Indian Spiced Teas (Infusions) for Good Health

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.

Similar recipes include Tulsi Tea, Ginger Cooler, and CCF Tea.

You can see our Ayurvedic related posts here, and all of our teas and infusions here. Or browse our recipes for hot, Mid Summer weather.

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40 of Our Best Coolers for Summer Heat Waves | Drinks for Seriously Hot Weather

In heatwave conditions there is nothing like something cool and refreshing to drink and to help to keep our liquid intake at good levels. My routine each morning is to make our juice, tea or infusion (to be iced), coolers, iced coffee or lassi drinks ready for the day. Our afternoon tea, in the hottest part of the day, is usually in the shade of trees (if the temperature allows) or in the air conditioned kitchen by the large windows. Sipping something cool or icy on these days is heaven.

Many of our hot teas and infusions are perfect in Summer when iced. Just adjust the recipe to infuse, cool, then refrigerate. Use spices or herbs for iced infusions.

Enjoy these recipes, they just might inspire you and change the way that you think about cooling drinks on hot days.

Similar recipes include Unusual Home Made Juices.

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Tulsi Karha | Tulsi Tea with Spices

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.

Similar recipes include Tulsi ChaiMasala Chai with Tulsi, Ginger and Cardamom, Tulsi, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, Tulsi Rasam, Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

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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Ginger Cooler

Ginger is so very healthy for you, it is a commonly known fact. You can add ginger to your herbal teas and chai’s, your soups, smoothies, yoghurt drinks, salads, salsas, and so much more. Here we use it as a main ingredient in a cooling Summer Drink – an iced herbal infusion/tea.

We have other Summer coolers that you will enjoy. Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger, and Roasted Green Mango Drink. Also try Tulsi Khara, Mint and Lemon Verbena Iced Tea, and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea. Take the teas, make as normal, cool and serve over ice.

You can also explore all of our Summer Coolers, or all of our Drinks. Or you can leisurely browse all of our easy Early Summer Recipes.

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Tulsi, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea

A Herbal Tea, great any time.

A beautiful refreshing tea, excellent in Spring and Summer, and especially nice in Autumn. Minty, health giving, and relaxing. If you don’t have fresh Tulsi, tea bags are easily bought and some places have dried Tulsi leaves. The other day I saw dried Tulsi leaves at my Indian Grocer’s. Or failing that, using Basil will give you a lovely, relaxing tea.

Similar teas include Tulsi Khara, Green Tea, Apple Juice and Strawberry Cooler, Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea, Longan and Young Ginger Tea, and Lemon Verbena and Lavender Tea.

Browse all of our Tea recipes and our Tulsi recipes. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea with Dried Mandarin Peel and Pomegranate Honey

A refreshing tea with enormous health benefits.

Turmeric is a very special spice with amazing medicinal properties, and is one that can be added to all sorts of dishes. Here we add it to Ginger and Mandarin to make an exciting tea for relaxing afternoons.

In order to increase turmeric absorption in the body, we add a little bit of fat to the tea, such as a a little of ghee or coconut oil. Alternatively, a little black pepper can be added as it contains piperine which aids the absorption of turmeric’s curcumin.

Be mindful when handling the turmeric as it stains easily – clothes, cutting boards, kitchen tops, fingers.

Similar recipes include Tulsi Khara, Tulsi, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, and Cranberry Tea with Fennel, Cardamom and Coriander Seed.

Explore our other teas and chai drinks, and browse our turmeric recipes. All of our drinks are here. Or browse our easy Late Winter recipes.

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Ayurvedic CCF Tea | Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea | A Spring Detoxification Tea

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.

You might like to check out a similar tea – Pitta Tea – also suitable for Spring. You might enjoy The Making of Herbal Teas.

Other similar recipes include Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea, 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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Cumquat Tea | Kumquat Tea

The season of cumquats are upon us, and not only are we able to get gorgeous ones from our local Asian Grocery, but friends who are not so kitchen-friendly as me, arrive with baskets of them.

For many years we have made our beautiful go-to cumquat recipes. Marmalade, Chutney, Pickles, Oils, and Soaked in Gin.

But a conversation with a Fijian friend changed, or rather, expanded, the way we think about this tiny, semi-sour globular fruits. He related how they use cumquats like lemons, squeezing the juice into dishes that need that bit of tang. Now not only are they squeezed, we cut them in halves and nestle them into oven baked dishes, they are floated in stocks, soups and stews to infuse, we char grill them for salads, and they find their way, chopped into 2 or 4 or 6, into warm vegetable mixes.

And they are made into tea.

What a delicious infusion this is. Just cumquats, or with mint and/or other herbs added, it is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon pick-me-up. Surprising. Wonderful.

In terms of herbs, use your favourites, and don’t be afraid to experiment with a leaf here and there. Tulsi, basil, mint, thyme, parsley. Add honey if you need a sweetener. I don’t. But some Cumquat varieties are more sour than others.

We have some similar teas for you to try – Longan and Young Ginger Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea.

Are you looking for other Cumquat recipes? Try Cumquats Poached in Sugar Syrup, Cumquat Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant with Cumquat, and Cumquat and Pea Shoot Salad.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes, and all of our Teas. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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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, Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea, and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea. Enjoy your tea with some Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes.

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

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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 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.

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