Soulful Healthy Warm Drinks for the Winter

To celebrate winter, festivities, Christmas and New Years, we invited chefs, home chefs, food bloggers and homemakers to share their recipes with our readers. We’re happy to share some delicious and tasty drinks for the winter by Chef (Mrs.) Reetu Uday Kugaji.

You would have read her answers to our Top 10 Food Queries a few weeks ago, this time, Chef Reetu is back with some delicious recipes apt for the winters to help us stay warm and healthy. (Recipe & Photo courtesy – Chef  Reetu).

1. Adrak , Kali Mirch aur Tulsi wali Chai Adrak Kali mirch aur Tulsi wali Chai

This one’s a mind-boggling blend of tea, ginger, basil and black peppercorns. 


  • Water – 03 cups
  • Fresh Ginger pounded – 1 inch piece
  • Tulsi- 02 sprigs
  • Black peppercorns – 06 nos.
  • Tea leaves –03 tsp. depending on how strong tea you want.
  • Milk – 01 cup
  • Sugar- 04 tsp. / to taste


  1. Start by scraping the ginger and pounding it in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Wash the Tusli leaves thoroughly.
  3. Heat the water in a tea pan, add the pounded ginger, tulsi leaves and peppercorns and let it come to a boil. It should be fragrant.
  4. Add the tea leaves and milk. Add sugar. Let it come to a rolling boil .
  5. Lower the flame and simmer for 2-3 minutes till brewed.
  6. Pour into cups using a fine mesh sieve / tea strainer. Serve piping hot with cookies, savory snacks.

2. Mushroom Cappuccino

This one’s a scrumptious mushroom soup with cream and vegetable stock flavoured with garlic, sprinkled with cinnamon powder – a treat for our vegetarian readers.

Ingredients:  Mushroom CappuccinoButter- 50 gm.

  • Extra virgin olive oil- 2 ¼ th tbsp.
  • Mixed Mushroom, sliced: 500 gm.
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped- 03 nos.
  • Celery, chopped- 01stem.
  • Bay leaf- 02 nos.
  • Vegetable stock: 200 ml. + 25ml. to adjust consistency.
  • Double cream: 150 ml
  • Nutmeg, grated-a pinch.
  • Salt- To taste
  • White pepper powder- 1/4th tsp. / to taste.

For Garnishing:

Cinnamon powder- ½ tsp.


  1. Heat the butter and oil together in a non-stick sauce pan.
  2. Cook the mushrooms, garlic and celery for three minutes. Add bay leaf.
  3. Add the stock and cook for five to eight minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and make puree of the cooked mushrooms.
  5. Add the remaining vegetable stock to it to adjust consistency.
  6. Return to heat and bring it to a boil.
  7. Finish by adding the cream, nutmeg powder and season with salt and white pepper powder.
  8. Blend it until frothy by using a hand blender

For Serving:

Serve in a cappuccino cup, sprinkled a little cinnamon powder.

Chef’s Tips:

  1. Butter and Extra virgin Olive Oil is heated together, to prevent the butter from burning.
  2. You may first pour the mushroom cappuccino, and then blend ½ the cream, nutmeg powder and make a froth and top it. Then sprinkle with cinnamon powder.

You may also use high fat chilled milk to make the froth i.e. in a chilled bowl take the 1 ½ chilled milk and beat it with a fork. This will develop lots of froth, which can be collected with a ladle and placed on the hot mushroom soup giving it a cappuccino affect and then sprinkled with cinnamon.

3. Chicken soup with Lemongrass (Tom Kha kai)

Ingredients Chicken soup with Lemongrass  Tom Kha kai

  • Chicken Fillets – 500 gm.
  • Lemon Grass Stem – 01 no.
  • Lemon Leaves – 04 nos.
  • Galangal – 01 no.
  • Mushroom –  250 gm.
  • Tomatoes – 02 nos.
  • Chilli Paste – 05 gm.
  • Coconut Milk –  400 ml.
  • Lemon Juice – 15 ml.
  • Fish Sauce – 15 gm.


  1. Cut lemongrass into 3 cm long pieces, fold lemon leaves, wash galangal and slice.
  2. Cut mushrooms into half. Dice tomatoes.
  3. Slice chicken fillets. Heat coconut milk and add lemongrass.
  4. Simmer coconut milk for two minutes. Pour in 3/4 l (1 1/4 pts) water and heat.
  5. Add chicken, mushrooms and tomatoes and simmer for five minutes.
  6. Season with chilli paste, fish sauce and lemon juice. Remove lemongrass and lemon leaves before serving.

4. Tomato and Basil Soup

Ingredients Tomato and Basil Soup

  1. Pints Water/ stock 1000 ml
  2. Tin peeled plum Tomatoes / blanched tomatoes 100 ml
  3. Tablespoons Tomato Purée 50 gm
  4. Onion 01 no
  5. Large Potato 01 no
  6. Carrots 02 no
  7. Cloves Garlic 3-4 cloves
  8. Olive Oil 30 ml
  9. Teaspoons Dried Basil or a small hand full of fresh basil. 10 gm
  10. Salt To taste
  11. Pepper To taste


  1. Peel and chop the onion, peel and crush or chop the garlic.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan add the onion and garlic and fry gently until soft.
  3. Meanwhile wash and chop the potato after peeling, skin carrots and chop finely.
  4. When the onion is golden brown add the water to the pan, put in the potato and carrots bring to the boil.
  5. Once boiling open the tins of tomatoes and add to the pan, together with the tomato puree.
  6. Stir well, cover and simmer gently. If using fresh basil, wash and roughly chop it then add it to the soup, saving a few leaves for garnish.
  7. Dried basil can just be tossed.
  8. Cook until the potatoes are soft, then blend in blender and season to taste.
  9. It tastes even better if you garnish it with a few pitted black olives and those fresh basil leaves you saved.

5. Cabbage Chowder


  1. Cabbage – 450 gms
  2. Onion – 55 gms
  3. Tomatoes – 225 gms
  4. Capsicum / green pepper – 55 gms
  5. Cold water – 590 ml
  6. Butter – 30 gms
  7. Refined flour – 30 gms
  8. Milk – 300 ml
  9. Cheese – 30 gms
  10. Paprika – ½ tsp
  11. Salt – 08 gms
  12. White Pepper powder – 01 gm


  1. Peel and chop onion fine, blanch tomatoes, remove the skin, deseed and chop the pulp.
  2. Cut cabbage into brunoise Deseed, wash and cut capsicum into brunoise.
  3. Put vegetables in a pan (cabbage & onion) add water, salt, very little pepper and chopped pulp of tomatoes.
  4. After 10 mins add capsicum, bring to a boil, simmer for 10 mins. Prepare white sauce using butter, refined flour & milk
  5. Add it to vegetable mixture, add grated cheese & paprika and stir until cheese is melted.
  6. Stir, serve hot garnished with grated cheese. Crackers (optional ) can also be served with it.

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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