Undoubtedly, my daily cup of chai instantly transports me back to India on a daily basis.
While some people speed up the process by using a pre-blended and ground spice mix, making a masala chai for me is a form of active meditation.
It is a chance to slow down, create and savour.
My Masala Chai
- Mortar and Pestle or you could lightly crush the whole spices with a rolling pin
- Measuring Jug
- Medium sized pot
- tea strainer
- 5 whole green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 4-6 whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp finely grated ginder
- 300 ml water
- 2 rounded tsp black loose leaf tea I use Bell Kenyan Bold
- 150 ml cows milk I use 'blue' top
- 2 tsp brown sugar or to taste
- Lightly crush the whole spices in the mortar and pestle and tip into your pot along with the grated ginger.
- Add the water and bring to the boil on high heat. Boil for aprrox 3 minutes to extract the flavour spices.
- Remove from the heat and add the black tea. Leave for 3-5 minutes for the tea to steep, depending on how strong you like your tea.
- Return to the heat and add the milk and sugar and bring to the boil again. Watch carefully so that the milk does not boil over. Once it comes to the boil reduce the heat or depending on your stove (I have a plain old ceramic top) you can move your pot part way off the element so that the tea simmers for a few minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer and serve. This will make 2 large cups of tea or 4 smaller cups.
- A simple combination of cardamom and fennel seeds is lovely if you don’t the flavour of ginger and/or black pepper.
- Increase the black pepper to add if you like a bit more ‘heat’
- A small stick of cinnamon can be added
- For a more ‘warming’ combination, substitute the fennel seeds for 6 whole cloves