Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spiced Tea / Masala Chai for that sore throat

I am continuing with my series of recipes - hot and spicy to soothe my throat and jog my congested chest and blocked nasal passages and how can tea be left far behind. Our everyday tea cuppa is great to gulp down a sore throat but try a masala chai / spiced tea instead and see the difference. It soothes the throat and at the same time generates heat in the body that opens up the sinuses and aids perspiration.
Water - 2 cup
Milk - 4 tbsp
Tea leaves - 2 tsp
Ginger, crushed - 1tsp
Peppercorn - 7 to 8
Clove - 2
Green cardamom - 1/2, peel and seeds
Sugar as per taste
Use a mortar and pestle / silbatta to crush the ginger, peppercorn, cardamom and clove together. Add the water and this crushed spice mix into your tea kettle and put it on heat. I like to keep it on low to allow the spice enough time to steep. When this mix comes to a boil, lower the heat and let I simmer for a few minutes then add the milk and sugar and let it boil on low. Take off the heat and pour into mugs after a couple of minutes.

Take big sips of the hot tea and let it steam down your throat; the spice and heat warms you instantly.
Notes: I use large mugs and 2 cups of water and milk  reduces eventually to a little less than a cup when the tea is made.
This is more a medicinal tea than the regular masala chai.
When we stayed in the US, I had this tea most evenings on my return from work, it actually thawed me and helped bear the cold Northeast winters.
Benefits of:
- Ginger infused in hot water / tea is known to warm the respiratory tract making it a soothing remedy for colds, flu and coughs.
- Cloves are rich in flavonoids and a component called eugenol that is a mild anesthetic and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cardamom, like ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that limit pain and swelling especially mucus membranes, the mouth and throat. It may help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms and is used for cough and bronchitis as well. 

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