Updated: Dec 7, 2020
by Mira Manek from Prajna: Ayurvedic Rituals for Happiness
from Beder’s Kitchen (Meze Publishing)
Chai is synonymous with India. If you’re Indian, it’s usually the first thing you drink when you wake up and what you have after your afternoon siesta to give you that burst of life and energy.
I created my chai spice mix with my mother and grandmother several years ago, which involved lots of trying and sipping and adding more of one spice and then a dash of another... we were all chai’d out! Different parts of India make chai in very different ways, from boiling it with lots of grated ginger to simply crushing cardamom pods to using a masala spice mix, the way I do. However, the dominant spices are always ginger and cardamom, so you could start working with those to create your own favourite blend.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
1 mug of any milk you like
1 English breakfast teabag
¼ - ½ tsp ground ginger or 1cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
¼ tsp ground cardamom (optional)
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Here are two simple ways to make a morning chai at home:
The true Indian way is to boil all the ingredients together in a small saucepan for 5 to 10 minutes on a low to medium heat, then strain the chai into a mug and enjoy.
To make a quick chai directly in your mug, place the teabag in your mug as normal then add the quarter teaspoon of ground ginger, and a little sugar if you like.
Pour some boiling water from the kettle slowly into the mug, stirring as you pour, leaving enough space for milk.
Top up the chai with any milk you like (I use almond or oat milk) but again pour slowly and stir as you pour.
Stop worrying about what you can’t change about the past or what you might be doing in a year’s time, and just don’t care what people say and think. It is so much easier said than done but if you try to say this out loud every day, you will start believing it.