There is a tradition in various parts of the world to add salt and some fat or oil to tea and/or coffee – from Ayurveda to Nepal to Mongolia and other parts of the world. We make an easy version of this using our common domestic coffee making equipment.
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. Or morning. Or evening.
This recipe is very much like our first chai – Yogi Chai – all those years ago. Spices are roasted 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.
One can’t overemphasise the delicious and nourishing qualities of mung beans. Use the whole green beans for delicious, grounded, darker flavours, and the hulled yellow split mung dal for lighter, summery yet nourishing flavours.
This dal comes again from The Monk’s Cookbook by the beloved Monks on Kauai. A very simple dish but one packed with flavours. Their recipe feeds 20, and I have modified it down to a family meal size. It takes no more than about 45 mins to cook – 35 – 40 for the dal and the rest for the tadka.
We love iced spiced infusions in Summer and hot, warming infusions in Winter. We call them Teas, even Herbal Teas, but there is hardly a herb in site in these, and there are no tea leaves to be found. In India, any label that includes “Tea” indicates the presence of tea leaves, so to call an infusion a tea is very confusing there. Here, we call anything that is infused and sipped a tea.
These infusions can be consumed hot or chilled over ice. As I write it is 42C here in down town outer Adelaide. We have a spice mix infusing in the large tea pot. When it is cool it will be refrigerated and served over ice in the heat of the afternoon. It might be garnished with lemon slices and lemon verbena leaves, or maybe mint leaves.
The thing about spiced infusions is that they do have Ayurvedic properties. I have listed doshas here, but if you haven’t heard of doshas, then ignore them and just enjoy the spice combinations. Please note that I am not am Ayurvedic practitioner, so if you need health advice, please consult a professional.
I collect recipes for different Ayurvedic infusions and chai – these are ones that I’ve come across recently.
There are a number of stuffed okra dishes, and each is so good and so worthy of being made. Use fat okra for this dish – they can be long or short, but they do need some body.
This is a beautiful stuffing made from coconut (use frozen if you don’t have fresh), coriander leaves and spices. The recipe calls for Goda Masala, and you can make your own or purchase it from your Indian grocers. If you can’t find this lovely spice powder, use Garam Masala instead.
This recipe’s inspiration comes from the beautiful and well-known book Sukham Ayu: Cooking at Home with Ayurveda Insights, by Jigyasa Giri. I love this gentle book which builds Ayurvedic wisdom, sattvic approaches and down-to-earth Indian dishes.
Winter comes, and the rains too, and colds and flu inevitably do the rounds. In India it is the monsoon time that is the worst. Luckily there are a range of drinks – chais and infusions – that at least alleviate the symptoms, and perhaps even shorten the length of the suffering.
A Karha, or Kadha, is an Ayurvedic drink made with herbs and spices that are simmered in water to extract their benefits. Karha are generally made with whole spices, herbs and other ingredients found in all Indian households, so they are inexpensive ways to strengthen immunity and fight infections.
One such herb is Tulsi, or Indian Holy Basil. It is a powerful herb in many respects. We have a number of recipes that make use of the properties of Tulsi.
In this recipe it is combined with the classic trio of spices called CCF – cumin, coriander and fennel, and it adds some cloves and cardamom as well. I know you will enjoy it, and it will help your cold if you have one. It also makes you feel incredibly warm and toasty. May you get well soon.
This is a recipe for a tonic (kashayam) that is like a tea, but is called a coffee. Indeed some recipes actually include coffee powder, but the version that we make will leave that as an option. The reason that it is called a coffee, we believe, is that a powder is made and then a teaspoon or so of the powder is used to make the hot drink. Just like making instant coffee. We might call it a tea, as we call most infusions a tea, whereas in India, the term chai (tea) is reserved for drinks made from actual tea leaves. In the same way that we reserve the word coffee for anything made from the coffee bean. Language can be a maze sometimes.
It is a South Indian recipe, and is excellent to drink at any time (once per day), and 2 or 3 times a day if you are ill. It is good for a number of ailments – colds, nasal congestion, fever, headaches, and digestion issues.
The amount of dry ginger (Sukku) in the drink may be too much for first time users. The Malli (coriander seeds) tempers it, but reduce the amount of powder used until you get used to the heat.
Another wonderful Chai recipe
This is the chai recipe given to me by an Ayurvedic doctor from Pune, India. He would visit Sydney regularly to give courses and I was lucky enough to attend several of them.
His chai recipe is not dependent on ratios, just the ingredients. Mix them to your own taste preferences. The best way is to make a small jar of chai blend, and then use the mix to make your morning cuppa.
Tim says that
Chai is an art that must be discovered. The ingredients are the map but the combination is your own journey. The secret is in the intention of the heart.
It’s true, and there is much that you will discover as you make Chai. How to bring it together to get the best flavours. Which spices work best with your body. Which spices work best in the different seasons. Whether you have the patience to make chai well. Are you too impatient? How to keep yourself healthy with the combination of spices, and how to bring yourself back to health when you are out of balance. Which milk to use, whether you add ghee or coconut oil at all to your chai. Does a pinch of salt help? Which chai relaxes you and which invigorates you?
All of these and much more is just part of your individual Chai Journey.
Get rid of winter blues with this Spring tea.
A delicious tea that is perfect for Spring. Nicknamed CCF tea, Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea is a simple and well known Ayurvedic recipe. In Ayurveda, teas are the traditional method of delivering the medicinal effects herbs and spices to the body. They are generally made by seeping a single herb or spice, or a blend, in hot water.
CCF tea is said to be detoxifying, helpful in losing weight, and in burning up the excess of spring moisture. The wetness of Spring rains can cause runny noses and digestive mucus, including sever swelling.
CCF tea is also said to stoke your metabolism and digestive fire, restoring vitality where winter sluggishness abounds. This is something that I certainly need. It warms your circulation and clears any water retention. Its mild bitterness revs up the spring detoxification process and purifies the blood. It restores tone and tightness to swollen spring tissues. It is a soothing formula that reduces agitation and inflammation. It restores a calm clarity and spaciousness to a tense mind. How can you not drink it? This information is from Joyful Belly‘s wonderful blog full of Ayurvedic information. Begin to make CCF when the daffodils start to bloom – a sure sign that spring is approaching.
Join me as I drink this with meals every day for 2 weeks.