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Anita’s Chai

Sometimes the greatest gifts are received in the simplest ways...

I spent January of 2018 in Pune, India studying with the Iyengar family at RIMYI (Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute). It is an amazing place to visit and study, the work is intense and challenging and the rewards are deep and satisfying. This was my third trip to India and my roommate and I were lucky to have secured and apartment directly across the street from the Institute. Anita was the cook that our landlady suggested, it seemed extravagant but it was affordable and an experience I felt privileged to indulge in. Anita turned out to be one of the most exuberant and delightful people I’ve ever met, and an astonishingly accomplished cook. Anita, taught me how to make Chai, and I think of her every time I make it. The recipe is one of my most cherished and filled with sweet memories of my brief time with her in the kitchen.


Anita’s Chai

(2 generous portions)


1 cup milk (dairy, soy or nut)

1 cup water

1/2 piece of fresh ginger sliced

4-5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

1 stick ginger, broken up

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Fresh mint, a few leaves torn up

Lemongrass, fresh or frozen, a few leaves torn up


In a small saucepan combine milk and water, add all ingredients, and simmer for about 10 minutes until the ingredients begin to become aromatic and the milk becomes infused with the flavors of the the spices.


Then add:

2 teaspoons of strong black tea


Stir until the mixture becomes a deep caramel color, about 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and pour through a sieve or strainer. Sweeten with sugar or honey if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!



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