Does anyone know how to make a really good chai tea from home, I am soo tired of always buying it at the coffee shops, sometimes I just want to be lazy and make it from home. What does everyone recommend????
Ok, here goes.....This discription of the process is from an Indian cookbook called Himalayan Mountain Cookery / A Vegitarian Cookbook. It's actually a combination of two recipes in the book and some Ayurvedic extraction techniques. We make a two quart pot at a time.
8-10 whole black peppercorns
Cardamom to taste [try to get whole seeds or pods, a no brainer on this forum]
1 cinnamon stick broken up
1/2 inch of ginger root crushed or pounded [ or more expirimment with the amounts of spices ]
Cloves to taste [ for me all these spices and the cardamom are what make it chai so I use several cloves and a good bit of cardamom]
1 quart of whole milk
5 teaspoons of good quality tea
In the 2 quart pot put an inch and a half of water add the ground [ mortar and pestle if possible ] and crushed spices boil till water is reduced by 1/2 it's volume [ this is the Ayurvedic part it really concentrates everything] pour in milk and bring to 190 or so. The book says boil but in this country or any other these days the milk is
already dead why kill it some more? When you get into this range add the tea and keep between 190 and 200 or so for minute or two then steep for about 10 mintues.
Depending on where good fresh cloves and cardamom may be tough to find namaste.com would be a good source. They may even have the book we adapted this recipe from. Also they may have some of the kind of tea this would be make from in the himalayas. Darjeeling would be a waste so look for the indian equivalent of Lipton or just use lipton.
Also the cardamom [ also known as cardamon for some reason, I dislike it when WASPS rape the pronunciation of words from other cultures ] and cloves are wonderful in waffels and pancakes and the cardamom is gread in oatmeal, or added in small amounts to coffee drinks[ it's a key ingredient in Turkish coffee] and I recently tried a pinch in some brandy that was a little on the cheap side and it was great there too. Be careful w/ the amt here is alcohol is a serious extraction device. That gives me some ideas about coffee....but I think you'd need the heat to extract the caffene. hmmmmm... Do not buy ground cardamom if you can help it. The spices used in Indian cooking are there not just for the taste but for their qualities as herbal medicine. They usually ballance or offset qualities in the foods to which they're added. This again is from the five thousand plus year old tradition of Ayurvedic medicine. Let me know what you think of the chai and the spices if you haven't tried some of them in this context.