As you know, this is not a food blog, but I just got back from braving the snow that is hitting Chicago (once again) and felt the need for a warm drink. So, with absolutely no signs of warm air heading our way, I figured a warm drink with the soothing scents of summer would be right up everyones alley. Enter: Lavender Chai.
Chai was originally created as an Ayurvedic drink in South India made only with herbs and spices. Over thousands of years this drink has evolved to include sweeteners and black tea while also maintaining the addition of various spices (you may know it as masala chai).
This drink is a staple in my home, just as it is in every other Indian home. In fact, this is the first thing I learned to make as a child standing on a stool next to my parents. This drink is also the reason we still gather around the kitchen counter at the end of the day.
Recently I went to The Spice House (http://www.thespicehouse.com/) and bought a bag of lavender flower buds for just a couple of bucks. As soon as I got home I decided it just needed to be in my cup of chai. I’ve got to say that this one is my absolute favorite version.
Now, it may seem that this is too much work, but these ingredients are very easy to come by and this process is not all that long. Just promise you’ll give it a go (and if you decide not to, I’m happy to make you a cup on my own!)
yield: 1 cup
cardamom pods (3-4)
anise seeds (1/2 tspn)
loose black tea (1 tspn)
lavender (1 tspn)
whole milk (1/4 cup)
Fill your mug of choice with water and set it to boil in a small pan
As the water heats up, break apart the cardamom pods and toss them into the water
Add the anise seeds, black tea, and lavender
Once everything is added, let the water rapidly boil for 1 minute
Slowly pour in the milk (you can even add more than 1/4 cup)
Keep an eye on the pan as you let the chai boil once more. As soon as it begins to boil, remove the pan from the stove
Place a strainer on the cup to catch all the ingredients – add sugar or honey and enjoy!