In India, Tulsi Chai, made from holy basil (Ocimum sanctum), is used to treat colds and reduce stress.
Photo by Howard Lee Puckett
In a pinch, sweet basil can be subsituted for holy basil.
• ½ cup holy basil leaves
• 2 cups cold water
• 2 heaping teaspoons green tea
• Seed of 1 cardamom pod
• One 1⁄4-inch-thick slice fresh ginger
• One 2-inch cinnamon stick, broken
• 2 whole cloves
• Pinch of nutmeg
• 1 tablespoon honey
• Milk, to taste
1. In small saucepan, boil basil and water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in tea, spices and honey: bring almost to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and steep 3 minutes.
2. Pour mixture through fine wire-mesh strainer into warm teapot, discarding solids. Serve with milk. Garnish with skewered crystallized ginger cubes, fresh basil leaves and grated nutmeg.
Garden writer and editor Vicki Mattern has been communicating the beauty and usefulness of plants for more than 20 years. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania.
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Make Chai: 3 Recipes