There is nothing more relaxing than sitting down and putting your feet up with a cup of tea. I have to admit I am a bit of a teaholic and I can’t get through the day without drinking more than a few cups of tea. Well, there are worse vices! I like trying different types and lately have been enjoying chai tea. Hopefully there are no picky people reading this who are saying, chai tea means “tea tea”, because chai means tea in Hindi and a number of other languages. It has become standard to shorten masala chai (black tea brewed with a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices) simply to chai. There are some good spicy chai teabags out there, but making your own is far more flavoursome.
Method for making chai tea
This probably isn’t a very authentic way of making chai, but this is how I made it. It is enough for two people.
- Heat up some water in a small saucepan with a cinnamon stick, a couple of star anise, 5 or 6 crushed cardamom pods (I really like cardamom), 3 or 4 cloves and some slices of fresh root ginger. There are plenty of options of spices you can use, including nutmeg, black pepper, fennel seeds, it is just a matter of making it to your own taste.
- After about 5 minutes add two english breakfast tea bags (you could use loose leaf tea if you have it) and keep it simmering for another 5 minutes.
- Pour into the cups, using a tea strainer to strain out the spices and add milk.
In India it is often drunk very milky and sweet, so you can add sugar or even condensed milk, but I like to drink it as I would my everyday cup of tea with just a bit of skimmed milk.
Would I make it again?
Yes, it is really tasty. Probably not when I am in a rush to get ready in the morning, but when there is a bit more time to relax and I feel like a change from normal english breakfast tea.