Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Herbal Chai (Tea)

This herbal Chai contains more then one herb. This is my contribution to the weekend herb blogging hosted by Anh of Food lovers Journey . She has a lovely blog and I couldnt stop myself from contributing.

The first herb is Tulsi. The Tulsi (also known as Tulasi) plant or Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is an important symbol in many Hindu religious traditions. The name "tulsi" means "the incomparable one". Tulsi is a venerated plant and devotees worship it in the morning and evening in India. The aroma of tulasi is divine.

Tulsi as an Ayurvedic medicine

Tulsi’s extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Traditionally, tulsi is taken in many forms: as an herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee(clarified butter). Essential oil extracted from Karpoora Tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal toiletry. For centuries, the dried leaves of Tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.

Its aroma is distinctively different to its close cousin, the Thai Basil which is sometimes wrongly called Holy Basil, in shops and on the internet, but they can be distinguished by their aroma and flavour. Holy Basil is slightly hairy, whereas Thai Basil is smooth and hairless, also Holy Basil does not have the strong aniseed or licorice smell of Thai Basil; and Holy Basil has a hot, spicy flavor sometimes compared to cloves
(For more info ask wiki)

The second herb is fennel seeds. It is a aromatic seed usually used as mouth freshner. But it is also used in Indian food for its unique aroma and strong taste. Fennel seeds also have a lot of medicinal properties.

Third herb is Ginger, I need not say much about this herb as many of you know about it. Ginger and its extracts aid digestion, help relieve stomachaches, flatulence, and promote circulation.Powdered ginger is very effective in treating motion sickness. It’s especially given to kids for proper digestion. Fresh mashed ginger root, when applied to burns, eases the pain.The combination of Pepper, ginger along with honey or cane sugar relieves sore throat, cough and cold.

The fourth is cardamom. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and is often used in baking. In India, green cardamom (A. subulatum), or "elaichi," is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.
(Source Wiki)


1cup of water
1cup of milk
2tsp tea powder
3-4 leaves of tulasi
1pod crushed cardamom
1tsp roasted and crushed fennel seed
1tsp grated ginger


Boil all the ingredients in water for 5 minutes or more and then add milk to this mixture and bring it to a boil. Strain the tea and enjoy. This tea is good for weight reduction, muscle and joint pain. It is very refreshing and aromatic with all the blend of herb and spices. I am serving the tea with some Kaju Pakodis (Cashew savory snack).
I got some dried leaves of tulasi packed from India. Nothing can substitute Tulasi but those who find it difficult to get tulasi can use cloves instead.


Kajal said...

Hi Sharmi,
I am your guest for herbal tea.
French fries look very delicious.
Excellent photo with good recipe.
I also love your stuffed cherry tomato recipe.
Great job.:)))))))))

FH said...

Sharmi,where did you the Tulsi from?! Chai sounds wonderful.Masala chai with herbs!Mmm..!!!

Sharmi said...

Hi Kajal, Thanks a lot for all the lovely compliments.

Asha, I got the Tulsi from my neighbour, she grows the plant inside her house and it stays year around. You too can do it if you find its seeds or the plant itself in Hindu temples. The seeds can be sown in the all purpose soil. I am soon going to do it.

Bong Mom said...

That was a very good one for WHB

I grow Tulsi too and "touchwood" this year it survived the winter.

Asha, you can get the saplings from your temple

Radha said...

Wow, didnt know masala chai helps weight loss! gotto try it now. I had heard that about 'Green tea' helping metabolism & therefore weight loss.
PS: Nice pics! :)

Seema Bhat said...

Sharmi, herbal chai looks good. I am not a tea drinker but I will try to make it for my in laws who will be here next month.

Priya Bhaskaran said...

Herbal chai?? intersting...adding fennel seeds is new to me..I am big fan of tea- will surely try your way..btw, were did you grab the tulsi leaves....

Sharmi said...

Thanks a lot Sandu!!

welcome Radha, Ya but you have to use skim or 2% milk not whole milk.
the fennel seeds have the property to reduce extra flesh.

Seema, I am sure your In-Laws will love it. Impress them by saying its your creativity:)

Hi Priya, Fennel seeds add a real zing to it. Tulasi is from a friend. but will soon have my own plant.

Ranjani said...

Herbal chai is goo to calm the nerves also ..nice tips abt growing tulsi ..thanx:)

Cynthia said...

I like tea but do not make it often. I've had ginger tea but never a fresh herbal tea. I must try making some herbal tea sometime but I know I will not be able to get the Tulsi. I grow a purple basil, can I use that as a substitute?

Reena said...

sharmi, a friend of mine asked me to post recipe for masala chai and i see herbal chai here. i drink green tea every morning and i think your herbal chai would do more wonders because it is 'shudh':).

Anh said...

Sharmi, thanks for your sweet words about my blog. *hug*.

Anf what beautiful post! I can feel the the warmth from all the herbs and spices from here.

I love to try your Herbal Chai one day. I love it a lot in winter, and it is good for me to drink something else not just espresso :P.

Padmaja said...

amazing chai!!!
i can atleast have 5 to 6 cups of tea a day and i try diff herbal teas but i guess ur's the best!!!

Richa said...

so you prefer to have tea over coffee ;-) i too can't have my tea without elaichi.


KA said...

Interesting combo for making tea.. never tried tea boiled with tulasi and fennel seeds before.

Sharmi said...

Thanks a lot Ranjani.

Cynthia, I really dont know about other Basil. but if you or your mom has seen the real holy Basil somewhere before then you can compare the smell for its similarities. Else if some close friend of yours is going to India you can ask them to bring some dried leaves for you. that stays for a long time.


Sharmi said...

Ya Reena the taste of this tea is real divine. thanks a lot.

Hi Anh. thanks a lot and you sure must try it.

Hi Padma, you are something like me girl!! A great tea fan!! thanks for dropping by.

Thank you Richa.

Try out KA it's really nice combo.


KF said...

Hai Sharmi,Chai looks good.We used to make herbal cofee ,in that instead of fennel we put pepper and ..But that thing very diff to drink .But urs looks tasty,Will try this.

All Smiles!! said...

Hi Sharmi!! Herbal Chai sounds yummm.. Amazing pictures too :)

bee said...

beautiful. i'll try it with basil since we don't gt tulsi here.

Kalyn Denny said...

What a fabulous entry for Weekend Herb Blogging. I loved learning a little more about holy basil. I've heard of it, but never actually seen the plant. I do confess, I usually get my Chai Tea from a shop, but I like the idea of making it at home.