Kashaya, Sweet & Spicy Herbal Drink



Kashaya, Sweet & Spicy Herbal Drink


On a chilly December morning, what is it that you really really enjoy! A hot cup of tea/coffee/cocoa right? For some people (like me) it doesn’t end with a morning cuppa… I crave a tall mug of something hot and sweet all through the day!

I used to be a HUGE coffee lover. I could drink 5-6 coffees a day and feel absolutely great. Not just any coffee, I am talking sweet, milky and super strong south Indian filter coffee! Then when I was pregnant with my daughter I decided to cut down on coffee and slowly switched to tea. After that I never really got back to coffee. It’s been 2.5yrs now and I only have coffee once in a blue moon.  I really missed coffee in the beginning but I think my body felt a lot better without coffee. Every time I had my occasional coffee my skin would break out or I would have painful mouth ulcers.


Kashaya powder


Till recently I was comfortable with my big mugs of tea, sometimes green, herbal, sometimes black, with or without lemon but most of the time the regular Indian sweet milk tea/chai. I used to make it with different spices like ginger, cinnamon and cardamom too. But a few weeks ago I started feeling a little strange even with tea, my skin looked like I have had coffee! I think I was drinking too much tea, thanks to lovely Bangalore weather. I couldn’t have more than a mug of tea a day. That really made me sad.

‘How do I live without tea’ I thought! ‘I have to drink something hot and sweet’. I really enjoy first few hours of my morning with lots of tea. That’s when my mom suggested switching to Kashaya! ‘Ewww… Kashaya, No way!’ was my first response. Now let me clarify, before you jump into conclusions, Kashaya is nowhere close to ‘Ewww!’ But my only memory of Kashaya was from my childhood, where anything healthy was considered not tasty. I know I am not the only child who hated this delicious herbal drink but now that I have a much better palette, I decided to give this drink one more chance!


it's the healthy and hearty Kashaya


‘Kashaya’ is a sweet herbal drink made out of several Indian spices. Different combinations of herbs and spices used result in many variations of this drink. Mine; which is the most common one, consists of Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds and Black Pepper. All spices are slowly dry roasted till fragrant and ground into a powder. This spice powder is then boiled in water with some jaggery and a little bit of milk is added to it at the very end.

Each one of the spices used in this drink has a long list of health benefits. This drink is in fact very medicinal. It has a beautiful earthy fragrance which (though I couldn’t enjoy as a kid) I completely love! It’s sweet,  slightly spicy from the black pepper with a deep flavour from all the spices used.


a hot cup of Kashaya is my drink this winter!


If you like any one of the spices used in this recipe, especially coriander seeds, please try this once! I have been enjoying tall glasses of Kashaya every day and my body feels so much better after switching to this wonderful healing drink.

All medicinal ingredients, completely homemade, healthy and hearty, a hot cup of Kashaya is my drink this winter!


Cumin and coriander seeds


Fennel seeds


Black pepper


My spice blend for kashaya…


kashaya powder


Herbal and medicinal concoction


sweet, slightly spicy and soothing Kashaya




For the powder:

  • 1 cup coriander seeds
  • ½ cup cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

For kashaya:

  • 2-4 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • 1 tsp kashaya powder


Dry roast all the ingredients in low flame till fragrant. Let it cool completely and grind into a powder. Store in an airtight container.


To make kashaya:

Boil 1 cup water with 1 tsp kashaya powder and 1 tbsp jaggery for 2 mins. Add 2-4 tbsp milk and turn off the heat. Strain and enjoy the drink hot.

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  • B P Taneja

    hello, can this be made using un
    -roasted spices(coriander,cummins,fennel.black pepper)boiled in water & then add milk. pl advise. thanks. B P Taneja

  • Neechadi

    Excellent post. Clearly outlines the steps to prepare Kashaya at home. In case one is not able to prepare the powder on their own, there are lot of ready kashaya mixes available in the market such as this one – http://hemsfoods.com/products/kashaya-powder/

  • Sheba Shankar

    Hi, perfect recipe I was searching for. As we live in the UK my children always catch cold through the winters. I used to give them turmeric milk every night but didn’t seem to work much. I”ve started kashaya milk first thing in the morning now. Hoping to have a healthy winter.
    A question, I’ve used omam instead of fennel seeds, is it ok? Can we drink this every day?

  • Apurva

    Hi – I loved this drink as a kid! It just faded into my nothingness in the recent days, sadly.
    Just a thing that my Ajji used to do.. she used to put Kama kasturi leaves. I believe they are the sweet basil leaves. Best cure for a sore throat. Not kidding.

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  • lakshmi

    Is it OK if we just boil 1tsp of powder in 1cup water without milk n jaggery

  • Subha

    Love the recipes in your website. the pictures and instructions attract and makes me try them.
    Reg Kashayam-these ingredients will also make the tea taste wonderfully adding to the health benefits
    dry dinger (chukku)
    licorice root (adhimadhuram)
    Palm sugar (panang kalkandu) (instead of jaggery)
    The licorice root is basically very sweet, so reduce the amount of sugar while making the tea.

    • Chinmayie

      Thank you so much of the tips Subha 🙂 I added cardamom, dry ginger and cinnamon to it when I made the powder yesterday. Will surely try licorice root next time.

  • Anupama

    Chinmayie, I am so going to love your blog. Its my first visit and I am sure I will be dropping by often 🙂
    I came here on seeing the Kashaya link on FB. After reading this post…”same pinch”….I too was an ardent coffee lover but switched sides with chai. Though I love chai cant have too much of it. The side-effects as you mentioned + sleeplessness 🙁
    Kashaya however has been my fav and I also let my 4yr daughter have it occasionally since its herbal. (Its ok rit ??)
    I always used the fresh seeds in making, but your method of keeping the powder ready seems much easier and probably will encourage me having more frequently or alternate to chai 😉 (sorry chai !)
    Thanks a bunch dear and keep your great work going 🙂

    enjoy maadi !

  • Shelley

    This sounds so tempting. I do have a question though, I don’t know what jaggery is????? HELP!!

    • Chinmayie

      Hey Shelley! Jaggery is unrefined whole cane sugar traditionally used in Indian cooking. You can replace it with any cane sugar/sweetener of your choice.

  • Loren

    As someone who is about to graduate from a 3 yr. Design + Photography program and has an insatiable curiosity for food I am delighted to find your beautiful blog filled with gorgeous imagery and tasty treats of all kinds. Lot’s of vegan too – I bow to you. Cheers.

    • Loren

      Your photography is stellar – I just read your ‘About’ section and can’t believe you only started taking photo’s recently. Wow.

  • Madhavi

    I just made the powder and drinking my kashaya. I love the taste the hint of pepper. May be next time I will add some ginger too. This will be my drink from now on. Thanks for sharing.

  • Siri

    Beautiful pictures Chinmayie. Loved reading the post about our age-old Kashayam 🙂


  • foodwanderings

    I think my mom and my grandmother used to make something similar to that but I never developed a taste for that. If it has good skin healing and other qualities though I am all over that and your photos do a good job tempting! 🙂 Have a great Holiday season Chimnayie!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Beautiful photos — I could never survive without a mug of either tea or occasional coffee.

    Never had kashaya before, but I want to try this recipe. Looks delish 😀

  • Jackie

    I’ve never had anything like this, it looks amazing!
    And I saw your photos all over the place yesterday, great job 🙂

  • sarah

    This sounds fantastic- and perfect for our chilly grey days. Your pictures are beautiful as always!

  • Cara

    What an incredibly beautiful sounding tea! And your pictures are so lovely, Chinmayie. You might be able to convert this coffee lover 🙂

  • Keerthana

    Kashaya for me was always eewww too. But I too have changed my lifestyle and we drink the jeera-coriander kashaya at home. You have made it look so good Chinmayie!

  • Ajanta Chandan

    Kashaya!!!! my all time favourite drink, infact i forced my sons to drink this today morning 🙂 nice wrtie up and pictures too.

  • Deeps @ Naughty Curry

    Took me back to my childhood days where kashaya was forced down my throat by mom everytime i was down with flu! i share the ‘ewww’ sentiment, but somehow u have made it look so apetitising! hehe 🙂

  • Sanjeeta kk

    Here is another Kashaya lover..and I don’t mind drinking the same during summer as well..with a few side effects of course..but hardly matter. Lovely clicks and wonderful presentation, Chin!

  • Sharmilee

    Soothing drink for this climate

  • Eron

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and your beautiful photos! It was so lovely to see kashaya — I had this drink in Rajasthan a number of years ago, made with love for me when I was fighting a cold. It brings back fond memories.

  • Priya

    oooh, and did you like Michael Pollan’s book ? 🙂

  • Priya

    aah! sounds like the perfect antidote for cold winters. I simmer milk with dry ginger, ajwain, pepper and turmeric – not sure if it also falls under kashayam (telugu) but definitely does the trick. And like you I’ve had really bad memories of drinking kashayam as a child, but now during winters my body craves for something that warms me up from within.

  • Yadsia @ShopCookMake

    Sounds like soup broth to me. Something to enjoy slowly with a piece of bread.

  • shrikripa

    Hi Chinnu, try to add little methi,1/4 cup whole wheat, 1/4 cup ragi,and 2 elaichi to the above ingredients.It will be really tasty.

  • Sarah Naveen

    I have had something similar to this many years back…Beautiful Pics sweets!!!

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