Ginger Coffee ('chukku' kaapi)

April 15, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 1 serving
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!

What You'll Need
  • 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)
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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

9 Reviews

Midge April 18, 2011
Wow, sounds soothing and bracing at the same time.
Sagegreen April 17, 2011
pauljoseph April 17, 2011
will try this
boulangere April 16, 2011
I am tucked in for the weekend. Just made a batch of your amazing ginger syrup along with a one of mrslarkin's coffee syrup, downloaded the new Donna Leon (if you haven't read her Commissario Brunetti series, now would be an excellent time to start) to my kindle, it's about to rain, and life couldn't get much better.
Panfusine April 15, 2011
@ boulangere: the drip coffee from the traditional filter is almost, as concentrated as an espresso & since there is no pressure (other than gravity), it does not have that foamy 'head that is seen on espresso. yes an espresso maker will give you the coffee extract for this traditional 'medicine'
@ CalcuttaChow. exactly my preference for masala chai, ginger & elaichi...nothing else, now I gotta run up & make myself a mug!!

boulangere April 15, 2011
Oh thanks, great to know.
boulangere April 15, 2011
I can't begin to mimic the coffee preparation, but I'm guessing that an espresso pot comes close. I'm going to brew up a batch of this right now. I have a feeling that it will be outstanding in iced coffee as well.
Panfusine April 15, 2011
it is, I have a recipe for a creamy mocktail that I'm putting up as well! (& an boozy version that can be found here http://www.food52.com/recipes/10659_when_kamora_met_kaapi. flames optional!)
CalcuttaChow April 15, 2011
Panfusine, this ginger infused coffee sounds fantastic, although I might need a lesson in how to operate that coffee filter left behind by my south indian mother-in-law. i can't live without fresh ginger chai. here is my favorite recipe.