Masala Chai Recipe
Tea plantations in India started as early as the first decade of the 19th century. Since then, tea has grown to become an integral part of the Indian culture, and traditions have emerged around the beloved Indian chai. There is no single occasion in our country which is complete without a cup of tea. Be it the beginning of a new day, a new conversation or a festive occasion, tea is always a part of it. Talking about a new day, if you begin to walk on the streets of India, early in the morning, chai wallahs can be found on every street corner, sometimes in a small booth with a roof, sometimes with nothing more than a pot and a tiny fire. These tea vendors have perfected an elaborate preparation involving adding spice to milk and tea, and straining and pouring from one saucepan to the other from a height of several feet. They have perfectly handcrafted what is famously called the masala chai- unarguably one of the favourites amongst most Indians. Have a look at this simple masala chai recipe which is absolutely bound to refresh those drowsy morning senses as well as give a much needed kick to your taste buds.
- 6 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 7.5 cm cinnamon stick
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp black Assam Tea
- 400 ml whole milk
- 3 tbsp sugar or honey to taste
Pestle and mortar to give you the perfect Indian touch
Place all the spices, except the sliced ginger, in a mortar. Crush and grind them with a pestle until they break into small pieces and produce a striking aromatic scent.
Place the crushed spices, sliced ginger, and tea leaves in a saucepan and warm on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir frequently to ensure the mixture does not burn.
Add 650 ml water to the pan and bring to boil on a high heat. Reduce the heat and let the tea simmer, all the while stirring with the spoon.
Add the milk and sugar and continue stirring. Simmer for further 2 minutes, allowing all the ingredients to blend. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the tea into a teapot.
Pour into mugs or cups from a little height to create foam on the surface.
To make a perfect cup of masala chai, it is not necessary to add only the above mentioned spices. You can make it even better by adding different blends to it like chocolates, vanilla and peppercorns. All you need to do is select your favourite flavour and make it a part of the above recipe. For an even richer desert- style chai, just add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder or chocolate at the end of simmering, right before the tea is strained.
I write not to move mountains, just your hearts.