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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Indian Basil Seed (Sabja) Iced Tea

Yesterday morning I went to one of my favorite amusement parks, the Asian supermarket.  It's kind of like going on a treasure hunt.  I had a list of things I know I want.  I had the Chinese phonetic pronunciation and the english description of the product, but once there, you have to really read the ingredients to be sure you have the correct item.. plus it helps to avoid buying products with msg and genetically modified soy.  Anyway, while perusing the spice isle, I saw something I'd never seen before in real life (or maybe something I'd never searched for) Thai basil seeds.  I immediately knew what to do with them since I'd seen many Indian summer drinks with these little seeds.  I also knew they have a wild variety of health benefits, so I placed them in my cart and felt motivated to continue my search for odd Sichuan pastes.  I hosted a dinner party last night and I thought I could make this into a refreshing happy hour beverage that would be new and fun.  My guest always know whether they like to or not, they'll be tasting something "strange" when coming here.
While researching, I found that these little basil seeds DO have a plethora of health benefits.
I may be onto a wild discovery...
-  reduces indigestion
- cures colds
-respiratory disorders
-helps with skin infections
-weight loss
-anti inflammatory
-reduces heartburn
-improves memory
-treats diabetes
How did I not come across these before?
Plus, all you need to do is soak just 1-2 Tbsp in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes and then you can add them to up to 2 L of whatever drink you want.. lemonade, plain water, juice, falooda...
They are fun too.  The texture is slippery and they look like lump eggs when they are soaked.  The inner part stays hard, but the whole concept made me think of Boba (bubble tea) that is so hard to find here in France.  Plus I'm sure these are much much healthier!
I made some Indian Iced "Tea" with honey, cardamom, and pepper.
2 Tbsp basil seeds (sabja) soaked in 2 cups water for 30 minutes
2 L warm water
6 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp finely ground pepper
1.  Dissolve the honey in the water, then add the cardamom and pepper.
2.  Mix well, then refrigerate until well chilled.
3.  Serve 2 tsp (or more) soaked seeds in each glass.

They will float to the top at first, then sink if you're a slow drinker.

It is such a refreshing change from the "traditional" happy hour drinks...
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