You know how you have good intentions — to exercise more, to cook and post more, to do almost anything but hibernate — then it starts snowing and doesn’t stop? Yeah, that.
While we had a nice respite from the arctic chill last weekend, the polar vortex is back and demands respect, so I’m desperate to stay warm any way I can. So far, my methods have included propping up my desk so I can stand (and do squats) while working, wearing layers even in the house, and best of all, making plenty of warming tea during the day. We have boxes and boxes of specialty tea blends in the house, as my husband is a sucker for the Pukka brand, but my favorite is a new concoction that I’ve only been drinking for a couple of months. I like to think of it as Golden Milk Chai Tea.
I first read about Golden Milk on my friend Vivienne’s Facebook page, where she extolled its virtues and raved about how her children love it. The milk turns gold from the addition of turmeric, which has so many health benefits that it seemed silly not to give it a try. And I LOVED it from the start, but you know me — tinkering is SOP. I like to have a little hit of caffeine in the afternoon, so I thought, “Why not add some black tea?” Then it occurred to me that it was already so very close to chai tea that perhaps the addition of a few more spices wouldn’t be so far-fetched. As far as I’m concerned, Vij’s achieved perfection with their chai tea, so I went to the source then got to work.
I’ve pretty much settled on The One Recipe at this point, but who knows? It’s entirely
possible probable that I’ll tweak it a bit more and come up with something better. And if I do, I’ll certainly let you know. (Update: As predicted, I did tweak it a bit more after reading that black pepper makes turmeric even more effective. Plus, I love the spicy hit it adds to the tea.)
If you’d like to see a couple of alternate photos for this post and talk about studio lighting setups, head over to my other blog at Amy Roth Photo.
Golden Milk Chai Tea adapted from every article ever written about golden tea plus Vij’s recipe
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it’s so easy to adapt to your tastes. You can adjust the amounts of all the ingredients to your liking as well as substitute at will. Don’t drink milk? Try almond, rice or soy milk! Not a fan of molasses? Use your preferred sweetener. If fennel or cardamom don’t float your boat, leave them out. This is great with a sprinkling of cinnamon, too, if you don’t have cinnamon sticks on hand. You can even start with half the amount of turmeric paste and work your way up if you find one teaspoon is too strong for your liking.
For the turmeric paste
1/4 cup powdered turmeric
1/2 cup water
For the tea
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon turmeric paste
1/2 cup milk
1 Orange Pekoe teabag, or your favorite black tea
1 teaspoon molasses
1 cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1-2 whole cloves
5-10 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon sweet almond oil
Make the turmeric paste
In a small saucepan, mix turmeric powder with water. Stir well to remove lumps. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a thick paste forms. This happens in a matter of minutes, so be prepared! Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. You can store the leftover turmeric paste in a small jar in the fridge, where it will keep for a couple of weeks. If you don’t think you’ll get through this much paste in that amount of time, you can reduce the recipe or use it wherever you would use turmeric powder.
Make the tea
In a small saucepan, mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric paste with a little bit of the water to form a smooth, thin paste. Add remaining water and stir well. Add milk, teabag, molasses and all of the spices to the turmeric mixture and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. When bubbles form at the edge of the pot, remove it from the heat. Cover the pot and allow it to steep for five minutes.
Strain the solids from the tea, add almond oil and serve immediately.