Monday, January 05, 2009

Masala Chai With Recipe

I've been on an Indian chai kick lately for unknown reasons. Perhaps it's because it is quite cold outside and the taste of the warm spices mixed with hot tea and milk is so comforting. Who cares that I'm lactose intolerant and by drinking all of this milk I could power four of my neighbors' homes for a week with my natural gas? Thank goodness the kids went back to school today and the hubby was at work! Poor dogs!

Tonight I've invited a friend over to share some chai with me. I can't wait for her input as her step-mother is from India and she is very familiar with this style of tea.

What's the difference between Chai Masala and Masala Chai? Glad you asked! "Chai" means tea and "masala" means spice so chai masala are the spices used to make the Indian spiced tea and masala chai is the finished spiced tea, according to my research. Please someone, correct me if I'm wrong!

Although I did have whole cardamom pods, I chose to go with the ground spices to make this easy.

Here is my first attempt at making my own Chai Masala (tea spice):

Makes 32 servings.

2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom (I might reduce; just a bit heavy on the cardamom for me)
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

To make 2 servings:

Bring 2 cups of water, 2 tsp black tea (Assam is my choice), 2 tsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp chai masala to a boil. Let boil approximately 5 minutes until water is a deep amber and has reduced a little. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat before it has a chance to boil over.

Again, this is just a first attempt. I know everyone's tastes are different and I'll most likely adjust the measurements again. I just like that it's not the overly sweet, syrupy chai I've come to expect at the coffee places and that I can adjust the flavors to my taste. Oh, can I just tell you that I've got enough cardamom to last me a year or so? The green pods were just $1.99/ounce and I bought 2 ounces! I couldn't get over how cheap they were because I saw a little jar yesterday (about an ounce) for $11.00!

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