Ginger Coffee ('chukku' kaapi)

April 15, 2011
0 Ratings
Author Notes

If you want to incite violence in a South Indian, deprive them of their 'filter coffee'. This morning cuppa joe is such a sacred tradition in almost every household, that a newly wed girls gifts from her parents almost always include a coffee filter. it consists of 2 tight fitting containers with a mandatory tamping device, the 'umbrella'. The top compartment is perforated to allow for the coffee to drip into the lower container. The coffee powder, ideally beans roasted at home & ground up as required, is added to the top, tamped down, & boiling water is added. 10 minutes later, voila!, a concentrated aromatic 'decoction', which is then added to freshly boiled milk & frothed up & served in steel tumblers. & yes, never ever reheat the coffee!
The morning beverage of choice for anyone convalescing is a ginger infused version of the filter coffee. The coffee decoction is added to ginger infused water (made by boiling water with powdered dried ginger), palm sugar & milk for a delicious comforting beverage that simply makes the aches & pains recede!
I have made some changes to the technique while retaining the incomparable flavor of the original 'grandmother's' version!
In the midst of all these wonderful intricate recipes, a cup of coffee at its 'vanilla' best!

  • Makes 1 serving
  • ginger infused syrup
  • 1 cup fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Ginger coffee
  • 1-2 shots freshly brewed espresso coffee
  • 2-3 teaspoons ginger syrup
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger extract
  • piping hot low fat or reduced fat milk (as per preference)
In This Recipe
  1. To make the ginger syrup, combine the sugar & water over medium heat till the sugar dissolves, add the grated ginger & cook till the mixture reduces & is syrupy (honey like) in consistency. Strain the grated ginger & store the syrup in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The syrup may be used for other beverages such as ginger flavored lemonades. or simply drizzled over a lemon or mango sorbet.
  2. To make ginger extract, finely grate a 2 inch piece of ginger & squeeze out the juice. allow to stand for 5 minutes before decanting. Discard the white residue at the bottom.
  3. Combine the espresso, ginger syrup & ginger extract (adjust the syrup & extract according to your preferred level of spiciness).
  4. Top up with required amount of the milk & serve hot
  5. If you prefer, you could froth the milk prior to adding to the coffee & spoon over the coffee.

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A biomedical engineer/ neuroscientist by training, currently a mommy blogger on a quest for all things food - Indian Palate, Global perspective!