Masala Chai – fragrant, spicy and good for you warm beverage
Last weekend I visited the Borough Market in London and found my new favourite warm drink, the masala chai. I am sure many of you already tried it, but for me it was a totally new experience and as I don’t drink coffee, I happen to totally fall for this very fragrant, spicy and creamy warm beverage.
So what exactly is masala chai? Simply put, it is a flavoured tea beverage originating from Indiaand made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs.
At the Borough Market I found this tea at the Tea2you stall and after trying it I decided to purchase a box of this great tea, which essentiallyis a blend of Darjeeling black tea with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. But there’s more to it, after you pour hot water over the teabag, you add honey, milk, grated ginger and freshly ground black pepper to the cup. The spices mix superbly together and the kick of ginger and black pepper makes it just perfect.
And nowlet us look at the health benefits of this interesting drink. All the spices that make up masala chai not only have their individual health benefits but they work in synergy to help your body combat inflammation. One of the most important ingredients that helps with inflammation is ginger. Moreover, ginger is a warming spice that boosts circulation, relaxes blood vessels and has a detoxifying effect.Another component that makes masala chai a great tool to reduce inflammation is cloves. Known to be packed with compound eugenol, cloves is great when it comes to reducing inflammation in the muscles of the body and moreover, it also helps lower the amount of bad cholesterol in your body. Another good property of masala chai is the black tea, which is good for your heart, as it is known for the strong anti oxidant properties it contains. Cinnamon is a pungent and warming spice. It helps with aching joints and complements other herbs. Black Pepper, with its piquant aroma, is used to ease away aches and pains, imparting underlying warmth to the body and boosting your metabolism. And last but not least, cardamom stimulates the mind and gives clarity. It is used for treating bloating, fluid retention and helps the digestion process.
This delicious and spicy warm beverage is also a great idea how to expand the menu at juice and tea bars in spas and offer guests new and healthy alternatives to coffee.
Here’s the recipe for making the perfect cup of masala chai by Tea2you:
- Use one teabag per person and add 1 teaspoon of honey (I added only ½ a teaspoon) on top of the teabag.
- Pour over freshly boiled water (¾ of a cup).
- Add milk (I used rice and coconut milk) to your taste.
- Add freshly grated ginger (¼ of a teaspoon).
- Add two twists of freshly grounded black pepper.
- Allow the teabag to brew for 2 to 3 minutes and allow the flavour to fully develop.
But if you can’t finda masala chai blend at the store, I found a recipe how to make a blend of your own:
- ¾ cup water
- 2-4 whole green cardamom pods, smashed
- 1-2 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 11-inch cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon loose black tea leaves
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
Preparation Instructions (Serves 1 cup): Combine all ingredients except milk and honey, and boil for 10 minutes. Strain. Add the hot milk, and mix with honey.
Let me know how you liked the masala chai and if you have a recipe of your own, please do share it