Clementine Chai Spice Mix

Cooking time
Serves6-8 people
Vegetarians Vegans Gluten-free diets
Clementine Chai Spice Mix

Don't throw away your clementine peel. Turn it into a warming winter chai spice mix. Dry out the peel in your oven. Then mix it with sweet, aromatic spices. Simmer the chai spice mix with tea, milk and sugar. It makes a fragrant festive cuppa.


  • The peel from 6 clementines
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 30 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • Breakfast tea, to serve
  • Full cream milk, coconut milk or tiger nut drink, to serve
  • Caster sugar, honey or maple syrup, to serve

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 90-120 mins

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1. Preheat your oven to 100°C/Fan 80°C/Gas ¼. Take the clementine peel and use a small, sharp knife to slice as much white pith off them as you can. Spread the clementine peel out on a baking tray and slide into the oven. Gently bake the skins for 1-2 hrs till the peel has dried out and started to curl up at the edges.
2. Sterilise a small jar by washing it in your dishwasher or washing it in hot, soapy water and then drying the jar in an oven set to 100°C/Fan 80°C/Gas ¼.
3. When the clementine peel is dry and crunchy, crumble it into a bowl. Break in the cinnamon sticks, snapping them into small pieces. Break in the star anise. Tip in the cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns and ground ginger and stir to mix. Use a pestle or the end of a rolling pin to roughly crush the spices. They don't need to be finely crushed – just make sure the cardamom pods are cracked and everything is a little bashed. Spoon the spice mix into the sterilised jar and seal. The chai spice mix will keep in the jar, out of direct sunlight, for 2-3 months.
4. To Make Clementine Chai
To make 1 cup of chai, pour 300ml water into a small pan. Add 1 English breakfast tea bag and ½ tbsp of the Clementine Chai Spice Mix. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 2 mins. Pour in 150ml milk of your choice and bring back to the boil. When the chai starts to bubble, take it off the heat and let the tea settle, so the bubbles vanish. Put the pan back on the heat and bring it back to a gentle boil. Take the pan off the heat and strain into a mug or heatproof glass, discarding the spices. Sweeten to taste and serve.
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