Masala Chai

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MASALA CHAI

Indija v šalici čaja

(povzeto po Adriene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o8ZWkKZfiE)

Sedem let tega, ko sem potovala po Indiji, sem se zaljubila v njihov tradicionalni začimbni čaj, malo bolj dodelano verzijo klasičnega milk chai-ja, ki ga strički prodajajo na vsakem vogalu. Ah, ja, masala chai mi pred oči izriše prijetne spomine iz tropskega Arambola, kjer sem ga največ spila. V resnici sem besedo chai v Indiji tako pogosto uporabljala, da se mi je po povratku domov še nekaj mesecev v pogovorih z ljudmi dogajalo, da sem namesto »kaj« avtomatsko izdavila slajši – »chai«. Ja, to je resnična zgodba. Po povratku domov sem ga še nekaj časa pripravljala, potem pa sem gladko malo pozabila nanj – do prejšnjega tedna, ko je YouTube po moji jogi začel samodejno predvajati recept za Yogi tea, kot ga pripravi učiteljica joge Adriene, s katero najraje telovadim. Ker z vsem svojim bitjem že kličem jesen v deželo, se mi je zdel tale čaj fajn pika na i mojemu prizemljevanju, pa sem že naslednjega dne kupila vse potrebne sestavine in ga pripravila. Poskusila. In ugotovila, da mi vesolje na pot ni pripeljalo nič drugega, kot moj dragi pozabljeni masala chai.

Sestavine:

20 zrn črnega popra

15 celih klinčkov

20 strokov kardamoma

3 – 5 paličic cimeta

8 rezinic svežega ingverja

1 vrečka črnega čaja

Priprava:

Pripravimo začimbe. Če uporabljamo ekološki ingver, ga niti olupimo ne, ampak samo narežemo na nekaj milimetrov debele rezine; če naš ingver ni ekološki vam vsekakor priporočam, da ga olupite. Stroke kardamoma stremo tako, da z nožem ali pestilom pritisnemo obnje na deski za rezanje. V kozici zavremo vsaj 2L vode in vanjo nato spustimo vse začimbe in vrečko čaja. Pokrijemo in kuhamo pol ure – lahko pa vse do tri ure, pri čemer se moramo zavedati, da se vsebnost kofeina v naši pijači povečuje s časom kuhanja. Ko je čaj kuhan, ga sama precedim, prelijem v večje kozarce za shranjevanje, ohladim na sobni temperaturi in ga nato smuknem v hladilnik, kjer me bo čakal do enega tedna. Čaj lahko pijemo topel ali hladen, kar tako – ali pa mu dodamo žličko medu in curek mleka (rastlinskega ali pa ne, kakor vam paše).

Masala chai segreva telo, zato ga je priporočljivo piti v hladnejših mesecih. Masala chai je zelo podporen za prebavo in prekrvavitev in vsaka sestavina je v njem z razlogom:

*črni poper

To je idealna začimba za vzdrževanje imunskega sistema. Telo segreva, je podporen za prebavo, pomaga pri driski in spodbuja potenje ter s tem izločanje strupov iz telesa.

*klinčki

Klinčki so odličen antioksidant, ki skrbi za naš imunski sistem, pomagajo pri prebavi, preprečujejo rakavo obolenje, varujejo jetra ter uravnavajo raven insulina v krvi.

*kardamom

Kardamom je krasna začimba za dobro prebavo. Prvič sem probala žvečiti cel kardamomov strok na nočnem vlaku iz New Delhija v Kalkuto, ko so ga moje sopotnice po večerji grizljale in ga še meni ponudile, objasnjujoč, da nam bo pomagal dobro prebaviti večerjo.

*cimet

Cimet je ena najbolj zdravih začimb in spisek njegovih zdravilnih učinkovin je zares impresiven. Med drugim uravnava sladkor v krvi, je močan antioksidant, blaži vnetja, varuje delovanje srca, ugodno deluje na kožo in na zdravje ustne votline, ter pomaga pri preprečevanju alergij. Paziti moramo le, da vedno kupimo cimet, na katerem piše Ceylon; če nič ne piše, to običajno pomeni, da namesto tega pravega cimeta kupujete kitajski cimet, Cassia, ki je bolj škodljiv kot pa podporen za naše telo.

*ingver

Ingver pomaga pri blaženju razdraženega želodca, bruhanja, nosečniške slabosti, menstrualnih krčev, bronhitisa, bolečin in krčev.

*črni čaj

Črni čaj, ki ga kuhamo vsaj pol ure, tradicionalno na Vzhodu, kot tudi na Zahodu, uporabljajo za zdravljenje slabe prebave ali driske.

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MASALA CHAI

India in a cuppa

(recipe from Adriene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o8ZWkKZfiE)

When I was travelling around India seven years ago, I fell in love with their traditional spiced tea, a fairly upgraded version of the mandatory milk chai that cheeky babas are selling on every street corner. Ah, yes, the sweet memory of masala chai always takes me to the tropical Arambol, Goa, where I took drinking this delicious, sweet beverage as serious as though it was my day job. In fact, I used the word chai so much in my daily life in India that even months afterwards, when talking to people back home in Slovenia, I would sometimes mistakingsly say »chai« instead of »kaj«, a word meaning »what« in Slovene. And yes, this is a true story. After coming home from India, I used to make masala chai religiously but then as I became a mother and I cut everything that wasn’t kid-friendly from my diet, I forgot about it completely … until only last week, in fact, when YouTube suggested me to watch this video of Adriene making her yogi tea. Much to my surprise, I discovered her yogi tea was actually my masala chai, and I have been making 2 litre batches ever since, both, to aid my digestion and circulation, but also as a way of grounding and to quietly invite the silence of autumn into my here and now.

Ingredients:

20 black peppercorns

15 whole cloves

20 cardamom pods

3 – 5 cinnamon sticks

8 slices fresh ginger

1 tea bag black tea

Directions:

Prepare your spices. If using organic ginger, don’t peel, but only slice it into a few millimeter thick slices; if your ginger isn’t organic, I do recommend you to remove the skin before slicing it. Crush your cardamom pods with your knife, just like you would do with garlic, and set aside. Boil 2 litres of water and add all of your spices to it, as well as the tea bag. Cover and cook for about half an hour on medium heat, but you can cook it longer, up to 2 or 3 hours, as long as you mind your caffeine levels (the longer the tea bag boils, the more caffeine in your drink). When your tea is done, strain it and store it. I usually store it in big glass jars in the fridge where it will last to keep me going for about five days to a week. You can have it hot or cold, whereby my most  favourite way is rather hot with some plant milk and a dollop of honey.

Masala chai has warming properties, so it is most valuable to drink in the colder months of the year. It is very beneficial for digestion, as well as circulation, and there is a reason for every ingredient in it:

*black pepper

This is the ultimate spice to use for prevention. It is warming to the body, especially to the abdomen, which is why it aids digestion, helps with diarrhea, and is a diaphoretic – opens the pores for swearing and is helpful at the onset of the common cold.

*cloves

Cloves are an excellent antioxidant. They benefit our immune system, help our digestion, lower the risk for cancer, are beneficial for the kidneys and balance insuline levels in the blood.

*cardamom

Cardamom is a treasure to munch for better digestion. The first time I had it this way was on the night train from New Delhi to Kolkata, where I travelled with a bunch of Indian girls. After dinner all of them reached for raw cardamom pods and offered them to me as well, saying this is what they typically do to make sure the dinner sits well on their tummies.

*cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the healthiest spices there is, full stop. The list of its healing properties is truly impressive, as it spans from balancing the sugar levels in the blood, reducing infections, aiding the heart function and being good for the skin and the mouth. The only thing to be mindful about with cinnamon is to make sure we always buy the real cinnamon, the Ceylon variety, as opposed to Cassia, which is not as beneficial for the body.

*ginger

Gingers helps soothe the stomach, but also prevents nausea, vomiting and even pregnancy morning sickness (I myself am a living proof). It also helps releive menstrual cramps, bronchitins, spasms and pains.

*black tea

In medicinal uses, tea is usually strongly brewed by simmering the leaves for thirty minutes or more. Tea is traditionally used in both the East and West for cases of diarrhea as well as poor digestion.

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Hvala, ker ste. Hvala, ker berete.

Rada vas imam,

Tamara M.

 

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