Thursday, January 20, 2011

Masala Chai

I've loved chai tea for years. I used to get the cartons of concentrate and make it at home or order it at a coffee shop. Our first morning in Mumbai at breakfast I asked for coffee and Mark asked for tea. My coffee wasn't very good so I took a sip of his tea and proclaimed "oh it's chai!" and I was hooked. He loved it too and every morning we drank at least three cups. It was very creamy, probably made with whole milk.
A typical breakfast in Mumbai: a boiled egg, spiced potatoes, bread, fruit and the fabulous tea.
I went to the grocery store in India to try and figure out how to make it like they do. I have a recipe from my yoga teacher here but it was quite complicated.
I bought a couple of beautiful boxes of tea in Mumbai. One says masala chai on it and the other one is darjeeling.
I started experimenting right when I got home. The box marked masala chai said to add a teaspoon to boiling water. OK, but no creaminess. Then I used 1/2 milk, 1/2 water and it got closer but not spicy enough. I decided to check in one of our local Indian grocery stores A Taste of India and see what they had available. He told me, to make it you use the regular orange pekoe tea and then add the spices which you can do individually but they had a spice mix all ready to add.
So I think I have it down now. I use 1/2 water and 1/2 milk adding a teaspoon of tea per cup and then a teaspoon of the kamal tea masala per cup and simmer it for about five minutes.
Definitely a taste of India!
(And definitely has caffeine, I had to cut back on my tea consumption to get a good night sleep)

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