Homemade Tulsi Chai
I crave a warm, creamy non-caffeinated drink on winter afternoons when I'm working from home, or in the evenings before I tuck in. This tulsi chai is the perfect answer, and tulsi (also called holy basil) has anti-anxiety benefits-- always welcome here.
6 oz. full fat milk or coconut milk
2 oz. water
3-5 green cardamom pods, crushed gently under a cast iron pan
3-inch cinnamon stick, or 2 t. ground cinnamon
2-3 slices of fresh ginger
6 whole black peppercorns
a pinch or two of whole dried fennel seed
1 heaping tablespoon dried tulsi leaves
honey, to sweeten
Combine the milk and water in a small saucepan, add in all spices. Warm gently and allow the spices to release their aromas, stirring occasionally. I usually set the gas on 1 or 2 and then walk away, and when I start to smell everything I come back to it. Last, add the tulsi, stir well, and then let steep for another 5 minutes or so. Strain. Sweeten with honey to taste.
This makes one cup, but in winter I am known to make a half gallon mason jar's worth of this stuff and store it in the fridge. The kids love it, too! It's also great over ice, and in smoothies.