hot drinks

a traditional Ayurvedic herbal drink – Kashaya

3rd December 2016


Kashaya is a deeply nourishing and soothing drink that brings calmness to the mind and supports the general health and balance of the system. Kashaya is appropriate for all constitutions and in all seasons.  It is recommended to consume at the end of a meal and to have once-twice a day. Kashaya balances vata, pitta and kapha, helps maintain the digestive fire and reduces heat in the body.

There are many variations of Kashaya – below are two very simple and easy to prepare recipes for everyday use. They require only two of the main spices – cumin and coriander.  The first is a Kashaya powder which involves lightly roasting and grinding the seeds and the second, a simple infusion using the whole seeds.

Considering your constitution, it is good to keep in mind that jaggery is more heating for the body than brown sugar.


coriander seed

Coriander effectively supports healthy digestion.  Bitter, pungent and sweet in taste, it evokes the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing. Coriander seed removes excess heat in the body, making it useful in cooling Pitta-related imbalances associated with menopause.

cumin seed

A common household spice, its Sanskrit name literally means ‘promoting digestion’. Cumin seed is bitter, pungent and astringent. It is carminative, aromatic, and on the whole, cool in action.  Cumin evokes the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins.  It enhances immunity and invokes good sleep.


Coriander-Cumin Kashaya Powder

This recipe was shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Sadvidya Yoga Programme.  It came about as an aid to reduce Pitta disturbances in the body and to assist with interrupted sleep due to menopause.  It is a deeply nourishing and satisfying drink to have after a meal and satisfies that sweet craving, as well as benefiting from its wonderful medicinal qualities.  The key to opening up the real flavour is making sure that you get the kashaya to a rollicking boil just before straining – the heat changes everything.

Preparation 10 minutes

Makes approximately 18 – 20 cups kashaya

ingredients for kashaya powder 

⅓ cup/35g whole cumin seed

½ cup/35g whole coriander seed


1.  On a medium flame, heat a skillet until it is hot to touch, dry-roast the cumin seeds until their colour deepens and they become aromatic – approx 1 minute. Seeds may start popping, be careful not to burn the spices as they can ruin the taste of the kashaya.  Set aside to cool.  

2.  Place the coriander seeds into the skillet and repeat the process – approximately 1½ minutes.

3.  In a blender/coffee grinder, grind first the cumin seeds to a fine powder. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  

4.  Repeat with the coriander seeds – these may take slightly longer to grind.  Pour into the bowl with the ground cumin and combine well.  Store in an airtight container.  


To preserve the medicinal qualities of the spices, make fresh every 10 – 14 days.


prepare the kashaya 

1 cup water

1 heaped tsp kashaya powder

1 heaped tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 – 2 tsp/5-10ml milk (less milk is easier for the digestion, especially in the evening)


1.  In a small pan, pour in 1 cup water and bring to boiling point.  

2. Add the Kashaya powder and sugar – simmer for a few minutes.  

3. Turn off the heat, add the milk, stir and pour into a cup (drinking the powder which collects at the bottom is beneficial for its medicinal properties).

4.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.  Enjoy.



Whole Coriander-Cumin Seed Kashaya


1 serving

Don´t throw away those leftover seeds after straining, place them in a garden pot outside your kitchen or in the garden – in no time you will have fresh greens to harvest for your cooking.


½ tsp whole coriander seeds

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

1 cup water

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 tsp/5mL milk (optional)


1.   In a small pan, pour in 1 cup of water and bring to boiling point.  

2.  Add the whole coriander and cumin seeds and sugar – allow to simmer for a few minutes.  

3.  Turn off the heat, add the milk (if using), and strain the kashaya.  

4.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.


Goodness shared by Stacey

almond hazelnut chai

9th December 2012


Just like that!  I am back. Where was I?


I have been underground for weeks now.  Has it been weeks? Yes, maybe it has been a long time.  It has been cold and windy outside, and so I escaped and retreated…


But there has been rustling of late though, stirrings and I know that I must see to them.  All of them. I feel the need to stretch my legs, uncurl myself and sniff around up there, and reach upwards outside of my little burrow.

And here is what I found so far…



almond hazelnut chai

Lately, I have been soaking the nuts and then freezing a few batches to have on hand immediately. They defrost in 5 – 10 minutes, ready to put in the blender for nut milk.


1 cup/160g raw almonds

1 cup/160g raw hazelnuts

4½ cups filtered water

1 Tbsp fresh ginger

1 tsp cinnamon powder

¼ tsp nutmeg

6 cardamom pods

6 black peppercorns

pinch rock salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 Medjool dates – pits removed


1.  Soak the almonds for at least 4 hours or overnight.


2.  Drain and rinse the soaked almonds. Rinse the hazelnuts and place both nuts in a high-speed upright blender.

3.  Pour in the water and add remaining ingredients – blend until smooth.

4.  Pour into a nut milk bag, squeezing with your hands to remove all the milk.

5.  Taste and adjust the sweetness if desired. Serve slightly warmed, chilled or at room temperature with a sprinkle of turmeric and cinnamon powder on top.


 Goodness shared by Stacey

ginger lemon honey healing tea – cold and flu remedy

22nd November 2010


Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  Lemon helps with elimination as well as fight viral infection and is high in Vitamin C.  Ginger is an overall universal medicine and detoxifier, and the black pepper helps to destroy the mucus in the digestive tract and sinuses.  Both the ginger and pepper are warming and stimulating which is great to promote sweating encouraging to expel impurities in the system.

ginger lemon honey healing tea


1-inch x 2-inch piece of ginger, unpeeled and cut into thin slices. (The amount of surface area you expose and the thinner you slice, the more kick you will taste.)

½ – 1 lemon, freshly squeezed

2 pinches salt

2 pinches freshly ground black pepper

1  – 2 big Tbsp raw honey


1.  Place all the ingredients except the honey in a large mug and fill with steaming hot water.

2.  Wait 10 minutes to cool slightly, then stir in the honey. Taste. Add more honey, or more lemon until perfect.  It’s also great if left to sit at room temperature so the ginger infuses all its goodness. Drink three-six times a day.

home-brewed spiced chai tea

17th June 2009



Unlike my sister’s seasonal dishes, it is Winter here in Australia, and I am looking for warming and soothing foods.  I must say that no drink better does that job than home-brewed chai tea.  This recipe has been adapted over the years and first came from my sister and her trips to India.  My husband has perfected the re-brewing stage using our coffee machine steamer to warm the tea and froth the milk.  He has a technique which produces frothy, creamy tea of which I am yet to master.  Not that I really want to find out quite yet.

warming spiced chai tea

I use rooibos (red tea), rather than black tea as I find the black tea is too intense and overshadows the spice flavours.  Also, rooibos is caffeine-free, so perfect for those who prefer no caffeine and it makes a great bed-time drink.  I have experimented with using different flavoured rooibos teas, and as I usually have a variety on hand, I usually add 1 plain rooibos and 2 vanilla rooibos.  Caramel flavoured if you can get it, is also very good.


1L filtered water

4-5 slices fresh ginger (cut on the horizontal, so long slices)

9 whole cloves

15 whole cardamom pods

1 whole star anise (optional)

1 cinnamon stick

5 whole peppercorns

3 rooibos tea bags (I use organic, available from supermarkets/health food stores)


1.  Add all ingredients, except tea bags in a large saucepan.  Cover and bring to boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

2.  Turn off heat and add tea bags – let sit covered for at least 10 minutes. (I like to leave overnight for a more intense flavour).

3.  Strain, removing tea bags and spices. Serve with milk of choice and honey if desired.

Any leftover tea can be stored in a covered jug in the fridge for up to 3 days. Heat quantity as required.

Shared goodness from Donna

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