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.

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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.

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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 by 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. The Persian ones are so fragrant and don’t colour your tea the way the Asian ones do.

While you are there, pick up some dried limes as well – they will be near the spice section. Intensely lemony, they feature often in Persian food and we put some in this tea. Also near the dried ingredients you will find dried mint. You will need a pack of these two. Also pick up coriander seeds, saffron and cinnamon sticks if you don’t have any at home.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

You might also like to try Seva Devi’s Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai. What about 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 expore our easy Winter recipes or our easy 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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Cardamom Spiced Coffee

Are you wishing that you could have a nice spiced coffee, the way that Chai adds spices to the humble black tea to create a wonderful, headily aromatic drink that is both warming and nourishing? Well, you can. Apart from some small pockets of this planet, it has been a well kept secret. But let that be no longer.

The simplest way to spice up your coffee is to add some cardamom. This elixir is common in Israel and the Middle East as well as India. Make your coffee as usual, adding some cardamom seeds, or crushed cardamom pods to the coffee grounds. The bitterness of good strong coffee with the sweet, pungent flavour of cardamom is not to be underestimated. Not only does cardamom coffee taste delicious but in Ayurvedic medicine the cardamom is reputed to reduces the acid in coffee and neutralise the over-stimulating effects of caffeine.

But it doesn’t end there. Other spices can be added too. Cloves, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger can be added – singly or in a mix.

You might also  like our other Coffee recipes and our Chai suggestions.

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Lemon Verbena and Lavender Tea

A healthy tea for the Autumn months. It is gentle but wonderfully flavoured.

Autumn is a marvellous time to trial a range of healthy herbal teas. Often you will have the ingredients growing in your garden. Be careful, of course, choose only edible plants and herbs. This is a healthy tea for the Autumn months. It is gentle but wonderfully flavoured.

Please browse all of our teas here and here. Or be inspired by the Autumn recipes here and here.

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Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea

A tea to take you back to Bali

The combination of strong ginger and lemongrass is quintessential Bali. This is a tea that still features often at our place. Not only is it such a peaceful tea, engendering bliss and well being, it is great for the appetite and digestive system.

You might like our other Tea recipes here and here. Or browse our other Balinese recipes here and here.

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Seasonal Cooking | Teas and Drinks, and Sweet Desserts for Mid Spring Enjoyment

Inspiration for Mid Spring Healthy Living

At all times of the year, sweet things are important to balance the other tastes. As the warmth comes in, the longing for sweet bites decreases a little. Spring fruits and early Summer fruits hit the market, and we are content.

Celebrating Spring

Some gorgeous inspirational Desserts for you this Mid Spring. You can also browse

Other gorgeous Springtime posts include:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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