LET'S PLAY "CHAIWALLA" GAME AND PREPARE OUR OWN MASALA CHAI

Tea plants have grown wild in the Assam region since antiquity, but historically, Indians viewed tea as an herbal medicine rather than as a recreational beverage. Some of the chai masala spice mixtures, or kashayam that are still in current use, are derived from ancient Ayurvedic texts.

The recipe or preparation method for masala chai is not fixed, and many families have their own versions of the tea. Most chai contains caffeine, typically one-third that of coffee (if made with a black tea base). The tea leaves steep in the hot water long enough to extract intense flavour, ideally without releasing the bitter tannins. Because of the large range of possible variations, masala chai can be considered a class of tea rather than a specific kind. However, masala chai has five basic components which are almost always present: water, tea leaves, milk, sugar, a mixture of cardamom and black pepper, and ginger. The western adaption of chai, or chai latte, has a lighter and sweeter taste than the Indian version of a more herbal and spicier milk beverage.

INGREDIENCES

For two cups of tea we will need: 

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 spoons of  black tea leaves 
  • 5 pieces of cardamon 
  • 7 pieces of clove 
  • 5 cm piece of cinammon 
  • 6 pieces of pepper  
  • ½ spoon of fennel
  • 2 cm piece of fresh ginger  
  • suggar or honey to add the taste 
METHOD
  • All the spices slightly crush into small pieces. Smashed the ginger into a paste. 
  • Boil the water in the pot, add crushed spices and ginger paste. Boil it on lower temperature for 2-3 minutes and add the black tea. The final cooking time depend on the preferences, for lighter tea boil the mixture for 3-5 minutes, but for full strong taste is recommended 10 minutes.
  • At the end add the mild and boil it twice. (Let it boil once, let it rest and boil it again.)
  • Make it sweet with sugar or honey as you like it and serve in the cups!
ILONA'S SECRET

"I like Masala chai bit more aromatic and romantic, so I use dry petals of roses! But be creative and inovative, try to add nutmag or lemon skin. Experiment, even preparation of the tea can be adventurous." 

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ILONA BANSAL

My journey with Indian cooking begun very romantically, I fell in love! I met my husband, born and brought up in India, and I have realised, that he can not live without "his" Indian food. Love goes through the stomach!

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