Well, it’s not so secret now!
Let me begin with one of my minor pet peeves: I hate that this is called Chai Tea! Chai literally means tea, in Hindi. There’s a redundancy in the name here! Doesn’t this bother anybody else? ::sigh::
Apologies for the interruption. Let’s go back to the tea now: I make this only intermittently for myself, and even more rarely so if there are guests at home (and only if I like them! I am a big meanie, aren’t I?) Also, not a lot of people like their tea filled with so much spices.
Well. There’s really no accounting for taste, is there? – Me, just now.
Also, I find a lot of things lose their charm if had too often. Wouldn’t you agree?
This tea is perfect for a rainy day, if you’re down with a cold or flu, or if you’ve got a headache. It is a perfect ‘pick-me-up’ after a long, hectic day. So, try it once, and be prepared to be amazed!
Some notes to bear in mind: yes, I use only milk (low-fat cow milk, if I’m being specific) and I don’t dilute the tea with water. I like it that way. I’ve found that the tea tastes much stronger. In all honesty, I did once try adding the spices to the “watery tea” in order to check the differences in taste. And dear lord! It was horrible! I’m never making that mistake again. Cross my heart!
Also, you need to purchase dry ginger powder (easily available here in India, so if you’re trying to source it in another country, try an Indian store which sells spices. It’s called “Soonth powder” in Hindi, if that helps any) Use about 100 gms of this powder and add 12-15 crushed Cardamom (seeds and pods) to it. Mix it all, and store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place. This will serve as your Instant Tea Masala, which lasts for a good 6-8 months, if stored properly.
On to the recipe. Happy brewing!
Super Secret Special Blend Masala Tea!
4 and ¾ cups of milk.
½ tsp grated ginger
½ tsp Instant Tea Masala (read above)
½ inch cinnamon
3 cloves with heads intact
Tea powder (obviously!)
Sugar, as required.
- Boil milk and keep aside. You will need 4 and ¾ cups of milk for 4 cups of tea.
- In a saucepan, add the boiled milk, and add ½ tsp of Instant Tea Masala.
- Take cinnamon, clove and peppercorns and crush into fine powder in mortar and pestle.
- Add the spices mix to milk, along with grated ginger (You may even crush a ¼ inch of ginger in the mortar) Bring to boil on a low-medium flame.
- Add 4-5 tsps of tea powder and simmer for 2 mins. Turn off the gas. Cover the saucepan with a lid for 5 mins so that all the ingredients are brewed together and the flavours mix.
- Add the desired amount of sugar in tea cup (as per taste, though I find that 1 tsp sugar, per cup is sufficient. You want to be able to taste the tea!) Add tea.
- Mix well, and serve hot.
There ya go! Let me know how you like it.