Chai?

by Karen on Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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Whether I answered “yes” or “no, thank you” I was given chai (or tea) in India.  I was lucky enough to travel with a close friend and the whole time we stayed with and visited family.  Like in most cultures, Indians receive their guests with food.  As long as your plate or cup was empty there was an endless stream of food and tea, and being full didn't seem to be a good reason to not be served more.

Growing up in a Chinese household, milk and sugar in tea was unheard of.  But after my trip to India, I was hooked on chai, which is a beautiful sweet and aromatic black tea that is steeped in milk and spices like cardamom and cinnamon.  This is so simple to make and the spices are available in any large supermarket.  If you're not a milk/sugar-in-my-tea kinda person, try this.  I guarantee you'll love it.

Masala Chai

Makes 4-6 cups

This tea can be made in many different ways with more or less spices.  You can play around with the ingredients.  Even just cardamom with the milk and tea would be beautiful!

- 1 cup of water
- 3 cups of whole milk
- 3 heaping spoonfuls of loose leaf black tea, such as Darjeeling (or 4 tea bags)
- 1 small inch thumb of ginger, peeled
- 7 green cardamom pods
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- a couple spoonfuls of sugar or however much you want

Lightly crush the cardamom pods so the seeds are exposed.  Place the pods, ginger, cloves and cinnamon in a small pot and cover with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.  Boil for around 10 minutes, then add the milk and tea.

Keep on a low heat so that the milk is scalding (make sure it doesn't boil).  Steep the tea for about 10 minutes.  Add a couple spoonfuls of sugar.  Pour through a strainer into cups and enjoy!

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{ 12 comments }

Sasha @ Global Table Adventure January 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Looks divine. Chai is probably my favorite tea… followed by earl grey and rooibos.

Belinda @zomppa January 5, 2011 at 6:02 am

Though I love my tea straight, I make exceptions for a good cup of chai. Nothing like it.

Sues January 5, 2011 at 8:59 am

I absolutely love chai! Especially made from scratch with all the right spices. Perfect for winter :)

Tanvi@SinfullySpicy January 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

I love the overly sweet, overly milky and thick syrup which by no means is “tea” in this part of the world :) Nothing like it!
But on another note, I cant stop laughing when I read “chai tea” on the cafe menus here..because chai is Hindi for tea ..so funny! And I havent figured what it is !

kamran siddiqi (the sophisticated gourmet) January 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Wow! Beautiful post! This is very similar to how I make my masala chai at home (I use loose tea and a few other spices). The photos are phenomenal! Great post.

Nadia January 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

What a pretty cup of tea. You got the color spot on! Really pretty photos. :)

My in-laws are super into their tea and use evaporated whole milk (from a can) because they say it tastes better. But I prefer to use regular milk.

Karen January 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Thanks ya’ll– I love hearing how everyone likes their chai!

Valerie January 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

I also wasn’t used to drinking sweet milky tea until I went to Cape Town where it was impossible to avoid rooibos. Now I absolutely love it, especially when it’s chilly out! Warms the soul. :)

Bailey January 7, 2011 at 12:15 am

Don’t you just love all the spices? I had the original once in India… it was just awesome.

Ani Tolmoyan January 9, 2011 at 12:19 am

I love Chai! Thank you for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it on a cold, rainy day!

adriana February 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I’d have to say my favorite picture is the one where the tea has already been sipped and the spoon is left. What more says delicious!

Karen February 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm

mmm yup! good memories eh?

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