Indian Tea, or Masala Chai – a recipe

Afternoon ladies and gents.
Today, as promised, is a recipe for making Indian Tea, also known as Masala Chai.

Ill with the flu right now I’ve been limited in what I can do. Consumption of healthy, detoxifying foods and drink have been high on the list. One of the great restoratives I’ve been imbibing is Masala Chai. Unable to go anywhere or do much of anything that involves physical effort, I’ve been working on my Indian Tea recipe.

Ingredients:

-1 and a quarter cups of water
-a quarter cup of milk
    (vary this as you wish for how milky you want it)
-a heaped teaspoon of loose leaf tea
    (you may use a regular teabag, which is what I did when I started learning)
-1x piece of fresh ginger, peeled
-10x cloves
-4x cardamom, crushed with a spoon
-1x teaspoon of honey
-5x 2cm long pieces of fresh lemongrass

1) pour the water into a saucepan and add all of the ingredients bar the milk

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2) set on a low/medium heat and bring to a slow boil

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3) let it simmer for maybe 5 minutes

(take a minute to lean forward and smell the steam; the scent is invigorating by itself and the cloves will really stand out)

4) bring the heat right down and pour in the milk, give it a little stir

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5) simmer the mixture on a low heat, it should froth at the edges and start to develop a skin after a few minutes

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6) I stir mine every and now then during this simmering but you don’t need to; the skin will thicken as the edges froth

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7) move the saucepan about a quarter off the burner ring (or plate if you’ve got an electric) and turn the heat up just enough so that it bubbles lightly at the edge

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8) let it simmer for about 10 minutes; resist the urge to add more ingredients as this lessens the flavours

9) strain and serve. 🙂

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I’ve really been liking cloves lately and have been adding a larger amount since making Turmeric Milk yesterday. You can use more or less depending on your taste. I tried soya milk in today’s tea to see what it was like. Found it didn’t hold the spice flavours as well as regular milk, so bear that in mind if you’re going non-dairy.

May the gods bless, love and keep her, my grandmother grows lemongrass herself so I’ve been able to put that in. Peeling the ginger before putting it in the pan is a wonderful feeling, the sharp scents preparing you for the tea you’ll soon drink.

The entire process is calming but deceptive. The tea you’ll drink is very strong indeed. I find I drink far less of it than I do regular tea.

Some people put all of the ingredients in together and just leave it on a low heat for about 20 minutes. My ma takes the pan partway off the burner out of habit, telling me that she always went off to play with her sisters and brothers as a child in Kenya but her parents still expected the tea to be ready when they got back!  🙂 By doing this you avoid the overspill which can result.

Finally, feel free to alter your simmering times as this will lead to a stronger end product. Leaving it to simmer for longer in the last step will bring down the volume and make the tea quite dark.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Although I enjoyed making and drinking my tea a whole lot more.

Comments?
Observations?
Tried the recipe with a personal twist of your own?
Let me know in the comments section below.

Raviera.

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