the White Lotus Kitchen
Chai is an exotic twist on English tea and a fabulous
drink that is perfect for taking the chill off the season
with its aromatic spices and scents. I love the ritual
of making my own chai in the cold, early mornings of
fall and winter, or sans caffeine, as a dessert savored
while sitting by the fire in the evenings.
In many Indian dialects the word chai actually means
tea, and is a creative fusion of East meets West with
its European milk and sweetness blended with the Spice
Routes allure of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger.
Whoever would have thought that chai would become an
American household word and seen on just about every
menu east and west of the Mississippi. Of course, whoever
knew that yoga for that matter would have taken the
West by storm so much so that it is now influencing
its motherland, India, to take up the practice in vast
My recipe is made with Eden Blend, organic rice-soy
milk which I choose for the richness and the balance
of the blend, but you are welcome to follow tradition
using dairy milk, or any type of milk you prefer. You
are also free to add or detract spices to your taste.
This is the beauty and fun of preparing this homemade
elixir. Much like my yoga teaching, I encourage you
to be intuitive and creative in your preparation of
this wonderful drink. There are numerous ways of making
chai. In fact, there is another very simple recipe that
I also adore using mostly fennel seeds and cardamom
for its spice, very subtle and delicious.
With love and warmth, Tracey
1 32oz. carton Eden Blend organic rice-soy milk
3-4 cups filtered water
freshly ground black pepper (optional, but traditional)
agave nectar syrup (or honey)
black tea (optional, but traditional)
In a medium sized pot add milk and water and begin
to simmer over medium-low heat along with
2 heaping Tbs. peeled and freshly grated ginger.
Lower heat and add (after crushing) the following
spices. Be liberal or judicious according to taste.
1.5-2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
4-6 cardamom pods
A grind or two of fresh black
Lower heat and simmer chai gently for 10 -20 minutes.
Sometimes milk develops a skin in the heating
process, simply ladle it off.
Turn off heat and add agave syrup (or honey) to taste.
If you are choosing the caffeinated version:
Steep 2-3 bags of a good quality
black tea in the chai mixture for 5 minutes.
Remove tea bags and strain chai
as you pour into cups to serve.