12 cardamom pods, gently crushed
8 whole black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
4-inch piece of fresh ginger (small piece), peeled & sliced
4-inch piece of fresh turmeric (small piece), peeled & sliced
4 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low heat and simmer for approx. 15 minutes. You will should be able to smell a delicious aroma by this stage.
Take mixture off heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour mixture through a strainer into a jug with a sealable lid. Any jug will do but I like to use one with a pouring lip which makes it easier later on.
When ready to drink, heat to your desired liquid-milk ratio and add sweetener of choice. I like 2 parts chai and 1 part soy milk and honey.
* To make a traditional chai omit the turmeric and once you have taken the mixture off the heat add 4 black tea bags. Leave to steep for 5 minutes and then discard.
You can refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for a couple of months.