Friday, October 10, 2014

Chai Masala

I like chai. I like I nice steaming cup on cool to cold days, and if I'm feeling indulgent, I'll make it from scratch. My neighbor growing up used to make it for me and she taught me how. She was from Bangalore, and I know that my idea of "what chai should taste like" comes from those afternoons after school, and her flavors of home.

Then there are the days when I'm not quite insane enough to make it from whole spices or scratch, or when I want those specific flavors in some dish that isn't tea. I could use the spice mill - or I could get into the jar I keep in the cabinet of ground masala. This is the cheater's version, and scales well. I throw about a teaspoon into a simmering cup of milk and a cup of water with a black tea bag - usually keemun, but sometimes an assam. Simmer for 5 min, then pull the tea bag and serve.

Chai Masala
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cardemon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper
(added if I have them to hand - ground fennel or anise, allspice. There is no 'right' recipe, or one true way.)

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