Masala chai or spiced Indian tea


Author Notes: Chai is the generic word for tea in Hindi, a language spoken in northern India. Masala chai is tea cooked in milk and spices and is aromatic, a tad spicy and often rather filling. I have to say that I started becoming a real fan of masala chai since I discovered this version while on a trip to Jaisalmer, a gorgeous yellow sandstone city in the Indian desert. The home-stay hotel served this tea on every occasion. From the rather vague instructions that I got from the proprietress, I managed to come up with this winner. This masala chai manages to be light, while keeping the satisfying aroma and taste of masala chai.
In the USA, I noticed that chai is used to mean masala chai but be aware dear reader, there is a difference! Needless to say, the "chai" that you can buy is not even a shadow of the real thing. But you will find out soon when you have made this one. This recipe can be scaled up quite easily.
The Minimalist Indian

Serves: 4-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons loose black tea (strong)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 10 black peppercorns (or less if you are afraid)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix the milk and water and set to heat on the stove.
  2. In a mortar and pestle, pound the cardamom and peppercorns until you get a coarse powder with pieces of husk in it.
  3. Add to the milk and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat.
  4. Add the tea and simmer until the whiteness of the milk is replaced by a light brown. Continue to simmer until the strength of the tea is to your taste.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and ginger. Strain into a pre-warmed teapot or into cups.

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