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Masala Chai

April 14, 2011

Masala Chai

Time for my monthly blog post it seems, haha.

I’ve been a bit busy rebuilding my proper portfolio website. Hooray for databases and never having to code again!!

It’s getting so much colder now! Can you feel it? Part of me is deeply distressed at the fact that I wont see sunlight after work for another 2 seasons, but another part of me is looking forward to scarves, nice coats and hotpot parties. Anyway, the following recipe is another great thing to look forward to during the long wintery days.

In February, I was lucky enough to take a trip to India for a good friend’s wedding! (which I promise will be blogged about some time…………..) And amongst all the awesome stuff we ate and drank there (PANEER TANDOORI!) – I completely fell in love with Masala Chai!

I’d never been a big fan of chai while I was in Sydney. This is possibly a result of my stint at a certain popular drink chain during my uni days (it was a great experience, but the smell of that premixed chai syrup at 6am in the morning haunts me). Maybe I’m not going to the right places, but I always found the usual concoctions to be so sickly sweet and reeking of vanilla essence.

That is, until I tasted this masala chai at a tea bar in the middle of Oxford Book store, Connaught Place, New Delhi.

DSC_2337.jpg

First of all… it’s served in a monkey glass. Immediately that’s awesome. The drink was so strongly spiced and rich, I almost couldn’t finish this tiny glass. Intense and delicious. This is no chai latte bastardisation.

And that’s all I drank for the rest of the trip.

‘Masala’ refers to a mixture of spices. There’s no set recipe for chai, and no set method as far as I’m aware. This is not at all a definitive way of making it, and if you know a better way – please let me know your thoughts! In coming up with this method, I consulted a few websites including SBS Food and Chai Tea.org – and adjusted the quantities to taste – and of course you’re welcome to do the same. I got all the spices at the local deli, and it was quite cheap!

Anyway, it’s super simple – even a kitchen newb like me could do it 🙂

Masala Chai Mix
The amount here makes a decent quantity that I’ve been keeping in an airtight jar.

Ingredients:
12 green cardamom pods (try not to skimp on this one. It gives chai its distinctive flavour)
3 sticks of cinnamon, crushed (I really like cinnamon, so I probably add a bit more than is necessary)
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp ginger powder (some recipes I’ve seen call for crushed fresh ginger. Will have to try it)
1/2 tsp cloves (I’m too lazy to count them)
1/4 tsp black peppercorns

Masala Chai
(using the awesome teaspoon set I got from Miss Piggy 🙂 )

Masala Chai

First we want to dry roast the spices to bring out the flavour. Preheat the oven to around 220˚C. Lay all the spices out on a tray (I’ve used a brownie pan), and roast them for 3-4 mins max. Your kitchen will start to smell wonderful.

Masala Chai
mm.. roasting away

Don’t panic if they come out a bit smoky! As long as they’re not burnt, it just adds to the flavour 😉

Next I used one of those kitchen grinder magic bullet things to grind the spice mixture to a fine powder. If you don’t have one, you can use a mortar and pestle (and get some muscles doing it).

Masala Chai
before

Masala Chai
after!

And that’s it! That’s your Masala spice mix! Keep it in an airtight jar.

Masala Chai

To brew your chai tea – use a saucepan to brew a very strong cup of black tea (Assam tea is the best. I used English Breakfast, but Irish Breakfast would be great for that strong flavour.)

Use half milk (full cream milk of course), half water – and continuously stir it to evaporate the water to create a very thick tea. Add lots of sugar (brown sugar or raw sugar preferably) at this point – it brings out the taste of the spices later!

Add 1 teaspoon of the masala chai spice mix per cup of tea and let it brew for a few more minutes, stirring continuously. If you stir it with a whisk, it’ll be nice and frothy!

Serve and enjoy!

homemade masala chai with @Josemalene
I just wanted to show off my penguin mug

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2011 1:52 am

    Oh wow, the wedding in India must have been amazing. I’ve always marvelled at the extent of wedding celebrations there. I love chai – I tend to cheat and use the mix you get in Indian spice shops, but oh that monkey glass is oh so cute!

    • April 27, 2011 11:13 pm

      Embarrassingly… I realised there’s a spice shop literally down the road from me, which I’ve never been to. Terrible! Have to check it out.

      I have to get my act together an blog about India! Otherwise they’ll fall on the wayside like my promised blogs about Japan >_>

  2. April 16, 2011 7:35 am

    Yay – glad to see the measuring spoons getting a work out. I love “real” Chai tea. Cafe Ella in Darlington makes it, and an Indian guy from work also brought some in for me to try that he’d made himself at home. AH-mazing flavours.

    I’d love to see some posts about the Indian wedding – they fascinate me no end.

    • April 27, 2011 11:11 pm

      every time I use the spoons they make me smile! 😀

      Ooh, Cafe Ella! I must try it!

      Yesss… I promise to blog about India! Soooo many pics to go through!

  3. April 17, 2011 12:45 pm

    The monkey glass would make all the difference for me. The penguin mug is cute too. I’ve bought chai tea and have purchased the make at home stuff but never thought about mixing my own. Sounds like fun and the house will smell divine. Thanks!

    • April 27, 2011 11:13 pm

      I sooo wanted to keep the monkey glass!! I wonder if I can find it somewhere on the internet.

  4. April 18, 2011 9:26 pm

    i love love chai.

    ive got so many different types. i still think bondi is the best. BUT srsly i should try and brew my own!

  5. April 27, 2011 1:59 pm

    Love chai – especially if it were in that monkey glass!

  6. April 27, 2011 9:12 pm

    oh id love to go to india! this looks divine, definitely going to try it out thanks for sharing 🙂

    • April 27, 2011 11:14 pm

      I was surprised how simple it was to make! But probably difficult to get the exact blend. Lucky I am not that knowledgeable haha

  7. May 11, 2011 9:03 am

    Excellent recipe, thanks!

  8. May 12, 2011 10:10 am

    I love masala chai made using blackpaper, ginger and mint. I also like your glass with monkey, cheers.

Trackbacks

  1. Fresh Ginger Cake « crunchytiger
  2. India 2011 – Delhi – Cha-Bar – Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place « crunchytiger

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