I first came across chai tea after a kundalini class at a San Francisco ashram. I instantly fell in love with it. The traditional recipe comes from the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda and uses five main spices: ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and black pepper.
Each ingredient carries beneficial properties—black pepper is considered a natural blood purifier, great for healthy, radiant-looking skin, while cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, aid in digestion, and fight colds. (And a fun aside on ginger: In addition to its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties, it’s said to have aphrodisiac properties.)
How to Make Delicious DIY Chai:
(makes two servings)
1.5 cups of water
4 cardamom pods (crush them for more flavor)
4 whole black peppers
1/2 cinnamon stick
4 slices of ginger root
1/4 tsp. of loose black tea (or 1 tea bag)
1/2 cup of milk
1 tbsp. of sugar
1. Throw all the spices in the water and bring it to boil. Let it simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or longer (the longer the better as the spices release more flavor).
2. Add black tea and steep for another two minutes.
3. Add milk and bring everything to a boil again. Watch your tea closely. As it starts boiling, remove it from heat and add sugar. Mix well, strain before pouring into a cup, and enjoy!
Photo by Bea Represa via Flickr (cc)