Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Chai Recipe

Update: I've amended the recipe over the years, and alterations are indicated in the recipe below.
I went hunting and realized I've never posted my chai recipe that I make all the time now. I keep it in the frig and drink one cup each morning. Here it is:

Fill a 2-quart saucepan nearly full of cold water and put on a low boil. Drop in 2 black tea bags 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Indian tea. If you can shop at an Indian market, they sell it in big bags -- black, leaf tea.

Add directly into the water:
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
5 whole cloves
6 peppercorns
6 whole allspice
6 cardamom pods -- Scrape out the seeds from the inside and discard the pods.
(I've increased these amounts for richer flavor.)
(I've since bought a large bag of star anise at a local Asian market for less than $2.)
Keep the pot at a low boil until about half of the water has boiled away. Remove from heat and add about 1/4 cup of sugar. Keep at a very low boil/simmer until liquid is reduced by 25%.
a black "witch's brew" after all the reduction has occurred
 I used half raw sugar, half white. Adjust sugar amount to your personal taste. Fill the saucepan up again with whole milk. I no longer add the milk or sugar into the pot. I add them to the tea in the cup, before I heat it in the microwave.
I love this part. It's so pretty to watch.
Remove tea bags and discard. Leave spices in the tea. Ladle the tea into a carafe and keep in frig. It reheats well in the microwave, 2 minutes on high for a cup.

One more thing -- I keep the spices from the previous batch and heat them in the new batch by placing them in a handled strainer and placing it across the top of the new batch while it brews. I don't do this anymore. Too much trouble!

I do this because I'm cheap and want to get the most from my spices.  Discard the twice-used spices afterward.

The spices are expensive, but when you consider your real cost and how much chai you get from it, this is a very cost-effective way to drink your chai, and it is vastly tastier than any I've had from a shop or a tin.
the best chai you've ever drunk, perfectly spiced to your taste, at fraction of the cost
Adam had to find the cardamom pods at Whole Foods when we were on a trip across the state. Otherwise the spices can be found if you hunt in your local grocery stores.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds good to start your day with some elegant spices!


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