Vanilla Chai Latte:
Soy Milk 2 cups/ Organic whole milk
Nutmeg - about 1/2 a nut - crushed
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 3 crushed
Mint leaves - 5
Green tea bag - just 1
Vanilla beans (preferably) I used essence tho'
Honey few spoons.
Boil all the spices in about 1/4 cup of water. Filter the same...now dip green tea bags in this concoction for few minutes. Add honey and vanilla to it.
Now, mix the milk and beat them vigorously for about 2 minutes. Once it comes to frothy, its done.
Serve chilled, garnish with mint leaves.
Kashmir Chai:(Cold Version)
Kashmir Chai calls for Saffron, Nutmeg and Almonds/Pistachios besides all the other strong spices. Makes it very unique and rich apart from other Indian Tea varieties. Saffron gives out a distinct aroma and nutmeg gives an earthy flavor. Almonds and pistachios give the crunch.
Masala infused will give a spicy touch! Most of the spices used have healing properties. Ginger, gingeroles present in them promotes good digestion and is a good pain reliever. It has been said ginger also stops motion sickness, during travel. One study claims its effect on arthritis pain. Cloves fight against colds and flu's and helps to regenerate body heat. Cinnamon is the stimulant for the other herbs. Peppercorns imparts warmth to the body and also promotes digestion. Fennel seeds calms the digestive system. Cardamom is not only a mouth refresher but also stimulates the mind. Mint activates brains cells(releases the Acetylcholine) and improves memory power. Needless to say tea leaves are packed with anti-oxidants which prevents free radical damages and reduces oxidation.
Saffron is said to have several healing properties, stomach ailments, colic and stomach discomfort, prevents nausea and to reduce gas. It is used for acne treatments, Eye disorder, Asthma, Arthritis. Also it is valued for its anti poisonous nature, used in the treatment of bee stings, insect bites etc.
Saffron has powerful antioxidant properties that is, it helps to protect living tissues from free radical damage and reduces oxidation. Even in Ayurvedic text it has been attributed that it has extraordinary properties towards improving eyesight and complexion! It also talks about its property towards rectifying birth defects...in which research is going on to claim it effects. Some studies claim its effect as anti-cancer property! Crocetin and Crocin present in them are reported to promote a good memory power.
Caution: Any goodness has its own demerits and so does the Saffron too. As a low dosage it does have all the above said qualities...but if it is used in excess 'Saffron' could be fatal. Too much of saffron consumption is poisonous, besides it has severe abortive properties! In olden days...saffron concoctions were used to do abortion. So pregnant ladies watch out...use them sparingly in your diet, take advise from your physician.
Black Tea leaves 2 teaspoons
Oraganic Whole Milk 2 cups
Cinnamon 1 small stick
Cardamom 3 crushed
Ginger 1" grated
Mint 4-6 leaves bruised
Fennel seeds 1/2 teaspoon
All spice powder 1 pinch
Saffron 1 pinch
Nutmeg powder 1 pinch
Almonds/Pistachios grated 2 teaspoons
Honey/ Sugar to taste.
Throw in all the spices and tea leaves in milk and boil them over low-medium heat for about 7-9 minutes.
Once the bold color is achieved and aroma fills the room, remove from heat and filter the same.
Add honey or sugar to taste. Leave it in the refridgerator for couple of hours.
Garnish with saffron, mint and nuts. Serve chilled.
Tulsi Ki Chai:
Tulsi Tea. Tulasi/ Tulsi ka Chai. Holy Basil Tea. Sacred Basil Tea. Thulasi/ Thulsi Tea recipe.
The Botanical name of this humble herb is Osimum sanctum. The plant is considered sacred by Hindus. It originated from India. Well...again there are 3 or 4 species. Except few, most of them are consumable. The plant is very aromatic, the leaves and inflorescence(flower) are edible here.
Traditionally most of the medicinal plants identified were considered holy and sacred by our ancestors....maybe its a way to protect the ecosystem and balance! When they impose religious faith on an important plant/animal (totem worship is prevalent among old civilizations like China, India, Mayans and Aztec) it is handed down with care to next generation, preventing extinction! That is a way beyond of thinking. I used to get the same feelings when the Rajasthanian tribes worship their black buck, it was on verge of extinction...Govt imposed rules to protect that bird & also announced it as State Bird of Rajasthan. Tribals are really aware of these Eco balance and stuff than educated people sometimes. West always accused Indians for slash & burn system and brown cloud. When tribal only ate the older animal or very young and feeble(which has high mortality rate & they never killed an animal / plants in their peek breeding season) some forest rangers, rich Babus and British hunted and exploited for game and pleasure(during modern history time). Anyways, am I missing the story here! All I am saying is....protect the ecosystem! Do not exploit, pluck the medicinal plants leaves only when there is a need! Try to save a few seeds, as modern life style is not supporting very well for natural pollination.
Science of Basil Leaves:
On general any Basil leaves has an important constituent 'adaptogen', an anti-stress component. Relieves depression related symptoms upon regular consumption. As most of the herbs it is loaded with anti-oxidants....yeah yeah so fights with that free-radicals and reduce oxidation. Besides it has several physiological significance, expertise in pharmacology are working on it....claiming their effect as anti-inflammatory agents, antibiotic, improves one's immune system, lowers blood glucose level, lowers blood cholesterol, lowers triglycerides level, lowers blood pressure. Some sources say chemotherapy for cancer patients shows significant effect, when they fed their patients with these leaves.
Common Medicinal Uses: Popularly known for its cold and cough concoctions. Has an amazing properties to remove severe bronchial phlegm. The decoction of these leaves works well for sore throat, done this tons of times, as a kid. Sure its a good home remedy for cold & flu, I have seen asthma patients chewing these leaves regularly.
Caution: It has severe anti-fertility effect...that is why Hindu priest have them daily in their holy water. So take them wisely only when it is necessary. If you're smart enough, use them as a contraceptive concoctions. It does have a birth control agent.
Holy Basil leaves 10-12
Granulated black tea leaves 1 spoon
Cardamom pods 1 or 2 crushed/ use powder
Ginger 1" grated
Honey 2 heavy teaspoons.
Use fresh or dry holy basil leaves for making this tea. It works both the way.
Heat water, along with tea leaves, basil leaves, cardamom and ginger. Decant the supernatant.
Mix honey and serve. Serves best on a rainy day, winter and flu infected days.
Ginger Tea. Adhrak Ki Chai.
Honey is the first-known sweetener to man. Pure honey never spoils! That right never spoils!! It is packed with nutritional and medicinal properties! It has been shown to kill bacteria, heal wounds and reduce inflamation. From time immeroial Eyptian and Indians used Honey in their medicines....to mix their concoctions. Applied them to war wounds or minor burns.
Nutritional Info: It is a combination of simple sugars-glucose, fructose, maltose and sucrose. Real honey breaks down slowly in the body than refined sugar! So it gives longer lasting supply of energy. So....that is why it helps to control craving! I prefer to add honey to my warm lemon juice....early in the morning, for all the above reasons!
Its good for Sore throat! Honey works well to clear voice(after cough and cold)! It is used to treat ulcer, constipation and BP.
Fresh Ginger - 2" peeled & Grated
Granulated Tea leaves 2 spoons
Honey/sugar to taste
Using mortar and pestle...mince grated ginger. Do not waste its juice.
Now mix this ginger and tea leaves to a pot of water. Bring this to boil. Let this stand in medium heat for really long time. So that the tea leaves & ginger flavour steeps well into water.
Filter and mix with honey. Serve warm as a mind booster. I prefer taking this in the afternoon....when I really feel low and dull.
Ice Tea. Sweet Green Tea. Ice Cold Green Tea. Ice Chai. Kulirntha Theneer.
Green Tea leaves 1-2 spoons
Lime or lemon juice few spoons
Sugar as per taste
Lime or lemon wedges to garnish.
Boil tea leaves using very little water. Maybe barely 1/4 cup or so.
When the leaves really give away color to the water. Decant the liquid. Maybe filter it twice or thrice.
Now make up the volume with ice-cold water. Squeeze lemon juice too. Add sugar and mix well.
Refridgerate it for 2-4 hours.
When it is cold enough...serve with crushed ice and lemon wedges.
Good choice during hot summer afternoons.
Lemon Honey Tea:
Lemon Tea. Neembu ki Chai. Neembukaya Chaya. Elimicham Pazha Tea.
Fresh lemon juice from 1 fruit
Granulated Tea less than a ¼ spoon(or as per taste)
Honey/sugar 2 spoons
Heat 1 cup of water with ¼ spoon of tea leaves in it. Let it boil really well. Filter and discard the leaves.
To this tea decoction, add honey and lemon juice. Mix well.
Serve warm in a small tea cup.