Last week I ate at an Indian restaurant with friends and had some of the finest Masala Chai Tea I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Now, I’ve definitely sampled my fair share of chai tea over the years and used to buy cartons of the pre-made liquid kind from the grocery store, but after researching recipes this weekend I realized how easy it is to make from scratch. And since I am always a fan of making things from scratch whenever possible I couldn’t resist.
Making the tea did require a trip to the spice section of the grocery store to buy ingredients in whole form: cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, and black peppercorns. Making the tea also gave me a chance to use the mortar and pestle my mom gave me for Christmas. And I am always looking for an excuse to bust out the mortar and pestle.
I wish the masters of the interweb could figure out a way to transport scent through our computers because man oh man if you could smell it while the spices were steeping! It was awesome– sweet and spicy at the same time.
After straining the spices you add milk, a bit of sugar, and finally the tea.
This cup is for you:
Masala Chai Tea
(Adapted from Indian Masala Chai recipe found on www.food.com )
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 4 black peppercorns
- 3 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 black teabags (I used decaffeinated but certainly caffeinated would be fine too)
In a mortar crush the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon, and black peppercorns, or use a coffee grinder.
Transfer the crushed spices to a small saucepan, add the water and ginger and bring to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and add the teabags. Cover and let steep for 3 minutes.
Stir the chai, and then strain it into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups.