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Kadha (Spiced Herbal Drink)

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Kadha, Spiced Herbal Drink is nothing but a decoction of herbs and spices. It is a simple, immune-boosting age-old remedy for cold, cough, and flu-related symptoms. Drinking this decoction helps you feel better and energized.

Close up view of kadha served in 2 glasses

This simple drink can be quickly made in just 10 minutes. Warm sipping of this helps soothe the throat as well as fight infections. Each and every ingredient used in the recipe has its benefits and when combined together, it definitely shows its magic. 

Kadha, or the Ukado as called in Gujarati,  is made using simple pantry staple ingredients. Spices and herbs that are common in your basic spice-box.

But yes as is the case with many recipes, this too has different versions. Each state and I would say each house has its own version. 

How to make Kadha

The key to making any kadha is to get the maximum nutrients from the spices used. To do so, the spices and herbs have to be boiled in water for at least 10-15 minutes. The basic rule is to reduce the water by half.

Top view of Kadha in 2 glasses. Seen along side are some spices scattered on a board

When to drink Kadha

We generally make this kadha when we feel a bit feverish or have flu-like symptoms or down with cough and cold. For a simple cough, I prepare to sip on this Ajwain Water (Carom Seeds Tea).

How to drink Kadha

To gain the maximum benefit from this drink, it is best to drink it hot or as warm as you can. Secondly, I prefer it before bedtime or when you would be resting. I would advise you to drink it before sleeping and take a nice rest. The next morning you would feel better and energized.

It is also advised not to drink any water or have anything for at least 30-60 minutes after drinking the kadha.

Kadha served in 2 glasses. Seen along side are some spices scattered on a board

Ingredients used to make this Kadha

Cinnamon

Also known as Dalchini in Hindi is one of the most common and delicious spices used worldwide. A common pantry ingredient and goes in a lot of recipes. It helps your body fight infections and one of the reasons it is being used in Kadha.

Black Pepper

Known as Kali mirchi in Hindi , is sharp and mildly spiced. It is one of the versatile kitchen spices. It enhances the flavor of any dish. But more than just a kitchen staple, it is widely used in medicines. It is known to help or may improve gut health and offer pain relief.

Carom Seeds

Ajwain in Hindi, a very common spice. Generally added as it helps to cure digestive problems and constipation. It may even provide relief during cold and cough. At times it is even eaten raw to help in stomach pain. 

Tulsi

The Indian Holy Basil – a medicinal herb that is used in Ayurveda for thousands of years and is Native to India.  It is typically used for stress and fatigue-related symptoms.

Tulsi chai (Tulsi tea) is very common in India during the monsoons. Generally, every house in India would have a Tulsi pot planted and the leaves are generally used almost every day.

As I do not have access to fresh Tulsi here, I have used it in dried and powdered form. But if you can get fresh tulsi and stem, use that instead of the powder.

Clove

Also called Long in Hindi – another versatile spice used in sweet as well as savory recipes. Another staple ingredient in Indian Cuisine and is also used to season hot beverages, cookies, and cakes. It may kill infections and helps to kill bacteria. A very common spice used to treat cough too.

Ginger Powder

Sonth in Hindi, and one of the most common spice to be found in herbal medicines. It helps in digestion and is very commonly used during cough and cold. Ginger tea is very common in India and for many, the mornings are incomplete without it, including me :-).

One can use fresh ginger too. I have used it in powder or fresh as available in my pantry. Powder ginger is easier to store and has a long shelf life.

Jaggery

Gud – is unrefined sugar and a healthy replacement for white sugar. It provides warmth to the body. This ingredient though is completely optional. I add this only because the kadha at times becomes spicy and it becomes difficult to sip. So it acts as a natural and healthy sweetener.  

I like to use Jaggery to make this Masala Gud (Spicy Jaggery Bites) during winters, which helps in digestion and helps your body to keep warm.

Top view of Kadha in 2 glasses. Seen along side are some spices scattered on a board

Age-old Remedy and Disclaimer

This Kadha is an age old remedy and followed in my house. But I am no doctor and these are my kitchen experiments or practices followed at my place as home remedies. It is up to you to follow or not. I have mentioned in my disclaimer but mentioning here again, that I am not liable for any side effects of using any recipe if at all it happens. Neither CookWithRenu, nor the writers, contributors, and other representatives will be liable for loss, injury, or damage of any kind whatsoever, howsoever caused, arising out of or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content on this website.

Close up view of kadha served in 2 glasses

Kadha (Spiced Herbal Drink)

Kadha, a Spiced Herbal drink for cold, cough, and fever is a decoction of herbs and spices used as an age-old remedy to boost immunity and fight infections.
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Herbal Drink, Herbs, Spices, Tea
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups – Approximately 470-500 ml of Plain drinking Water
  • 1 teaspoon Carom Seeds
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • ¼ inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 8-10 Whole Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Tulsi powder or 8-10 Fresh Tulsi leaves
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon Jaggery – Marble size – Optional

Instructions

  • In a pan, add in the water.
    Water for Herbal Drink
  • Add all the ingredients except Jaggery in water.
    Spices and Herbs for Kadha
  • Now let the water come to a boil.
  • Once it starts boiling, simmer the water for 10-15 minutes, until it reduces to half.
    Water Boiling along with spices and herbs for Herbal Drink
  • In the last 1 minute, add jaggery and simmer the water until the jaggery dissolves.
  • Switch off and cover with a lid for 5 minutes. This helps all the spices and herbs to infuse.
  • Strain the mixture using a strainer.
  • Drink it as hot as you can, as you are sipping tea. (For kids warm is better)

Video

Notes

  • Standard US Size Cups used.
  • Jaggery is only used as a sweetener and is optional.
  • If you are outside India, you might get Tulsi in Asian Shops.
  • If not, you can try powder form or just skip it.
  • For kids, they can have this warm in smaller portions like 1/4 cup.
 
 
 
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Close up view of kadha served in 2 glasses


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    Sneha Datar

    Tuesday 5th of January 2021

    Renu my mum used to make a similar one for us when we were down with cold, wonderful and healthy drink, thanks for sharing!

    Stacy

    Sunday 3rd of January 2021

    The ginger and spices sound ideal for flu symptoms. I hope not to need it, of course, but will keep this in mind if I do!

    Renu Agrawal Dongre

    Monday 4th of January 2021

    I hope too. But you can drink this as is too, it makes you feel better

    Sue Lau

    Sunday 3rd of January 2021

    I'll be sure to show this to Bill. He loves ginger drinks and could eat his weight chewing ajwain. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    Renu Agrawal Dongre

    Monday 4th of January 2021

    You are welcome, hope he likes it

    Colleen. - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

    Sunday 3rd of January 2021

    I have a little cold going on right now...and this looks like the perfect remedy! Thanks for sharing!

    Renu Agrawal Dongre

    Sunday 3rd of January 2021

    I hope you feel better soon

    Wendy Klik

    Sunday 3rd of January 2021

    I love these old fashioned home cures passed down through the generations. Our ancestors were holistic before it even became a word.

    Renu Agrawal Dongre

    Sunday 3rd of January 2021

    So true. Thank You