Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spiced Chai/Tea

Spiced chai/tea, also known as masala chai in Chennai, is one of the best comforts that I know of during a bought of flu, cold, sore throat etc. The spices in it give the right amount of perk to the mood, while the drink helps to keep ourselves hydrated. Even Anjalie loves this tea. I make this tea for her with decaffeinated tea bags, go a little easy on the spices and add no sugar. For us adults, I like to sweeten our tea with jaggery (whole cane sugar). You can sweeten with honey/sugar/molasses according to taste. We like the spices to dominate and have a bite. You can adjust the amount according to taste and/or add other spices such as star anise, freshly grated nutmeg etc.

For 2 cups of tea you will need:
2 cardamom pods
4 cloves
1 tsp black pepper corn
1 long cinnamon stick
2-3 inch piece ginger/ 1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp fennel seeds
star anise, freshly grated nutmeg etc
1-1.5 cup water (depending on how milky you like your tea)
2 tea bags/2 tsps of tea leaves/dust
1/2 to 1 cup milk (warm or cold)
jaggery/honey/sugar/molasses to sweeten according to taste

Wash the ginger and cut into 4-8 pieces keeping the skin intact. Grind all spices (except ground ginger) with a mortar and pestle/stone (preferably) or with in a mill to coarse paste. Add a little of the water if needed.

Add the ground spices, tea bags/tea and water and bring it to a boil.

Lower the heat down to simmer, add ground ginger (if using) & jaggery/other sweetener and simmer for 2-3 mins (max.).

Try not to over brew the tea for long since it may acquire a bitter taste.

Filter the brewed tea into two serving cup. Add more hot water to it if you like tea with less milk.

Add warm/cold milk depending on how you like your tea. We like ours milky with warm milk added to it. If you have a cappuccino maker, you add frothy milk to make Chai latte instead of Spiced Chai. Serve hot and enjoy!

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