Chai Recipe- Drink to your health!
Chai is not only a flavorful drink, but healthy in itself. I am talking today about the benefits of a traditional chai. The real name for Chai is Masala Chai, which means “spiced tea” or “mixed spice tea”. The word Chai though is simply the Hindi word for tea. I remember having my first chai in 1988 at an Indian Restaurant. Although I would later order it without sugar, and light on the milk, it was delightful.
Many families have their own recipe for chai, so I thought I would share mine. It is a simple, easy to make recipe, and my go to when I am feeling sluggish.
Masala Chai traditionally is black tea, and spices. Tea base- I use Assam tea for our base, and sometimes Gunpowder tea when I want to switch it up. Assam tea is manufactured specifically from the plant Camellia sinensis var. assamica, I like it for its robust flavor, briskness and malty overtones. My husband really loves Gunpowder Tea, which is a form of Green Tea.
4 cups water
4 cups whole milk or Rice, Soy, or Goat Milk
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon chips
1 star anise
1 whole nutmeg
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 vanilla bean, chopped fine
5 teaspoons tea leaves Sweetener, you can use honey, sugar, maple syrup or agave nectar
Bring the water and milk to a boil in a saucepan, gently, you don’t want the milk to overflow. Add the remaining ingredients, except honey turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain*. Add honey and mix well. Store in refrigerator. Can be served hot or cold.
Cardamom seeds (Elettaria cardamomum)- Cardamom is commonly used for digestion problems including heartburn, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal gas, constipation, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. This herb is also beneficial for common cold, cough, bronchitis, sore mouth and throat, and tendency toward infection.
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)- Black pepper may be recommended by herbalists to stimulate digestion, improve blood circulation, and warm the body.
Cloves (Eugenia carophyllata)- Clove as a tea is beneficial for nausea and as an aid to eliminating excess gas in the stomach and the intestines.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)- Used often for digestion and stomach cramps, it is also beneficial for diabetics, and more studies are being done on this. It has also been cited as having a potential usefulness for rheumatism.
Star Anise (Illicium verum)- Is often used for issues dealing with digestions, like upset stomach and loss of appetite. It is also considered beneficial for menstrual issues.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragans)- Is often used for Diarrhea, stomach problems and intestinal gas.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)- Used for nausea, specifically pregnancy, motion sickness and chemotherapy nausea. Ginger has a long tradition of being used for Osteoarthritis.
Disclaimer: For educational use only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.