On cold days, hot milky tea brewed with ginger and spices tastes especially delicious! Here is a recipe for ginger tea, followed by variations.
2 cups water
2 cups milk (or soy milk)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
4 teaspoons loose-leaf black tea (in a pinch, 4 teabags will work)
4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
Combine the water, milk and ginger in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add tea leaves, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add sugar. Strain and serve.
To make this into masala cha, add 1 stick of cinnamon, 3 cardamom pods and 3 whole cloves along with the ginger to the milk and water. (By the way, “cha” and “chai” mean “tea” in Bengali and Hindi respectively. So “chai tea” means “tea tea” — I find this very amusing!)
Ayurvedic Ginger Tea
Just boil the ginger in 4 cups of water for 10-45 minutes, depending on how strong you want the tea to be (forget the rest of the ingredients). Strain. Add lemon juice and/or honey to taste and serve. In addition to being good for sipping on a cold, damp day, this tea also soothes sore throats and is supposed to rekindle “agni” (the digestive fire).