This is my homemade chai recipe, inspired from my Ashram years. I was dedicated to Ashram living from around age 17 ’til my mid 30s. Living in NYC, it was easy to travel upstate to the Catskill Mountains, at every opportunity I could take. I look forward to being able to return for retreat and to deepen my meditation practice again. After returning back to Sydney, I started my own fashion label, with the best team mate ever, Vicki Lee, and we worked with every ounce of our beings on the label (as you do!). We got it to a place we had dreamed it would be at, with worldwide sales in UK, USA, Japan, South America, Australia, NZ, Hong Kong. Then my husband’s cancer diagnosis rattled the cage. We stopped production and cancelled orders so I could take care of him. When it was time to return to the fast paced, ever stressful company we had built, it became clear as day that neither of us wanted it any more. Cancer puts a lot of things into perspective very fast.
This chai has so many elements to heal the body (unlike that syrupy milky drink that most people think of when they think of chai) and this is how I make it. Experiment and adjust to your personal taste. There are so many health benefits to chai (not the store bought variety), see at the bottom how it helps!
Serves 3 (multiply as you need)
4 cups water
7 cardamon pods (ground in pestle with shell)
1.5 tblsp grated fresh ginger (I like it spicy hot, add less here if you dont)
1 Cinnamon stick (ground in pestle)
1 tsp ground cinamon
1 cup milk of your choice (we use Bonsoy)
2 tbls loose tea leaves (I like Madura tea as it’s great flavour, low in caffeine, high in antioxidants and is eco sensitive)
Raw Honey to taste
Add all ingredients except milk and tea leaves and put on low heat for 30-45mins, do not let it boil (slow low heat cooking is much more beneficial and doesn’t burn the ingredients, if it boils, just reduce heat). The water should be lightly steaming. If you’re feeling super fancy and you want to take extra time, then in a separate pot place cardamon and milk together (creates a beautiful aroma).
Turn the heat off and add the tea leaves. Let it be for a few minutes.
Strain into a pot and add Raw Honey.
If you have separated the milk w’ the cardamon, then add the milk to the pot.
If you have not separated, then pour into cups and add milk as required.
CINNAMON: regulates blood sugar, (diabetics and hypoglycemics), stabalises moods. Reduces LDL cholesterol levels. (LDL is also known as the harmful cholesterol. Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.) Natural anti-infectious compounds. (In studies, cinnamon has been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens.) Reduces pain linked to arthritis. Cinnamon has been shown in studies at the Department of Internal Medicine, Kangnam Korean Hospital, to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain. May help with cancer, menstrual pain, infertility, and more.
CARDAMON “The Queen of Spices”: Detoxifies the body of caffeine, stimulates digestive system and reduces gas, expectorant action, improves circulation to the lungs and thus considered good for asthma and bronchitis, anti-spasmodic [suppresses pain due to involuntary muscle contractions], counteract excess acidity in the stomach, stimulates appetite, eases stomach cramps, infused in water eases colic pain in children, has a calming effect.
GINGER: Anti-Viral, aids digestion, relieves colds/flu congestion, boosts immunity, relieves diarrhoea and morning/motion sickness, recent studies show benefits for osteoarthritis.
CLOVES: Anti-parasitic, eradicates bacteria, antibiotic effect, antiseptic, bactericidal, great for tooth or mouth pain as it numbs the area, good for concentration (add a clove under your tongue if you’re studying or needing to be very alert!), alleviates infection.