Updated: Mar 29
This delicious and comforting tea recipe is a go-to during the colder months. The bitter of turmeric is nicely balanced by the sweet and pungent traditional chai spices.
Access to fresh turmeric and ginger isn't available to everyone so please, use what you can find easily. Most stores carry fresh ginger and many also carry dried turmeric in the spice section. A little goes a long way here. Traditionally chai ingredients vary across Asia and most families have their own particular blend that has been passed down through generations. This recipe is based on the chai I drank in Nepal while studying abroad in my early twenties. In the colder months I use turmeric but in the warmer months I switch that out for either more cardamom or rose powder, both of which have cooling energetics.
I can drink this all year round it's so nourishing and delicious! -E.R.
Makes 1/2 gallon of concentrate
4 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated
3 inch piece of fresh tumeric root, grated OR 2 tablespoons dried turmeric
3 cinnamon sticks
5-6 whole cloves
8-10 cardamom pods, crushed
2-3 whole star anise
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2.5 quarts of water
1 cup Assam black tea (optional)
In a large soup pot add the water, cinnamon, cloves and star anise and bring to a boil.
While the water is coming up to a boil, grate the ginger and turmeric if using fresh. Crush the cardamom pods. Add the ginger, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg and pepper to the pot.
Once the pot boils turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes remove the pot from heat. If you are adding black tea ( I usually don't so that I can enjoy this golden chai any time of day or night) add it now and cover again, steeping for another 5 minutes.
Using a large metal mesh strainer and a clean half gallon glass jar, strain the tea from the pot into the jar. It will have some sediment from the ground spices. If you like, strain the tea into a large measuring cup and then through a coffee filter to remove the sediment. It's a personal choice, I prefer drinking the spices but you do you.
At this point your Golden Chai is ready! You can heat up a 1/2 cup of your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk, add a 1/2 cup of the chai, sweeten with your preferred sweetener and sip away.
This tea can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Let me know how you like this warming and comforting tea and maybe make an extra batch for a friend.