We absolutely love tea. That first strong cup of tea in the morning to wake you up. The afternoon cup when you’re rushed off your feet and need to relax. That office cup of tea when you’re looking for some gossip in the kitchen. The cup of tea when you’ve been out in the pouring rain and need to warm up.
There are lots of different teas for different occasions. But when you’re sick as a dog and need some comforting, you need some Proper Chai.
And store-bought chai just won’t do!
Proper Chai involves whole milk (yes, whole), freshly ground spices and good quality looseleaf tea. (We’re big fans of Assam tea!) This is our own recipe. Every Indian family has its own recipe so feel free to adjust quantities of the below spices or add the following: star anise, grated or ground nutmeg, coriander seeds, vanilla, cumin seeds.
To make two cups (you and a lucky friend), you’ll need:
500 ml of water
50-100ml whole milk (as milky as you like it)
1 inch piece of root ginger, roughly chopped
seeds of 4 cardamom pods, ground
1 clove, ground
2 inch stick of cinnamon OR 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
chef’s pinch of fennel seeds, ground
2 tsp Assam looseleaf tea
sugar to taste (optional)
- Grind the seeds of the cardamom pods, clove, cinnamon and fennel seeds in a coffee grinder. Alternatively, you can bash them into dust with a rolling pin on a wooden board or with a pestle and mortar.
- In a small pan, boil the water.
- At the same time, bring the milk to a boil and add the desired amount of sugar in a separate pan. Simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the heat once simmered. (If you want, you can skip this step and add cold milk at the end.)
- Add the ginger, spices and black pepper to the boiling water.
- Simmer for 1 minute.
- Add the looseleaf tea to the water and continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes until a rich, dark colour.
- If you haven’t boiled the milk in a separate pan, add the cold milk and desired amount of sugar now to the water and bring to a boil.
- If you have boiled the milk separately, add this to the water and take off the heat.
- Pour into super-cute glasses or cups using a tea strainer or small sieve.
- Enjoy and feel better already.
So what do you think? Feel free to share your questions and comments below! We’d love to hear what you have to say.