Of late I’ve taken a fancy to tea. Not the chai kinds. I’m talking about the various herbal ones and the infusions that you get. I find them a great option to sip on in the evenings, particularly when those 5pm hunger pangs hit or you have that 3.30pm energy drop at work. During a recent trip to Dubai on work, I picked up dried lavender, chamomile, hibiscus, etc. from the Spice Souk at Deira. And then in Singapore, at the Botanical Gardens, I picked up some lovely infusion tea – orchid & another with passion fruit. I’ve used them as is, they way you are supposed to, and sometimes with an addition of mint leaves or sabja (basil) seeds.
One advantage of this weather is that I’ve had the chance to try my hand at a number of beverages at home. We’ve been having a lot of fruit-infused water in the mornings, the one with cucumber, mint & lime is a favourite, as is the one with carrot, pomegranate & rosemary. These are so, so refreshing & I absolutely love the beautifully infused fruit flavour.
The other day I had a lot of mangoes at home so I thought of adding the King of Fruits to the infusion, along with some pomegranate. I let it sit the night in the fridge & next day, which happened to be a Saturday, I thought of doing something different with this infusion. Instead of drinking it just like that, I made some Chamomile tea & added it to the water. The result? A fruity-floral beverage that was so good on a scorching summer afternoon.
Mango & Chamomile Iced Tea
1/2 cup of mango (ripe), peeled & chopped
1 tbsp of pomegranate seeds
2-3 sprigs of mint, keep only the leaves on
3 tsp of dried Chamomile or 2 bags of Chamomile tea
500 ml of water
1/2 tsp of sabja or basil seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup of water
Boil the water on a gentle heat. Turn it off when it begins to bubble & immediately add the Chamomile to it. Cover the saucepan & allow it to brew for about 5-7 mins. Strain and transfer to mason jars or glasses or a carafe. Let it cool down to room temperature.
Once the tea has cooled down, add the mango & pomegranate to this. Give it a good stir, slightly bruise the mint leaves & add it to the tea. Now add the sabja/basil seeds to it. Put this in the fridge for about an hour or two.
*Instead of Chamomile, you can even use regular green tea or any other infusion
*Try adding Tulsi (Holy Basil) leaves instead of mint for a change, it has a beautiful flavour & loads of health benefits too!
*There is no added sugar in this beverage. But don’t go by this, taste the beverage first; the mangoes I used were really sweet so I didn’t need to add anything. You can add some sugar or even honey, if you prefer, to up the sweetness