tulsi Chai, and Tulsi Rasam. Or read more about the Tulsi Herb here.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes here, and our general Tea recipes here. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy our Late Summer recipes.

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Cutting Chai | Ginger and Cardamon Chai

That quintessential roadside chai from Mumbai and throughout South India

Ah, how I miss the road side stalls in India and their piping hot Cutting Chai. Cutting is the transliteration of the Hindi word for half – Cutting Chai is served in half glasses (or smaller, often) as it has a strong flavour, and half a cup of this strong sweet liquid is enough to get you moving for the day! You have to buy it from the road side stalls – restaurants and hotels do not get the same taste.

The flavours are predominantly ginger and cardamon, simmered for some minutes with sugar so that the maximum flavour is extracted. The black tea, too, breaks every Western tea-brewing rule and is simmered for 5 or 6 minutes for the flavour extractions. Then milk is added to create this addictive drink.

Are you looking for similar Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Cardamom Chai and Peppery Chai.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes, or our general Tea recipes. All of our drinks can be found here, and our Indian Recipes here. You might also enjoy our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Garam Chai | Chai Masala

Warming spices combined with tea – a classic Indian Chai

What a wonderful, warming drink this is! Pure relaxation – a cup of Masala Chai and allowing your mind to empty and drift across the universe.

Chai is an Indian spiced milk tea that is generally made up of a rich black tea, full cream milk, various spices and jaggery or other sweetener. The spices used vary from region to region in India, and even amongst households. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Because of the spices, Chai produces a warming, soothing effect and gives one a wonderful sense of well being. Chai must have a sweetner added or the spices can’t share their full robust flavours. The sweetness brings out an intensity of flavour.

Are you looking for similar Chai recipes?  Try Yogi Chai, Chai Masala for the Relief of Colds, Cutting Chai, and Peppery Chai. There are Chai Variations here.

All of our Chai recipes are here, and our general Tea recipes here. Please try our other Teas and Coffees, and explore our Indian Recipes. You might also enjoy our Mid Winter recipes.

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Chai Masala for Relief of Colds

Chai Masala – how beautiful at dawn on cold mornings, in the evenings of cooler days, and at any time with friends and a biscuit.

Chai can be made with a huge range of spices, herbs and tea leaves, so selecting one to meet your need, the weather, the time of day or your health concerns is quite easy. Check out our range of recipes.

This one is gingery and peppery, right up my ally! It is perfect for cold mornings – both of these spices will warm you up. But it is also perfect for helping you through your coughs and colds of winter. Drink it with abandon.

Are you looking for Chai recipes? Try Peppery Chai, Cardamom Chai, Cutting Chai, and Chai Masala.

You can browse all of our Chai recipes, and all of our Teas. Or simply explore our collection of Late Autumn dishes.

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Banana and Berry Lassi | Yoghurt Smoothie

This time, a yoghurt drink that borrows from the smoothie culture of current times. I call it a Lassi, but perhaps it is not a traditional lassi. It combines the best of the sub Continent and the West.

I have always wondered why Banana Lassi is not popular in India, as bananas are so readily available in the South of India. Perhaps it is that the ancient science of Ayurveda does not recommend the combination of dairy and banana. Today, we break that rule for a delicious Lassi smoothie. We have also used honey, but feel free to replace that with jaggery if you prefer to avoid honey with milk.

Yoghurt is so cooling in the heat.

Are you looking for other Lassi recipes? Try Strawberry and Peach Lassi, Sweet and Tangy Lassi, Mango Lassi and Chilli and Coriander Lassi.

Are you looking for Banana recipes? Try Pomegranate and Banana Salad, Banana Halwa, or Flattened Rice with Bananas and Honey.

You might like to browse all of our Lassi drinks, all of our Yoghurt Drinks, or all of our Drink recipes. Explore our Mid Summer recipes. Or perhaps you are looking for our Banana, Blueberry or Strawberry recipes.

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Peppery Chai

Expect a swathe of new Chai recipes now that the cooler weather comes. Not only do I adore Chai during the winter, it is a great help when suffering from a cold. Right now I have a head cold, so I am making chai and adding a good dose of turmeric to it. Have you also found that turmeric-laden chai makes a difference when you have a cold? It is my form of Golden Milk or Turmeric Latte which is quite fashionable at the moment.

The Tulsi in this Chai is also helpful for colds and flu.

As the name suggests, this chai is quite peppery – we do love a chai laced well with ginger and pepper. As the weather deepens, I take to adding powdered ginger for an extra sharp zing. Right now, though, in Mid Autumn, we are happy with using the fabulous fresh ginger we pick up from our Asian Grocery near-by.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Illaichi Chai, Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai.

You might also like to try Tulsi Rasam, and Tulsi and Ginger Tea.

Explore all of our other Chai recipes. Or try our Teas. Maybe browse all of our Indian recipes. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Illaichi Chai | Cardamom Chai

The weather is cooling and Chai is back on our mind. Early morning, late evening, or in between it is a beautiful, relaxing drink. Meditative in its making, the joy and love that goes into it can be tasted in the end result. I love to make it while I am cleaning the kitchen in the evening, stirring periodically, and loving the aroma of the brewing chai. Then to cuddle up on the lounge with a cuppa – ah, heaven on a cold night.

Try some other Chai recipes too. Try Heavenly Gentle Chai, Ashram Chai, Chai Masala, and Yogi Chai.

All of our Chai recipes are here. You might like to browse all of our Teas, and our Indian Recipes too. Or simply explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Infusion (Tea)

Aahh, relax!

You find the most magical spice infusions in India. Although I still call them “teas”, technically, they are infusions or tisanes. In India, tea (chai) is only made from the leaves of the tea plant, often supplemented with spices.

Similar recipes include Cumquat Tea, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, and Ginger and Lemongrass Tea.

You might also like our Tea recipes and our Chai recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials are here. Or browse our Early Autumn dishes.

This is a recipe from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 to 2006. Feel free to browse other recipes from this blog in our Retro Recipes.

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Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea

Try this tea/herbal infusion, but not before bed. It is slightly diuretic so may disturb your sleep. It is another of the great Spring Detox teas, all of which are a variation on a theme. This is one of the first such teas that I made, and was instantly aware of its properties. Oh the power of herbs and spices.

Please also check out a similar tea – Pitta Tea – also suitable for Spring. You might enjoy The Making of Herbal Teas, The 5 C’s Golden Spiced Tea, and Yogi Tea. All of our teas are here, and Ayurvedic Hints here. Or simply explore our Early Spring Recipes.

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Heavenly Gentle Chai

There is something about Chai that makes everything Ok again.

Chai. Aaah, the very word invokes relaxation. In colder weather it comes into its own with its warming, comforting and nourishing emotive qualities.

Are you looking for Chai recipes? Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Seva Devi’s Ashram Chai, Peppery Chai, and Illiachi Chai.

What about trying Cardamom Spiced Coffee? Or for a herbal tea, there is Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

Feel free to browse all of our Chai recipes here, or our general Tea recipes here. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy to take some time and explore our Mid Winter recipes or our Mid Summer recipes.

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Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil

You know what? In hot weather I love a lassi, particularly a fruit lassi, for breakfast. Indian in origin, fruit lassi drinks mix yoghurt with fruit, spices and jaggery or sugar.

Today, there were peaches on the kitchen bench, strawberries in the fridge and basil in the garden. A beautiful breakfast was born in the shape of a lassi.

Why not also try our Mango Lassi and our Black Grape Lassi?

We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. You can explore all of our Yoghurt recipes here and here. The Drinks recipes are here and here. Or be inspired by our Early Summer recipes.

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Jal Jeera | Indian Minty Iced Summer Drink

It took me a long time to find the balance of flavours in Jal Jeera that suited me. Some attempts, carefully following recipes in some books picked up in India, were undrinkable. Knowing those books better now, they do tend to get ratios in their recipes out of balance. This recipe is a cracker and works well.

You do have to love your Indian spices though. Jal Jeera is a cooling Summery drink full of spices, with cumin and mint featuring. Do try it – it is a unusual drink for Western palates, but worth trying in hot weather if you do love spices.

Other cooling drinks you might enjoy are Mint and Lemon Verbena Iced Tea, Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger, and Jeera Lassi.

All of our Cooling Summer Drinks are here, or explore all of our Indian recipes. Our easy Early Summer Recipes are here.

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Pitta Tea | For Rainy Weather | A Household Essential

Rainy weather tea

I like to drink a cuppa tea each day. It can be anything, white, green, brown, black. Fermented. Not. Herbal, spices or flowers. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Ayurvedic. Gingery. Minty. Rosebuds. Dried apples. Dried mandarin skins. You name it, I drink it. I even grow it! (Lemongrass, lemon verbena, cardamon leaves, kaffir lime leaves, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary…)

Just a note. In India, where so much of our tea comes from, Tea is Tea – real, proper, genuine tea. Anything else is something else. Here, “tea” means something, anything, that is infused in hot water.

Pitta tea, an ayurvedic tea very good for Rainy weather (here, late Autumn and late winter/pre spring weather), is quite drying, so I also make it when I need something to stop runny noses and other unpleasant symptoms of colds and flu.

You might like to also try The Making of Herbal Teas, The 5 C’s Golden Spiced Tea, and Yogi Tea. You can browse all our tea recipes.

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Sevadevi’s Ashram Chai

Made with Love

Long ago, my beautiful friend Sevadevi and I were talking about Chai, and she shared her recipe with me. Today I share it with you. Her Chai takes time, and it is in the time that the spices and tea release their flavours and your love and attention is infused into the chai. Make it while you are pottering around in the kitchen in the morning.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Peppery Chai, Yogi Chai, Cutting ChaiHeavenly Gentle Chai, and Illaichi Chai. There are Chai Variations here.

What about Cardamom Spiced Coffee? Or for a herbal tea, there is Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

You might like to browse our Chai recipes here, or our general Tea recipes here. All of our drinks can be found here and our Indian Recipes are here. You might also enjoy our Late Winter recipes.

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