Chai Bread

Serves
8

Ayurvedic puds are hard to come by, and this is possibly more of a sweetish tea bread than a full on dessert. It is, however, delicious and a perfect partner for a cuppa or coffee. I might say it is entirely ‘guilt free’ if I believed in any kind of relationship between food and guilt. I do believe in enjoyment, great ingredients and healing spice and all three abound in this, easy-to-prepare loaf.

Ayurvedic Note
Bananas are a lovely fruit for Vata – sweet, yes, but also damp-producing, which though not good for Kapha (or incidentally, anyone who is prone to being a bit phlegmy or mucousy, or teetering on the edge of having a cold!) does help to counterbalance the inherent dryness of Vata. BUT, if you’re not planning on eating this all the time, you’re absolutely fine to indulge now and then (Pitta and Kapha types, that means you – though, admittedly, Kapha least of all, sorry).

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas
6 green cardamom pods
4 cloves
Handful of smashed walnuts
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 vanilla pod/1 tsp. good quality vanilla essence
1 organic egg
80g organic soft unsalted butter
90g plain flour/white spelt flour
90g wholemeal flour / wholemeal spelt flour
2 tbsp jaggery
1 tsp baking powder

Method

  • 1 Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 / 160 Celsius (fan) / 180 Celsius
  • 2 Crack your cardamom pods with the back of a spoon and remove the black seeds inside. In a mortar combine with your cloves, crush and grind with your pestle to a fine powder
  • 3 In a mixing bowl, mash your bananas with a fork to a paste. Add your soft butter and vanilla. If using a pod simply slit the length of it with a knife and scrape the black vanilla into your bowl with the knife tip. Crack in your egg, add your jaggery and ground spices and mix until well combined. (If you can’t find jaggery add a light sprinkling of unrefined organic sugar or simply leave out – if your bananas are super-ripe they will impart the sweetness, but the jaggery adds a certain something to the flavour and nutrition)
  • 4 Fold in your flours and baking powder keeping some air in your mix while combining and spoon into a buttered loaf tin
  • 5 Bake in the middle of your preheated oven for 1 hour. Check with a skewer or toothpick plunged into your loaf. If it comes out clean, allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes or so on a wire rack and then turn out
  • 6 Serve warm from the oven or lightly toasted with a touch of salted butter and your chosen cuppa