Spice Tea (Meghli chai)

November 3, 2009  •  Category:


In Lebanon, there is an enduring tradition. When  someone bears a boy, a spice pudding  calledmeghliis made and distributed to all the neighbors and relatives. When my son was born, about twenty years ago, my mother went into a frenzy  cooking that pudding  and produced a huge vat of it. I think she probably ate the whole thing, too, as we were the only Lebanese folks for miles around.  Anyway, this tea bears the same name meghli because it uses similar spices. I was not aware of it, but Chef Ramzi who toured every nook and cranny in Lebanon for his book The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon, mentions it and says that he had it in the Shouf region, which is where my ancestors came from.

This is his recipe, scaled down. It is a simple infusion of dry spices and a bit of ginger. Probably really good for you, too! The nuts that garnish the tea are similar to the ones used on the pudding.


  • 4 cups of water
  • sugar or honey, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • 1 2-inch slice of ginger, grated
  • Assorted nuts, such as pistachios, walnuts, almonds and pine nuts about 2 ounces each.


  1. Boil some water and drop the nuts in the water for a few minutes. Peel the nuts and drain and set in the bottom of each cup.
  2. Heat the water for the tea. Stir the sugar in it till it dissolves.
  3. As soon as the water boils, add the spices, ginger  and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain.
  4. Pour in the cups with the nuts at the bottom.



20 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. lynn says:

    This looks really interesting. I’ve never thought of topping off tea with nuts, but I’ll bet it’s delicious. And I happen to have some pistachios in my cupboard as we speak 😉 Thanks for sharing your kitchen must-haves with me, too. By vegetable corer, do you mean the little spoon-like metal tool that has lspikey things on the edges to scoop out tomato cores and the like?

    • Joumana says:

      Well, it is a long curved metal implement that is specifically for coring eggplants and zucchini. I have photos of it in previous posts (stuffed veggies)

  2. unconfidentialcook says:

    Thanks so much for stopping by….Your site looks v. interesting and I’ll be back.

  3. tigerfish says:

    A spiced tea is a nice tea 🙂

  4. Rosa says:

    That tea sure is interesting and spicy, mmhhh!



  5. pitiboudin says:

    très belles photos! c’est une recette très originale: pour mon prochain gouter de Noël pour changer un peu?

  6. Dana says:

    Joumanna, I am so glad you found my site because it allowed me to find yours! Lebanese is one of my all-time favorite cuisines. We lived in London for a year and I stuffed myself silly with your food because we can’t get anything like it here in Seattle. Such wonders for a vegetarian! Thank you for all of your nice comments.

  7. geetika says:

    Thanks for dropping by! You have some great recipes and pictures here 🙂

  8. Sophie says:

    Your tea sounds so good to me,..very apart too!

    MMMMMMMM,…just lovely!

  9. spice says:

    Congrats Joumana on winning MLLA#16 and good that i found one nice blog here….like those small breads in the previous post….should check your recipes soon……

    • Joumana says:

      I am so excited about winning! Especially since this is my first time ever of participating in an event since I started this blog. Thanks!

  10. leyla says:

    Hi Joumana,
    My (Teta) used to do a similar tea during winter and we called it INAR. 🙂

  11. Marion says:

    Je ne connaissais pas ce genre de préparation, je suis sûre que ça me plairait! Merci pour tous ces plats qui nous font voyager 🙂

  12. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    This is definitely a nice, warm, soothing winter drink, might even better a Glühwein for the X’mas. :-)))

  13. Rosewater says:

    شكرا كتير
    إحنا بنسميها دقة النفسا ( بعد الولادة ) ، بس كمان بنشربها بالشتا كتير مفيدة

  14. YESMINE says:

    Thankyou so much for the recipe I have been looking for it everywhere, I had it a while ago when my friend had a baby and couldn’t remember what spices to put in the tea.

  15. james says:

    thank you for youe website i love it

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