Friday, January 29, 2010

...a "tea" change [pun intended...]

I've always been a coffee drinker, the stronger the better...
double espresso... and NO milk or sugar either...

so to have to admit that I seem to be developing a fondness for tea...
[and with cream & sugar to boot... ?]

what's up with that ? ! ?

but not just any tea... I discovered chai...

Masala Chai is an Indian tea preparation spiced with cinnamon, cardamom & other spices.
There are as many recipes as families living in India.

Active Time: 5 min Total Time: 15 min Serves: 6
Step 1: Making the Chai
1 cup homogenized milk [or half & half]
2 1/2 cups water
2 pods (vaina) cardamom
1 large stick cinnamon
1 whole star anise
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp. pepper corns
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (or lemon/ orange zest if you dont have ginger)
2 pieces dried orange peel (or 1 piece fresh zest)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 bags tea bags, orange pekoe
To start the Chai, combine milk and water in a pot over medium heat. Add cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, clove, whole peppercorns, ground ginger, orange peel, and sugar. Whisk everything together and let it come to a slight boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Bring it back up to a boil and stir in teabags. Turn off the heat and let the tea bags steep for about 2 or 3 minutes. Then strain the Chai and serve.

this is one spice blend...

I have a very simple recipe with just cardamom, cloves, peppercorns...
& ground ginger...[no cinnamon or anise/fennel...]

this blend uses fresh ginger...

Clockwise from top left (some of the many ingredients that be used to make chai): fresh ginger, loose black tea, Vietnamese cinnamon, fennel seed, tea masala,
green cardamom.

Some or all of the following (measurements are per cup or per medium-sized mug):

2 green cardamom pods
2-3 whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1-2 pieces cinnamon (“real cinnamon” not Cassia. May be labeled “Vietnamese cinnamon”)
Fresh ginger (2-3 thin slices for extra zing)

I have to admit that so far I've only used "Good Earth" Chai tea bags...
they taste like they have some cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom & black pepper...
I use 2 bags for a tall mug, add h&h & a bit of sugar...[yum]

so I purchased some cardamom [I had the rest...]
to try "grinding my own"...
I think that I even have an extra grinder...
just for spices, somewhere...
[if not, I can clean the coffee grinder with bread...]

if it doesn't taste good, at least it'll smell wonderful...

oh, I still like coffee... but chai is too good to ignore...

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