If I were born a spice I would know my worth.
Reincarnated as cinnamon, cardamom, saffron,
the beautiful star anise.
Sacred and divinely seductive.
Layers of volatile mysteries unfolding over fire.
A flower polished by time.
And then. A chai.
Drunk with spicy devotion.
Have you looked closely at a whole star anise?
Usually there are eight ‘petalled’ pods, the seeds cradled perfectly within. There is sacred geometry in all of nature and in this fragrant star of the spice world we clearly witness this beauty.
I have been known for my mysterious Full Moon Masala Chai recipe and I’m happy to divulge the secret ingredient that sets it apart from other aromatic chai’s.
Star anise. Illicium verum
Just one star simmering swimmingly in a rich deep boiling of spices brings about a hint of something. Something…not quite detectable. A little like anise, or is it licorice but pungent-sweet and exotic. Star anise melds ceremoniously with the fragrant infusion of the other miraculous spices: cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, saffron, ginger, and a pinch of turmeric.
This is a Spring-has-sprung-and-I-want-to-transform-into-a-butterfly type of chai. It is transformative. Sweet, bright, stimulating, and memorable.