I should be writing this post in winter,I know. But I thought this tea will be an appropriate drink for rainy evenings in the Spring. I know people who loves this and also people who hates it ! I just love masala chai, but TH hates it. So I make this tea for myself, or when I have a guest who loves this.
Soon after our marriage,we went to Mysore and Ootty. That wasn't exactly a cliche honeymoon trip. M had a conference to attend in Mysore and we thought we will take a couple of extra days and visit some places. In Ootty we visited a small local tea factory. They have different kinds of tea mixtures in packet, and they have tea samples too. After sampling, M didn't say anything in objection, when I asked him whether I could take a packet of masala tea.So we got one of those mixtures and some dried tea leaves to take home. But after reaching home, I realized that he hates it and it took me a long time to finish off that packet myself. That was a lesson learned and I never got a masala tea packet ever.No I never stopped drinking masala chai,I started making a mixture of masala tea myself,whenever the craving hits me.
I have to share this story about a discussion I had with Manisha and Soma on Facebook, since I'm writing a chai post. Have you ever said/heard about "chai tea" ? I have seen it in number of cook books, blogs, Facebook etc. So even without thinking, I used this term while commenting on Manisha's status update. She replied, 'did you say chai tea,oh no'. Then I realized that this terminology is definitely not correct. And guess what,she has written a wonderful post about this "Drop the tea, it's already there in your chai" in her blog, Indian Food Rocks.She has shared her masala chai ,pudina chai and ginger tea recipe too, in that post. If you haven't read it so far,follow the link, you will enjoy it ! Soma always cracks me up during our conversations. She started talking about "gadi peeche back karna", lasagna pasta and naan bread,under the same status update I mentioned above. When you think about it,yes why should we pair up two words that have exactly same meaning ? Now you tell me, will you ever say chai tea or naan bread again ?
I guess there is no recipe for masala tea, that you can call authentic or traditional. The mixture of spices is totally according to your taste palate, you can either add some other spices or totally cut out some of them in this list, that you may not like. But basically these are the spices that goes into a masala chai. I also love adding only ginger, to make ginger tea or only cardamom to make cardamom tea.
Masala chai really warms up your body.My mother would say, you shouldn't have this during really warm summer days. So when you feel that your body needs some extra warmth, make this ! I just get energized from the aroma of this tea.
Preparation Time: 5 Min
Cook time: 5 Min
Water- 1 cup
Milk- 1 cup
Black Tea- 3-4 tsp or 5-6 tea bags
Cardamom- 2 pods
Star Anise- a piece
Cinnamon- a 1/2 inch piece
Ginger- 1 inch piece
Sugar- to taste
1.Grind coarsely the cardamom,cloves, star anise and cinnamon using a mortar and pestle.Grate ginger and keep aside.
2.Mix water and milk in a sauce pan and boil. (It's a good idea to add water first into the sauce pan and then milk, this will prevent milk from sticking to the bottom)
3.When the milk is about to scald, add tea and the ground spice mixture.Add sugar if you are using any,mix well.
4.Keep the heat on medium high and let boil.Add the grated ginger and mix. Once the milk boils,reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.This helps the flavors to seep through.
4.Sieve into a tea pot. Serve warm with some biscuits or rusk.