Lavender Chai


I have had some major migraines this week and yesterday on my personal blog, I posted my natural remedies to relieve them, but I saved the recipe for here. I love having a bag full of French Lavender and have been stressing out just thinking about it one day being empty. Lavender is such a great herb to have on hand and helps you in so many ways from relaxation, headaches to sleeping better.

It combines well with allspice, bay leaves, cardamom, celery seeds, cinnamon, ginger, parsley and thyme. This chai is a great remedy for all kinds of things plus it tastes great. Although, lavender has a light smell it can smell overpowering if you think of cooking with it, but it cooks very light so do not be afraid to use it. I use the frother of my espresso machine to heat and froth the milk if you do not have one you can heat it on the stove and mix in a jar or with a hand frother.

3 cups cold water
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon dried lavender
6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon loose black tea
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup frothed milk

1. In a small saucepan, add cinnamon, cardamom, lavender, ginger and 3 cups water into a small pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to let steep for 5 minutes.

2. Return pot to the heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea, cover and set aside to let steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, then return liquid to the pot. Stir in sugar and heat over low heat for 1 minute. Pour into cups, add frothed milk into cups, then serve.

Yields: 4 cups

Saudi Teas


Growing up in the South black tea was part of my daily routine. We all make sweet tea with Lipton black tea bags. When I got a bit older I always would buy Celestial Seasonings tea bags and have a cup before I went to bed. When I met my husband, he told me that he wanted to make me some tea the way they drink it in Saudi and later on he came out with a cup of mint tea that I fell in love with. Seriously still to this day I make me a cup at the end of the day.

lipton-loose-teaLipton Loose Tea

Before moving to Saudi I had never used loose tea before, since it is not that popular in the states not a lot of places sell it that way. We Americans like to do things the easy way so tea bags just worked. My mother in law and every other Saudi uses loose tea to make the daily tea and she taught me how to do it the same way. At first I was reluctant since I had never used it and was afraid I would use too much or too less, but now after using loose tea for years I could never go back to the bags.

rabea-loose-teaRabea Loose Tea

After researching a bit about tea, I learned that they put all the leftover junk into the tea bags so you’re not getting good quality like you would with loose tea. The two most popular teas here in Saudi are Lipton and Rabea tea. For the longest time I used Lipton since it was what I was used to, but from what I see most Saudis prefer Rabea even my mother in law. I bought a few boxes of loose tea and the difference was quite noticeable as you see. Rabea is high quality for sure and my favorite. I will be using it from now on.

liptop-dust-teaLipton Dust Tea (used for Adani Tea)

About a year ago I bought an electric kettle and it’s the best thing ever. I suggest if you do not have one to run out an get one soon. They make things so much simpler in the kitchen, and they also make great tea. You will need 1 teaspoon of loose black tea per every 8 ounces of water. I use an iron teapot that my mammaw bought me years ago and it has a tea sieve that fits into it. So all I have to do is add tea and mint if I’m using it and then pour hot water on the top and allow to steep. Some people say to steep black tea for only a few minutes, but I always go with 5 since I like mine stronger.

If you’re curious about steeping other teas here is a chart and a few golden tea rules.

Chinese Tea Eggs


A few years back when my family and I visited Malaysia we stayed near the popular China Town. Malaysia has a rich culture and also is home to many others such as a large Chinese community. It was really interesting to get to learn so much about so many things at one time and that is why Malaysia will always be one of my favorite places to go. One day while we were about to board the metro I noticed a Chinese lady selling something that I had never seen. It was dark brown liquid filled with beautiful marbled eggs. Come to find out they were Chinese Tea eggs.

The liquid is a mixture of soy sauce, black tea and spices. The eggs are boiled, cracked and soaked in the mixture and when you peel them they are just gorgeous. Maybe you’re already thinking yuck tea eggs! Well, I had never had eggs myself for anything other than breakfast before moving to Saudi. And as you all have noticed on my blogs boiled eggs are served with the dishes here such as kabsa, and they go perfect together. Eggs are used a lot in Asian cooking as well. When we were in Indonesia I was quickly taught that they add a fried egg on top of almost everything and I loved it.

These tea eggs are perfect with some Chinese roasted chicken and rice. Over the years I have realized that you cannot write off a new food because you have never tried it. We miss lots of great opportunities in life that way. As they say you should at least try it once. If I had never tried anything at least once then this site probably would not even be here. Try the tea eggs, they are fabulous.

4 eggs
3 teaspoons black tea
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. In a saucepan add eggs and 1 teaspoon salt; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and cool. When cool, tap eggs with the back of a spoon to crack shells (do not remove shells) and use a needle to poke several times to help marinade the inside.

2. Drain eggs ans soak in cold water. Meanwhile, make the tea mixture. In a small saucepan add enough water to cover eggs (about 3-4 cups), bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Add tea, sugar, soy, cinnamon and anise and allow to steep for 10 minutes.

2. In a bowl add tea mixture, spices and carefully placed boiled eggs. Cover and allow to marinade for a few hours then over bowl and place in the refrigerator over night.

Yields: 2 servings