Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kashmir Spicy Tea: A Tasty, Zesty & Decongesting "Simple Saturday Sipper"

I fully intended to make a cocktail for my Simple Saturday Sipper but the day was cold, windy and rainy, my spring allergies were acting up and I wanted something warm and soothing. (So before I get a bunch of comments on it, I know that "cold" is a relative term but it was in the high 60's-low 70's today which is cooler than normal for Hawaii this time of year, and the wind and rain made it feel like the mid 60's so I am calling it cold!) ;-)

To find a warming, decongesting something to sip on, I pulled out one of my favorite drink books, "Drink to Your Health: Delicious Juices, Teas, Soups, and Smoothies That Help You Look and Feel Great" by Ann McIntyre. This fun book has all kinds of recipes for a variety of drinks from around the world to meet your every health need, and most of them have the added benefit of being really tasty too. I found a recipe for Kashmir Spicy Tea--with ginger, pepper. cinnamon, cloves, and coriander seeds that sounded perfect. Although called a tea, this drink is really a tisane or herbal blend and the kick comes from the ginger and spices rather than from caffeine.

McIntyre says, "According to ancient Ayurvedic principles, ginger is the most sattvic of all the spices, inducing a calm, meditative state of mind. This old Indian drink is a decoction of spices that increase circulation, help throw off fevers, and aid the body's fight against infection. It is also a great decongestant for a stuffed-up nose or congested chest." (BTW--I had to look up sattvic which is a Hindu word that basically means pure. So a sattvic food is uncontaminated, healthy, nutritious and clean and does not weaken the power or equilibrium of mind.)

Kashmir Spicy Tea
"Drink to Your Health" by Anne McIntyre
(Makes 2-3 servings)

1/2 ounce fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 stick cinnamon
4 cloves
4 black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 1/2 cups cold water
honey to taste (optional)
lemon slices (optional)

Put the spices and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, then strain. Sweeten with honey or add a slice of lemon.

Drink a cupful, as hot as possible, 3 to 6 times daily while acute symptoms last.

Notes/Results: Spicy and good with lots of exotic flavor. Between the heat of the tea and the kick of the spices, it warms the body and the soul and was a great pick-me-up for a day filled with writing and paperwork. The sweetness of the honey was a nice addition, as was a slice of lemon--so although it says optional in the recipe, I would recommend adding both. Did it relieve my congestion? Well I don't know if it was the heat, the ginger, the spices, a combination, or merely the power of suggestion--but my stuffed up nose felt a lot better after drinking the tea. I will make this again--in fact I am making another batch to drink tomorrow.

I realized I missed my two year blogiversary which was on the 14th. It's hard to imagine that it has been two years and close to 600 posts worth of cooking, photographing, eating and sharing food with all of you. Pretty funny to look back on some of those early posts too. ;-) Mahalo (thank you) to all of my readers, old and new, as you have become my friends and I appreciate your visits and comments more than you can know.

Happy Saturday and have a wonderful weekend!


  1. happy belated, looking forward to the next 600 posts :) this sipper sounds like a perfect way to fight a nippy day!

  2. my allergies are killing me, I will certainly try this....thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. Congrats Deb! You are one of the first bloggers I ever followed and read even before I had a blog. Your food never fails to amaze me, nor does your friendship <3

    This sipper looks delicious. I love all the spices that you used. you basically took all my favorites and put them in one place!

  4. Happy Blogiversary, Deb! 2 years is a milestone, and 600 posts (almost)? That's incredible. Love the sound of this spicy tea; I think the honey + black pepper would be great.

  5. Huge congratulations on the two year mark, Deb. I look forward to the next two as well. The tea sounds wonderful and looks delicious. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. I love your katty spoon and wish I had one. I will have to look for one. :) Happy anniversary to you!

  7. I will definitely try that! It sounds like a cure for most things.

  8. Absolutely love me some ginger tea. Also good to quell a queasy tummy. Lived on this stuff during my pregnancies

  9. Forget to say Happy anniversary!!!

  10. It sounds like allergies are plaguing everyone right now. Sorry to hear they are getting to you. Kashmir Spicy Tea sounds so exotic and delicious. Hot tea always makes me feel better and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it well enough to make a second batch.
    Happy 2nd blogiversary! 600 posts is fantastic. It's pretty amazing to think about all the food and drinks you've shared during that time.

  11. Kat--mahalo! ;-)

    Chef Dennis--I hope it works for you too! ;-)

    Joanne--Awww...thanks! You are so sweet!

    Nancy--well about 20 posts away but close! ;-) Thank you!

    Mary--thank you so much!

    Katty--thanks! A friend brought it back from Japan and I love it. ;-)

    Foodycat--I think the mix can cure most anything. ;-)

    Wizzy--thank you! I am sure this would work for stomach issues too.

    Kim--thanks! Almost 600 posts is hard to believe isn't it. Who knew I had that much cooking in me. ;-)


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