May 08, 2021

Sweet evening chai: a healthy alternative not only in Ramadan

By Nezar Mahmoud
Healthy evening chai with aniseed, fennel, cumin and chamomile - poured from a pot into a cup

Nezar here; former management consultant from Germany, life-long tea enthusiast, and now Pink Tea Café. It is the final week of Ramadan, we have sent out quite a few Eid gift sets in the last few days, and now I find a bit more time to relax and contemplate.
In all these late evenings of this fasting month - when the sun goes down after 8 pm, and I haven't eaten or drunk the whole day - I miss the enjoyment of the Classic Masala Chai a bit which is usually part of my routine throughout the day. This is understandable: in the few night hours I am allowed to replenish my body, I try to catch up in pure drinking water as much as possible. And the energy kick of the strong Assam tea in the late evenings does not sound sensible.
But it would still be enjoyable to have a soothing hot chai, right? So, welcome to my new DIY recipe for a healthy evening tea, which also improves digestion (yes, we all tend to overeat in Ramadan now and then).
It is based on traditional herbs, known across cultures for their healing properties and rich aromatic flavour. For a pot of the evening chai, get the following from your favourite Asian store:

  • Aniseed
  • Fennel seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Chamomile

Take half a teaspoon of each ingredient - and if you have a pestle and mortar - crush them a little bit. You immediately notice the intensely sweet flavour of these traditional medicinal plants and their essential oils. All four are known for healing against coughs, fever and supporting digestion.
Add the crushed ingredient to a pot, add 2-3 cups of boiling water and let it brew for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

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