I am sipping my masala chai as I type this blog post. Tea is by far my favorite beverage and this recipe for masala chai gives the otherwise ordinary black tea a spicy kick.
Recipe provided courtesy of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.
• 1-inch cinnamon stick
• 5 - 6 cloves
• 3 - 4 green cardamoms, slightly crushed to open the shells
• 5 - 6 black pepper corns
• 2 slices ginger
• 4 cups water
• ½ cup milk
• 3 - 4 black tea bags• sugar or honey to taste
Using a mortar and pestle, slightly crush cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods and black pepper corns.
Note: Don't use store-bought cardamom seed powder. Cardamom seeds lose their potency quickly after you crack open the shell. It is better to buy a lot of cardamom seeds and keep them in a jar and to crack them open and grind them with a mortar and pestle whenever you need to make cardamom seed powder.
Spices before crushing
Spices after crushing
Note: Use a spoon to peel the ginger. It's much easier to get the skin off that way.
Grate the ginger.
Transfer spices to a medium saucepan. Stir in ginger, water and milk.
Bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for another 2 minutes for all the spices to steep. Add 3-4 black tea bags and close with a lid.
Alternative: Use 1 tablespoon Indian black tea leaves instead of 3-4 black tea bags.
Turn off the heat and let it steep for 3 minutes. Strain tea through a tea strainer or a mesh strainer into tea cups.
Serve hot with sugar or honey.
For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.