Thursday, 16 August 2012

A Cup of Chai

When we were in India last Summer we drank Chai Masala, or spiced tea, several times a day.  On our return to Brunei I had several attempts at making it and always intended to blog about it.  But it just didn't happen.

Roadside Chai-Wallah in Udaipur.

Fast forward a year, and we find ourselves back in the UK with India a distant memory...  until we visited the Great Dorset Chilli Festival 2 weeks ago.  Feeling in need of refreshment we popped into Mr Tea's tea tent and when I spied Chai on the drinks list I had to try it.

On taking the first sip I was instantly transported back to Rajasthan.  It wasn't quite up to the standards of the Chai-Wallah - for a start it was made with a powdered mix - but the heady scent of cardamom was so evocative I left the festival absolutely determined to make this again at home - and NOT forget about it this time!

So over the last week or so I've been brewing myself a mug of Chai most mornings.  I doubt its authenticity, I feel sure that 'real' chai should have rather more ingredients, more spices, but I find it delicious and comforting.  As I type this I have a vague recollection of adding a piece of fresh ginger to the pan when I made this in Brunei...  I should try that again.  We're currently using some lovely Ceylon tea, in leaf-form, given to me by a Sri Lankan pupil at my Brunei school, but it works equally well with a regular teabag.

Cardamom Chai Masala

In a small pan, put:

1/2 mug of milk
1/2 mug of water
1 teabag, or 1 teaspoon of tea-leaves
4 or 5 cardamom pods, crushed with the back of a spoon
sugar - to taste (I use 1/2 a teaspoon)

Heat gently until boiling, stirring or whisking regularly, then strain into your mug.

And what better accompaniment to this than a square of locally-made  fudge, bought at the Chilli Festival.  Perfect!


Sarah said...

Lovely post! I do love chai - it's very popular in Melbourne, especially Chai Soy Lattes at expensive cafes, hehe. I think a homemade one would be even better!

xox Sarah

snowy said...

I tried your recipe Kate and it was delicious. Hadn't tried Chai tea before.I love cardamom. Is that Ted's head I can see? xx

Norm said...

Yes Snowy, Ted was cosily wrapped up in my Mei Tai carrier all day! He didn't seem too bothered about all that was going on around him.