Relax with a beautiful, health giving, herbal Chai
In many parts of India, tea is a daily preoccupation. But whereas in the West, tea is consumed as-is, with only perhaps some milk and sugar, it is common in India to brew it strongly with a range of spices and herbs. It is always served sweet and very milky.
Masala Chai and Cutting Chai are well known tea drinks, but every Indian family will have their own range of herbs and spices that they include. It is very common to use ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, perhaps mint and Tulsi (Indian Holy Basil). I have heard of curry leaves being added. Lemongrass, vanilla, black pepper, fennel, nutmeg, tej pata (Indian Bay Leaves), ashwagandha leaf, pepper, galangal are other possible additions.
Today’s Chai is Tulsi and Mint with Cinnamon Chai. It was such beautiful winter weather this morning, I drank chai in the garden.
Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Chai for the Relief of Colds, Cardamom Chai, Peppery Chai and Chai Variations.
You might like other Tulsi recipes – Tulsi Chai, and Tulsi Rasam. Or read more about the Tulsi Herb here.
You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes here, and our general Tea recipes here. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy our Late Summer recipes.
Continue reading “Tulsi and Mint Chai with Cinnamon | Tea with Herbs and Spices”
This is one of the ubiquitous chutneys of India, made with Mint and/or Coriander, and served with so many snacks, used in sandwiches and slathered onto street food. India has a glorious tradition of mishing and mashing things together to make the most inspired chutneys, and other dishes such as Bhartas.
Use it as a spread or a dip. It goes well with Pakora, Samosa, Chole, Potato Chips, Vadapav, Bhel, Dhokla, Chaat and Snacks, and so much more. Make your own – store bought lacks the beautiful freshness of home made. Use it in inspired ways too – in Salad Dressings, drizzled over grilled cheese and toast, and stir into yoghurt for dips and dressings.
Are you looking for Indian Chutneys? Try Tamil Spinach Chutney, Andhra Spinach Chutney, Coriander and Coconut Chutney, Apricot Chutney and Ginger Coconut Chutney.
What about some more Coriander or Mint recipes? Try Zhug (an amazing Coriander Puree), Coriander Paste, and Mint Paneer.
Want more? Browse all Indian Chutneys, and explore all our Coriander recipes and Mint recipes. All of our Indian Recipes are here. Or simply take some time with our Easy Early Autumn recipes.
Continue reading “Green Chutney | Indian Mint and Coriander Chutney”
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”
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”
Nigel Slater with a dessert of strawberries and raspberries.
I love Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II and perhaps it is even better than the first volume. While browsing through the June recipes (ie those suitable for December in Australia), it was his pairing of strawberries and raspberries that grabbed my attention. The festive season is notoriously hot in many parts and it is beach and BBQ weather every day. Berries are prolifically available in Australia at this time, and their gorgeous colours and flavours suit the season well.
Continue reading “Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce”
Paneer in a lovely mint sauce
Mint Paneer is a variation on Palak Paneer, where the gravy is made from mint leaves rather than spinach. The paneer adapts remarkably well, being an adopter of flavours rather than a determiner of flavours.
You might like to browse our other Paneer recipes here. Or you might like our Indian recipes here and here. Be inspired by our easy Autumn recipes here and here.
Continue reading “Mint Paneer”