Night flowering jasmine—15 to 20 flowers, those who do not like bitter taste can use just the white petals after removing the stems
Whole black pepper—2 or 3 (half grounded)
Jaggery (optional)—1 teaspoon for those who prefer a sweet taste (you can use sugar, honey or misri also instead of jaggery)
Water—sufficient for two cups of tea
Black salt or regular salt—a pinch for taste
Wash the flowers carefully. Pour the water in a kettle or saucepan and add the flowers once the water starts to boil. Add the black pepper and jaggery. Those who prefer salt can add it now. Once the jaggery melts turn off the stove.
Sieve and pour into two cups. Those who prefer black salt can add it to their cup after sieving.
My mother used to prepare such jasmine tea for us because as children, me and my other siblings always created a lot of fuss to eat anything bitter. But when it was offered to us as tea with a sweet and spicy taste, we would relish it like anything. My mother used this jasmine tea to address our minor health issues like fever, cold and cough, and pinworm infestation.
You can have your favourite jasmine tea all through the year if you dry the seasonal flowers and store it. Preserving of night flowering jasmines is not difficult at all. Dry it under the sun and store it in air tight containers. Now and then, take out the content and dry it under the sun so that it remains crispy. You can use it for preparing your herbal tea by adding a few to your cup of hot water, or soak in water to prepare khar (alkaline dish), fritters etc at any time or season.
Night flowering jasmines have many health benefits. This is an important flower in Ayurveda for treating many ailments like cough, fever, anxiety, intestinal worms, skin problems, reducing malarial symptoms etc.
N.B: People who are suffering from major health issues, pregnant women and nursing mothers should always consult their doctor or dietician or nutritionist before embracing a new drink or food.