Can you say no to this refreshing, aromatic tea with the goodness of Indian spices?
IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal's guilty pleasure during her pregnancy was masala chai.
"And in no way was I giving it up for nine long months, health concerns be damned," she reveals in her book Grow Your Baby, Not Your Weight.
So, she came up with her own special recipe that didn't disturb her stomach at all and let her could continue drinking tea throughout the pregnancy.
"It is so simple to make and has a wonderful taste and aroma," she adds.
- ¾ cup water
- Pinch of homemade chai masala powder, check the recipe below
- ¾ tsp tea leaves
- ¼ cup milk
- Sugar to taste
- Boil the water and add tea leaves.
Add a pinch of your homemade chai masala powder.
Add milk and sugar and let it boil.
Sieve the tea using a strainer.
Serve warm with biscuits.
For 120 gm of chai masala powder
- 40 gm green elaichi or cardamom
- 50 gm black pepper
- 20 gm dry ginger
- 30 gm dalcheeni or cinnamon sticks
- 10 gm laung or cloves
- 2 pieces jaiphal or nutmeg
- 6 gm or 20 dry tulsi or basil leaves, optional
- 2 gm kesar or saffron, optional
To make the chai masala powder
- Take a tawa or frying pan and dry roast all the ingredients over low heat till they turn aromatic.
This will take approximately 3-4 minutes.
Let this mixture cool down to room temperature.
Grind it coarsely in a blender.
Store it in a small airtight container to keep the fragrance intact.
Note: The cardamom is an antioxidant and has a mild, sweet taste.
Pepper is anti-inflammatory and great for digestion.
Dry ginger improves immunity and is particularly helpful to fight coughs and colds during seasonal weather changes.
Cinnamon sticks add a unique, sweet taste and warmth to the tea and help regulate sugar consumption.
Cloves are particularly helpful in relieving expecting mothers' aches and pains and helping in the baby's brain development.
Nutmeg regulates heart and liver functioning.
Tulsi leaves, often called holy basil, have immense benefits such as warding off infections, regulating your blood pressure, and keeping pregnancy-induced nausea at bay.
Saffron, because of its 'cold' nature, is one of the most potent and natural mood up-lifters. It helps cure morning sickness and greatly aides in improving digestion.
Healthy Potato Snack
- 2-3 large-sized potatoes
- 2 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves
- 1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
- 2 tsp ghee
- ¼ tsp crushed black pepper (not powdered)
- ½ tsp salt, or as per taste
- 2 cups of water to cook the potatoes
- Wash and clean the potatoes well.
- Put them in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and ½ tsp salt.
Cook for 25 minutes over low heat.
Once the pressure releases on its own, open the pressure cooker.
Discard the excess water and peel the potatoes when they are slightly warm, and lightly mash them with a fork.
Add the freshly chopped green chillies, chopped coriander, crushed peanuts and crushed pepper to the coarsely mashed potato.
- Take a pan over medium heat and add ghee.
When it becomes smokey, add the cumin seeds until they pop.
Garnish the potato mix with this seasoning.
Your sumptuous snack is ready.
Excerpted from Grow Your Baby, Not Your Weight by Durga Shakti Nagpal with kind permission from the publishers Rupa Publications India.