I love Chai – real chai tea – and after trying just about every brand there is I was given a Make Your Own Chai Kit. BEST PRESENT EVER!

The spices used in chai are also very good for you, especially through winter as they are antioxidant rich, good for digestion and anti-inflammatory plus cinnamon helps modulate blood sugar levels, ginger is anti-microbial, chilli is an analgesic and anti-bacterial, cardamom and star anise act as carminatives (relieving flatulence) while black pepper helps increase gastro-intestinal enzyme secretion and the absorption of a number of nutrients including curcumin (found in turmeric). I do tend to go a bit by “feel” when I make this so feel free to make your own adaptations but do try to make a note of what you do for when someone asks you for your recipe!

Here is my version – a cup of anti-oxidant rich, immune boosting deliciousness to help warm you up through this crazy autumn weather (although I have been known to chill it and drink it cold in summer too).

This is the amount for one person/cup:
1 heaped teaspoon black tea leaves or 1 tea bag (I often use Rooibos or a decaf Ceylon)

Grind the following in a mortar and pestle:

  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1cm cinnamon quill
  • 6-8 pieces kibbled ginger or a small knob of fresh ginger, chopped (if it’s organic leave the skin on)
  • couple of chilli flakes
  • 1-2 twists cracked black pepper
  • 2 peices star anise
  • optional:
    decent sprinkle of turmeric

Put the ground spices and tea in a coffee plunger/tea pot with approximately 200ml boiling water, steep for 5 minutes or a tad longer. Pour (through a fine gauge strainer) into a cup until 2/3 full then fill the remainder with warm milk of choice.

OR – you can make it in a saucepan on the stove top. Boil tea and spices for a similar amount of time, you just want to warm the milk through though, not bring to the boil on the stove. Alternatively, as with the tea pot add separately warmed milk to your cup.

OR – I usually make 6 times this amount (plus a couple of extra everything for the pot) in the Thermomix,  blitzing the spices for a few seconds then adding 1200-1300g boiling water. Have the blade running backwards, heat at 100, for 5 minutes. Then add 4-500g milk of choice (basically to the maximum fill mark), 1 heaped teaspoon honey (if you like) and reheat to 70-80 degrees for 2 minutes. This makes enough for a family of 4 with a couple of top ups or you can reheat and drink it throughout the day.

P.S. Made with Rooibos which is naturally caffeine free it is perfectly fine to drink before bed.

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