Monday, 14 November 2011

Chai tea


Chai Spice Tea Bag for convenience


Chai Tea is many centuries old and has origins all around the world. It is best known as the tea from India, where Chai Tea is a large part of the Indian Cuisine repertoire.  The recipes for Chai Tea vary from region to region, family to family so there are many great varieties out there.  It is fun to experiment in the galley and find the one that suits your palette and the palette of your crew and guests.  A great tea to have in addition with the offering of flat whites, cappuccinos, lattes at breakfast or after dinner.  
 
I normally buy the tea bags but thought it would be intriguing to make my own and have found this fabulous website http://www.chai-tea.org/ which has a few recipes to start with. Below is one of the more basic ones that I am experimenting with while I write.  This recipe comes from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking, Barron's, New York so thought it must be an original!.


Roughly ground spices for Clare's Chai recipe below
 
Masala Chai
1-1/2 cups water
1 inch stick of cinnamon
8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
2/3 cup milk
6 tsp sugar(or to taste)
3 teaspoons any unperfumed loose black tea
Put 1-1/2 cups water in saucepan. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer again. Throw in the tea leaves, cover, and turn ff the heat. After 2 minutes, strain the tea into two cups and serve immediately.
From Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking, Barron's, New York, p. 196 (1983).


The end result, straining Chai into the cup

Clare's Chai Marsala (based off the above recipe)

1 1/2 cups of water
1 stick of cinnamon
8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
6 black peppercorns
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger or 2 slices of fresh ginger
2 heaped teaspoons of solid honey, manuka preferred
2 black tea bags
2/3 cup  milk

Place spices into a pestle and mortar pound roughly then place into a medium saucepan along with the water.
Boil then reduce to a simmer for ten minutes with a lid on to reduce evaporation.
After 10 minutes place tea bags, honey and milk, simmer for one minute leave for one minute then strain into 2 cups and enjoy.

This Chai is spicier than the above Chai due to the ginger and peppercorns.  So create your own to your taste :)

Check out other recipes on www.chai-tea.org




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