With the rains at our doorstep, it's time to pull out those cosy socks and fix yourself a hot cuppa. Here are a couple of delicious beverages from around the world for when you're maxed out on chai.
Bone broth is found in almost every culinary tradition around the world, from chicken noodle soup to Japanese ramen, Korean ox-bone seolleongtang to Caribbean cow-foot soup, broth forms the base to some of the most well-loved comfort foods across cultures. The gelatin and collagen in bones (especially those rich in cartilage and connective tissue) make bone broth a nutritive and low-calorie drink. Replace your mid-morning cup of coffee with a steaming mug of broth. Season with ginger, a splash of vinegar or lime juice, and any herbs you like, to make a flavourful monsoon drink.
How to: Pressure cook 100g of chicken or mutton bones in a few cups of water for 3 whistles. Once the steam releases, simmer with your favourite veggies, and serve with a squeeze of lime and coriander to garnish. (We like ours with a hint of mint.)
This traditional drink from Indonesia is delicious and creamy, made with warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Sweetened with honey and vanilla, balanced with a hit of ginger, it is tied together with the nectar of the tropics — coconut milk. Also, its low caffeine content means you can even cuddle up with this one close to bedtime.
1 cup coconut milk (first pressing)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
1 pinch cardamom, powdered
1 pinch cloves, powdered
Warm all ingredients except honey in a saucepan. Allow to simmer for a 10 minutes. Pour over honey in a mug, whisk to combine well, and serve warm.
Although the origins of this drink are unknown, it is likely inspired by the Middle Eastern coffee, kava. The Malabari version however, features onions, pepper and ghee. Commonly served at weddings, its strong flavours act as a digestive, much needed after a heavy meal of biryani.
¼ inch dried ginger
½ inch cinnamon stick
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cardamoms, crushed
2 cup water
Sugar to taste
½ tbsp ghee
½ tsp instant coffee
Powder the ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, and add to the water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the flame, and simmer until the syrup thickens. In a separate pan, heat the ghee and fry the onions till lightly golden. Add the coffee to syrup, and pour into cups. Top with onions and ghee and serve hot.
Yak Butter Tea or Po Cha
The original bullet tea was centuries ahead of the trend. As the name suggests, butter (traditionally from a yak), plays an important role in butter tea, providing much needed calories in the harsh and desolate cold of the Tibetan plateau. A well-steeped black tea is mixed with milk, salt and butter and shaken and served in a bowl.
2 tsp black tea leaves
2 cups water
Salt to taste
Bring the water to a boil and add the leaves. Reduce heat and let it simmer for a few minutes. Take off heat, add salt and let it cool. Add the tea and butter to a blender and whisk for half a minute. Serve hot.
Horchata, a drink that travelled with the Spanish from Valencia to Mexico and South America, is now predominantly associated with Mexico. Although there are several riffs on it depending on the region, it is popularly made with rice, almonds, cinnamon and sometimes, vanilla beans. Horchata or orxata, can be had hot or cold, over ice. The almond variation that we have included below is creamy, yet light and refreshing — almost like a badam milk that took a summer vacation in Mexico.
½ cup almonds, blanched and skinned
2 cups water
½ inch cinnamon piece
Sugar to taste
Ice to serve
Blend the almonds with water, sugar and cinnamon. Strain and serve in a glass topped with ice and garnish with orange zest.
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