Tamarind Molasses | Tamarind Syrup

Very occasionally I come across some fresh tamarind in our local Asian shops. Sometimes it is ripe, sweet ripe tamarind, dark and luscious to eat. But more often it is green, unripe tamarind. The green tamarind has the most intense sour taste that you can imagine. It is eaten as a snack in India with salt and chilli – a hard but padded surface next to you is essential, to bang your fist on when the tartness fully hits you šŸ¤£.

I love to capture that tartness, or the essence of it, by making a Tamarind Molasses (aka Tamarind Syrup). While I make this most of all with the green Tamarind pods, the recipe can also be used for ripe pods.

If you wanted to you can even make this from a block of dried Tamarind or some Tamarind Concentrate. See the recipe notes. It won’t be AS good as using pods, but will still be amazing.

Similar Recipes include Pomegranate Molasses and Quince Molasses.

Browse all of our Tamarind dishes. Or browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Saffron Rasayana for the Weary

Are you weary? Stressed? In need of some relaxation? I have a rasayana for you – saffron in milk with honey and ghee. Amazingly, this drink relaxes and destresses. You feel your breath ease and deepen and worries vanish.

The art and science of rasayana is about lengthening the lifespan, and individual rasayana recipes can be considered as tonics or something that enhances well being. Rasayanas not only include food but behaviours and practices.

This is a very precious recipe.

Similar recipes include Dates and Saffron in Ghee, Dates Milk to fight Fatigue, and Saffron, Date and Almond Rice.

Browse our Rasayanas and Ayurvedic recipes. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Tulasyadi Phanta | Herbal Drink of Tulsi and Spices

There are several recipes for Tulasyadi Phanta. This is one that is not so common – perhaps more recent as it includes lemongrass. It is a infusion that is good for colds and fevers, and also if you are exhausted from work or illness, and need to feel comforted and rested.

The infusion is made with Tulsi, the Indian holy basil, seeped with lemongrass, cloves and cinnamon.Ā  It really is relaxing – as you sip it in the afternoon you feel your body beginning to relax and your breath deepen. It is a gorgeous way to wind down.

Similar recipes include the Ginger Tulasyadi Phanta, Teas for Good Health, and Unusual Teas, Coffees and Infusions.

Browse all of our Infusions and all of our Teas. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Indian Essentials: How to make Chai and Tarak Chai

The word chai originated from the Hindustani word chai which was derived from the Chinese word for tea, known as cha. Chai just means tea in India. Outside of India it is often known as masala chai to indicate the inclusion of spices.

The making of Chai uses techniques that go against all of the rules of British-influenced methods of brewing tea. It is brewed in milk rather than seeped in water. The tea that goes into making chai is simmered for some time, rather than seeped for under a minute or two. It is sweetened as a matter of course. And of course, chai includes spices (although it can be made without spices). Chai tastes nothing like regular tea with milk.

There is a distinct method or ritual for making chai, and one that I will share with you today. Tarak chai (also spelt kadak, karak and tadak) is a strong tea, and describes the taste that you get when tea is simmered rather than seeped, and simmered for a number of minutes.

Chai can be infused in water (milk is added later), directly into simmering milk, or in a combination of milk and water. Each household makes chai slightly differently.

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Collection: Chai Recipes with Love

Chai is the comforting drink that we all need every day. It is made from tea, usually an Assam tea, spices, milk and sugar. The spices are simmered in water and milk with the tea for some minutes to infuse the flavour, and it is sweetened before serving. The tea is simmered with the spices – a different way of brewing it when we consider the dunk-in-dunk-out method of the British and others.

Learn how to make Chai properly here.

Enjoy these 20 or so different Chai recipes.

Similar articles include 30 Soups for Mid Autumn, A Collection of Kitchdi Recipes, and Delicious Recipes with Green Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Chai Recipes, and all of our Collections. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Lemongrass Chai

Lemongrass grows freely in my garden, as it does in India, and it is used to add fragrance and that beautiful lemon flavour to salads, rice and S.E. Asian dishes. But in India its use in cooking is limited despite its availability. It features mainly in drinks and soups, such as this fragrant tomato soup.

Here it is used in a simple but elegant chai – a lemon grass bulb and an Indian tea bag or loose leaf tea. Jaggery or rock sugar is used to sweeten the tea, and it can be taken with or without milk. It is a wonderfully refreshing tea on a warm Summer afternoon or evening. I encourage you to try it.

You might like to read How to Make Chai, and our 20 Chai Recipes.

Similar recipes include Fiona’s Beautiful Chai,Ā  Tim’s Chai, and Tulsi and Mint Chai.

Browse all of our Chai recipes and all of our Indian drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Loquat Sweet Lassi | Indian Sweet Locquat Yoghurt Drink

It is loquat season as I write, and luckily our tree is laden down with fruit. Funny little things the fruit needs to be used straight off the tree, otherwise they bruise easily and can turn brown.

We make lassi with locquats, and they are delicious. Ice cold on a hot day, there is nothing better.

By the way, Loquats can also be spelt Locquats. Go figure.

Similar recipes include Black Grape Lassi, Mango Lassi, Sweet and Tangy Lassi, Strawberry Lassi, and Banana and Berry Lassi.

We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. Explore all of our Yoghurt recipes too. The Drinks recipes are here. Explore our Indian recipes and our Indian Essentials. Or be inspired by our Late Spring recipes.

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Sonth Panak | Tingling Ginger Warmer

In the depths of Winter we turn to hot drinks to warm the body. But there are herbs and spices that will also warm us from the inside. Rosemary is one, ginger another, and black pepper too. This drink uses ginger, cardamom and pepper and will tingle and warm your body in the coldest of weathers. It is consumed either warm or at room temperature, so is a no-fuss recipe.

In India, ginger is well known as a cure for colds and sore throats. Dry ginger powder mixed with water is said to work wonders to relieve stiff joints. You can see that this drink is essential during Winter.

The dry ginger powder is essential to this drink – for maximum effect, don’t substitute with ginger root. The ginger, cardamom and pepper do not dissolve completely. Do as I do and stir while drinking, or allow it to sit for 5 or so minutes, then strain.

Similar recipes include 30 Indian Dishes for Mid Summer, Chai for Winter Colds, Peppery Chai, and Tea for Rainy Weather.

Browse all of our Indian Drinks, our Winter Drinks, and all of our Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Liquorice and Spice Chai | Mulethi ka Karha | Hot or Chilled

Chai made with a range of spices and liquorice root is incredibly good. It is also very detoxifying, so it is a healthy AND flavoursome tonic for an afternoon relaxing hot drink.Ā  Or morning. Or evening.

This recipe is very much like our first chai – Yogi Chai – all those years ago. Spices are roastedĀ  to enhance their flavours, and then simmered. Tea can be added or not – your choice. And it can be sweetened or not. Milk can be added or not. So there is a range of choices and variation.

While it is usually consumed piping hot, it is also wonderful chilled and sipped on hot days and in those heatwaves so common in the area where I reside.

Similar recipes include Lemongrass Chai, Sonth Panak, Yogi Chai, Fiona’s Beautiful Chai, Spring Chai, and Heavenly Gentle Chai.

Browse all of our Chai recipes and all of our Indian drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Nimbu Sherbet | Indian Lemonade or Limeade

Traditionally India has not had a strong culture of alcoholic drinks, except for a few pockets where naturally fermenting products meant some developed a taste for it (and a reputation, no doubt).

Consequently India has such a rich variety of non-alcoholic drinks, a seemingly infinite variety of all types of drinks – hot, cold, juices, milk based, fruit based, yoghurt based, infusions, coffees, chais, with seeds, without seeds, … It is fascinating to those of us who grew up in countries where choices are limited to water, coffee, tea, wine and beer. Perhaps some soft drink and orange juice. Maybe apple juice. But not much beyond that.

Additionally, the weather is hot in India, rivalling our own temperatures of 40C – 45C in Summer, with the additional humidity in India. Right before the monsoon is when the heat is the most unbearableā€“daily extreme temperatures and 100% humidity. There is no choice but to adapt, and until more recently, electricity was not available everywhere for aircon. So shady houses and verandahs can be common, people stay out of the heat in the mid day, roof tops are used at night for cooler breezes, and refreshing drinks are made in the afternoons.

Also, many drinks contain salt. It makes the drinks very tasty, but there is also a health reason for this – in heat we lose salt from our bodies through our perspiration. So rehydrating drinks in the afternoon provide water, salt and also sugar for energy in the heat. How sensible!

Already we have posted (and made) a range of Indian drinks, especially Lassi (great for Summer mornings!) and Chai (excellent afternoon and evening cold weather cuppas), and a few cold drinks (Summer sipping). Today is definitely a hot weather drink – Nimbu Sherbet, Indian Lemonade (or Limeade).

Similar recipes include Panakam, Jal Jeera, Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint, and Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Iced Tea.

Browse all of our Indian Drinks, and all of our Coolers. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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