recipes for chai masala?
So I’ve been drinking a lot of spiced tea (chai, as they say) lately. My local Whole Foods carries Rishi’s blend, for instance, which is quite nice but quite expensive. And anyhow I already have a cabinet full of spices and a shelf full of teas but live in New York City and so don’t really have any more cabinets or shelves for a collection of pre-blended chais. So I’ve been experimenting a bit with blending my own spice mixtures for tea.
The thing is, there seems to be absolutely no agreement on what goes into such a spice mixture or how to brew the tea with them. (The only thing the recipes I’ve found have in common is that most of them contain cardamom, a reasonably high percentage contain black tea, and almost all of them come with a sentence explaining that this is the one and only true “authentic” recipe. I’m a bit skeptical of these claims.) So I figure I should ask the Steepster community if any of you have any favorite recipes.
Here’s a recipe and method I use – I vary it depending on what I feel like. http://steepster.com/teas/custom/14510-darjeeling-chai
Another spice that’s not listed in that recipe is star anise – add a little bit if you like the licorice flavor. For me, the cheapest place to get whole spices is an Indian grocery. I love a spicier chai, so I simmer the spices in the liquid (water, milk, or a combination) first, then add the tea at the end. I would definitely recommend getting some whole spices and experimenting!
From my understanding there is no true Masala Chai recipe and the at each Indian family has there own special one. I like using cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardoman, lemon grass and sometimes white peppercorns(not true indian ingredient) in a mix of darjeeling and assam teas. It’s always fun to experiment and change it up a bit. You can find some really good recipes on youtube, as well.
take one can sweetened condensed milk add garam masala to taste, refrigerate. Steep assam tea(or other black tea of your choice) when you are ready and add one spoonful of spice/milk concentrate. You’ve then sweetened and added milk to your tea at the same time you’ve added the spices. You now have the lazy persons chai. Enjoy.
It’s easy to make a couple weeks of chai concentrate mix at once and you can make it when you’re dead asleep in the morning.
There are of course more traditional nummy ways to make it cooking the spices in the milk on the stovetop making the house smell delicious but they are too labor intensive for me to make more than once in a while.
here is my own version that I’ve concocted- in a pot of water take a couple of cardamom pods, open them and toss in both the pods and the seeds, a small stick of cinnamon, a couple of cloves, a few black peppercorns, a small piece of ginger (about an inch- and this is only if i have it in the house), and black tea. boil that up until the tea steeps. then add milk, and simmer a few minutes so the spices can infuse the milk.