Monday, April 23, 2012

How about Chilli in a steaming cup of masala chai ?

blog by the name Jugalbandi. I wonder how many of the  fresh new bloggers know about this awesome space by the lovely Jai and Bee! They were one among my blogger buddies who never failed to place from- the- heart sort of comments in each posts those days. I adored them for the classic and unique way they put up their creations as posts, in return, their photography, write up and the information shared were always a cut above the blogs I knew then.
Jugalbandi was born a month before Spicy Chilly, the reason we celebrated the fifth birthday very recently. “There’s chilly in my chai” had been one of their simple yet unique posts I had wanted to try and recreate in my space for some time, in fact, a drink which my grey matter had bookmarked for the past five years!

The heat of the chilly and the spicy blend of the masalas! Wow! this is my cup of tea!

Chilli Chai
Adapted from Jugalbandi

For 2 mugs tea
(one mug is about 1.5 cups)


Water 1.5 mug
Milk 0.5 mug
Fresh ginger – thumb size
Tea Masala (recipe below) – 3/4 tsp
Green chilli – 1/4 of a 2-inch chilli
Sugar – 2 tsp


Bring water to boil with the fresh ginger, tea masala, green chili and sugar (smash the ginger and chili before putting it in the water).
Add the tea leaves and turn off the stove within a minute (boiling tea releases tannins) and let it sit for few minutes.
Meanwhile microwave the milk for a minute to minute and half.
Add milk to tea. Strain into cup. Enjoy.
This recipe is very forgiving and of course dependent on individual preferences. So you can change the proportion of milk/water, or sugar, or tea masala etc. However, add a little chilli and get an extra kick out of it for sure. It gives just a little hint of smokiness. If you are afraid at first, use only a very small piece of chilli.

Tea Masala

This is a flexible recipe. Adjust it to suit your taste.
Makes about 3 tablespoons

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (I used seeds from 12 large green cardamoms)
4 cloves
1/2 tea spoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon ajwain (bishop’s weed)
1 teaspoon dried ginger powder
small (1 inch) piece of cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

There is no need to roast the spices. Pound them in a mortar and pestle, or blend them to a fine powder in a spice grinder.
Crush the cinnamon stick into bits before adding it to the spice grinder.

                                       Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

   There are lots of reasons why I enjoy a hot cup of tea: I love the aroma of various flavors of tea; holding onto a hot tea mug warms my hands on a cold winter morning; sipping tea in front of the fireplace is a great way to relax. And those are just the feel-good reasons. If you're not drinking tea yet, read up on these 10 ways tea does your body good and then see if you're ready to change your Starbucks order!

1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea's antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you're a fan of Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep -- switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.

4. Tea protects your bones. It's not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea's many beneficial phytochemicals.

5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good for your teeth, but think again. It's the sugar added to it that's likely to blame for England's bad dental record. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing for healthier teeth and gums.

6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body's immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the poly phenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive, there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages.

8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn't contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn't contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really doesn't matter -- tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time.

9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn't have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk. Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you're looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year's time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will also burn calories.

Information courtesy ivillage


  1. I was thinking chilli in something else recently adding in tea is just wow ..n so the pictures ...fab

  2. one of my fav blogs too the jugalbandi ; the chai is an absolute stand-out ! I remember seeing it in their blog some time back and wondering aloud :) gotta try now i guess !

  3. You have captured the steaming hot cup so well!

  4. wow i love the steam from the hot chai :) makes me want to pick it up and sip:)

  5. Beautiful shots Bharathy!! A cup of steaming hot masala chai is enough to cheer me up on any day :)

  6. Amazing clicks Bharthyji, I've just been watching the steam from the chai for a couples mins now :-)
    Very nice post, would love to try the idea of trying a chilly in chai..

  7. Amazing clicks of the masala tea. Thanks for stating the benefits of such a beverage.


  8. Love your pictures capturing a steaming hot chai. I am yet to try chilli in masala includes black pepper. Have to try this version:)

  9. Love love love the pics :) and I know how it smokes!!! :P

  10. Smoky hot chai with chilli is the best bet on an evening. Picture perfect bharathy, steam is so spontaneous.

  11. Beautiful clicks. The most aromatic thing that I saw today. Interesting that you are thinking about chillies in tea. I love tea. Its my comfort food.

  12. Interesting! I follow Jugalbandi too but did not come across this post. I love chillies but never occurred to me to add them in my tea. I am a little skeptical but will give it a try for sure.

  13. Awesome clicks !! super one !!

    Ongoing event CC:Spring Seasonal Food

  14. Superb clicks... N innovative idea....

  15. Adding chilly to tea is new to me...looks flavourful. Love the pics too!

    1. Yea i also heard about this for the very first time .. didnt saw much about this in Google also :P .. thats quite shocking

      Dal Makhani

  16. Amazing clicks n well explained, can i get one sip...

  17. iam coming to your place bharathy, for this chilli tea along with photography class! what do u say?

  18. Very unique chai recipe, wish to have it right now!

  19. Chillies in Chai is a great idea... Though I'm not much of a tea drinker... I like masala chai on rainy days...

    The pictures are awesomely awesome... :)

  20. I love the way you've captured the smoke rising from your cuppa. Beautiful click.

  21. Wow chilly in chai wat a fantastic idea,very creative..

  22. You have a lovely space and first time here and congrats on your 5th year of blogging. The tea looks awesome and perfect to have on a cold day and the photographs are awesome.

  23. In love with that steaming cup of chili the pictures.....perfectly captured steam....

  24. I should confess, I am an addict to tea. I tried quitting unsuccessfully and even lived without it for over a month. A trip back home, and I am all gone. Now that you have listed so many reasons why one should not quit :)

    And, I tried this tea today morning. It was really nice. Fiery and good. Was too afraid, so added like a kutty chilli ( slit and seeds removed), and a generous dose of ginger. Of course, I used store masala.

    Should be more brave and try with a larger piece of chilli,next time!

    Hot steamy pics!

  25. really tongue tickling...

  26. Chilli in tea.. sounds terrific.. Pics are superb... lovely frame and clarity..:))
    Lovely post and Congrats on your fifth anniversary..:))

  27. Tea with chili sounds very interesting..Very beautiful capture...Loved the idea of steams..

  28. The photos were awesome. Loved the steaming hot tea.

  29. I assume the green chili packs a punch. Thanks for sharing!


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