Turmeric chai tea

Mmmm turmeric chai tea – I love having a steaming mug of this for a light dessert. It goes great with a few squares of dark chocolate too!
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Drinks
Dairy Free, Diabetic, Gluten Free


  • 100 g fresh turmeric root
  • 4 whole star anise
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (heaped) cardamom pods about 20 pods
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality loose black tea leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs optional

To serve

  • milk
  • honey optional


  • Preheat the oven to 100°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Peel turmeric and chop into very small pieces (about 2mm). Place on the prepared tray in a single layer. Bake for about 1 hour until dry and shrivelled (don’t be tempted to hurry this step by turning the oven up as you don’t want the turmeric to colour).
  • In a mortar and pestle, roughly bash star anise, cloves and cardamom pods. Using your hands, snap cinnamon quills into tiny pieces.
  • When turmeric has cooled, combine with the crushed spices, cinnamon quills and loose tea leaves. Add the cacao nibs if you wish. The dried tea will keep for several weeks in an airtight container or jar.
  • Steep tea (1-2 tsp per person) in a teapot of boiling water for 5-7 minutes and strain into teacups. Serve with steamed or frothy milk and a drizzle of honey if desired.


Cacao nibs provide mild chocolate flavour which compliments the chai tea and turmeric flavours nicely. You don’t have to use them, but I think they’re a lovely addition. If you don’t have loose leaf tea, you can just rip open a few of your favourite black teabags and use the tea from inside.
This homemade tea makes for an extra special gift in a cute jar. I’d be over the moon to receive it!
This recipe comes from the June/July issue of NADIA magazine.