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, and Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

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

Continue reading “Chai Masala for Relief of Colds”

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.

Continue reading “Banana and Berry Lassi | Yoghurt Smoothie”

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? My form of Golden Milk or Turmeric Latte (the current fashion here).

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. We have more Chai recipes scheduled, quite a few really, so check back here regularly.

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.

Continue reading “Peppery Chai”

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, 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.

Continue reading “Illaichi Chai | Cardamom Chai”

Longan and Young Ginger Tea | Dragon Eye Tea

Longan Berries are warming, according to Chinese philosophy. So this tea is great for warming the toes on cold nights, or perfect for when a cold is coming on or you just feel cold. Enjoy this by the bowlful.

Longan are sold fresh and dried. For tea, it is much more convenient to use dried. They are loved by the Chinese and used commonly across China. They are used to flavour many dishes – winter sweets, sweet Chinese soups and congee. Great for snacks on their own if freshly dried, or mix with raisins and other dried fruits, and walnuts and other nuts.

It is easy to find them. Wander the aisles of your local Asian/Chinese shop until you find the dried fruit section. Sometimes you will find them sold in bulk. Choose ones that are soft, like raisins, and avoid the harder dried ones. Store them in a jar in your pantry, keep them in the fridge, or even freeze them to preserve them well.

In China this tea would be called a sweet soup. Serve it with the berries in the tea. You can strain them out if you prefer, but they are lovely left in and munched on as you sip. Longan are very relaxing and good for the memory as well.

Are you after other Teas? Try Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea (Ayurvedic CCF Tea), and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea.

Explore all of our Teas, and our Chinese dishes. Or take some time to browse our warming Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Longan and Young Ginger Tea | Dragon Eye Tea”

Ayran | Middle Eastern Yoghurt Drink

A Summer-time salty yoghurt cooling drink from the Middle East.

I am keen on yoghurt drinks in warmer weather. Somehow they keep me feeling well and balanced. Lassi drinks – India’s contribution to the world of yoghurt drinks – are diverse and wonderful. Smoothies, made with yoghurt, encapsulate the modern trend of blending ingredients together. And the Middle East has much to offer.

This recipe is Ayran/Airyan, a drink claimed by both Turkey and Bulgaria. But it is popular across all of the Middle East. Syrians and Lebanese call it Laban Ayran. In Iraq and Jordan it’s called Shenina. And if you add a little crushed or dried mint to the drink, you’ll have Doogh, the Iranian version of Aryan.

Ayran is a mixture of yogurt, cold water and salt, but there are variations. What makes its Ayran special is that it is quite frothy. For example, one variation, the Susurluk Ayran, comes from a small town, Susurluk, in Turkey. The ingredients are the same, but in Susurluk restaurants cirulate the Ayran through a faucet, using high speed pumps, and this creates a foamy texture with a heavy creamy top. It is very famous, and eaten with a cheese panini-like dish called tost.

Are you after Yoghurt Drinks? Try our Lassis, we recommend Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil, Jeera (Cumin) Lassi, and Mango Lassi.

You can find all of our Yoghurt Drinks here – please browse. Also browse our Middle Eastern recipes here, and all of our Yoghurt recipes here. Or explore our easy Early Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Ayran | Middle Eastern Yoghurt Drink”

Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea

Persian food is pretty extraordinary, and one of the more unusual ingredients that features in it is the Dried Persian Borage Flower. This is different to the European Borage flower which is quite tiny compared to the Persian one. Beginning life as a pink flower, it turns blue as it dries. It has such a relaxing quality, that making tea from it is a perfect evening task.

You can find Persian Borage Flowers online, at Persian shops or at Afghan shops. I found mine recently at a local Afghan shop. Also close to the Borage Flowers you will see the Persian Dried Rosebuds. I like these better than the Chinese ones as the Chinese ones currently available have had a strange colour and no flavour or aroma (I think they are dyed). The Persian ones are so fragrant and a natural pink in colour.

While you are at the Afghan or Middle Eastern shop, pick up Dried Limes as well – they will be near the spice section. Intensely lemony, they feature often in Persian and Middle Eastern food, and we put some in this tea. They come in black and yellow-brown colours. Either will do. I love the look of the black ones and the slight smoky flavour they add.

Also near the dried ingredients you will find Dried Mint. You will need a pack of this as well. Also pick up coriander seeds, saffron and cinnamon sticks if you don’t have any at home. And for a treat, grab a packet of nabāt, crystalised rock sugar on sticks. It is a beautiful sweetener with a lovely clear flavour, without any taste of caramel.

You might like to try our other teas made from herbs and spices. Try Cardamon, Cinnamon and Clove Tea, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, or Balinese Lemongrass and Ginger Tea.

You will find all our our Teas here, or just browse our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea”

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.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series of recipes from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Tea recipes here and here. Our Chai recipes are here. Or browse our Indian recipes here.

Continue reading “Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Infusion (Tea)”

Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea | Ayurvedic CCF 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.

Continue reading “Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea | Ayurvedic CCF Tea”

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.

Continue reading “Heavenly Gentle Chai”

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.

Continue reading “Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil”

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.

Continue reading “Jal Jeera | Indian Minty Iced Summer Drink”

Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint

As soon as the hot weather hits, thoughts turn to iced drinks and drinks that are cooling on the system. Iced teas, iced coffee and juices are our go-to coolers. This juice uses watermelon and is delicious! It is best to buy watermelon later in the season, no early watermelons. They are lacking in the true watermelon taste.

Don’t be afraid to add other cooling juices to the watermelon. Strawberries go very well with this. Cucumber and zucchini too, although green and red juices together go a murky colour. They taste amazing, but are not so visually appealing.

You might like to explore other drinks and juices. Would you like to know how to extract Pomegranate Juice? Or explore our Mid Summer recipes here.

Continue reading “Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint”

Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea

When the weather warms, so does the need for cooling drinks. Herbal teas are wonderful. So versatile, they can be sipped in the morning for a refreshing morning break, or drunk iced in the afternoon for a true cooling experience.

Make a whole jug full in the mornings, and put the remainder in the fridge for the afternoon. You can even pour some into ice-cube trays, place a mint leaf in each, and freeze for the afternoon iced tea.

You might like to try some of our other herbal teas – they are all suitable for being served iced during the summer months. Or check out our Drinks in general. You might like to explore our Early Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea”

Dates Milk to Fight Fatigue | Kharjoor Ksheera

Dates, quite a wonderful food item. Lately I have been buying them from a local Afghan grocery. Their dates are fat and juicy and are perfect for snacking.

Dates are used in several cultures as strong healing ingredients, and fighters of energy lapses. Enjoy this drink morning or night to overcome energy sapping tiredness. Dates are soaked in milk for some hours to make the tonic. It is surprisingly sweet and delicious, not at all a medicinal taste.

You might like to also try our Dates and Saffron Soaked in Spiced Ghee.  Try some other Ayurvedic recipes: Cardamon, Coriander and Fennel Tea, Ginger and Tulsi Tea, and Diet and Consciousness.

Enjoy our other Date recipes. Or explore our Ayurveda recipes. Perhaps you would like to browse our Indian recipes here. You might like to check our Late Spring recipes here.

Continue reading “Dates Milk to Fight Fatigue | Kharjoor Ksheera”