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.
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!
‘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.
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!
For the powder:
- 1 cup coriander seeds
- ½ cup cumin seeds
- ¼ cup fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 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.