Cardamom… I can’t get enough of it. The best cup of chai I ever had was at a Munnar tea factory. It was absolutely loaded with cardamom, and was so good it prompted a stampede to their gift shop, which supposedly sold the very stuff. Not so fast, Mr. Shop Person whose nose must be a mile long by now. A carefully blended masala is definitely required to reproduce the lovely elixir.
Although there are a variety of ready made teas promising masala chai, their tastes range from old dust to aluminum foil banging around in your mouth.
This chai recipe requires a minimum of twenty minutes of brewing time, but you can make extra and keep it on the back burner throughout the day. It is well worth it.
|Let this boil and brew at least fifteen or twenty minutes.|
8 cups cold water
2 inches fresh ginger, grated (no need to remove peel)
½ cinnamon stick
3 grates fresh pepper
12 green cardamom pods, crushed and ground as finely as possible
2 black tea teabags
2 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons jaggery, or to taste
Add grated ginger, cinnamon, pepper and ground cardamom, including husks, to the water and set on heat to boil. Let reduce to half, which takes at least fifteen minutes. Turn off heat and add tea bags, let steep two minutes then remove. (I don’t like the bitter tannins in overly brewed black tea.)
You may prefer to steep yours longer, but do remove after ten minutes!) Turn heat back on, adding jaggery then milk. Once the chai is steaming hot again, pour through a strainer and serve.
Trust me, the hint of black pepper, the pungency of the ginger and the fragrance of the cardamom will float you off to heaven-- with the angels.
Can there ever be enough cardamom chai? I would swim in it if I could…
Are you as addicted as I? Do drop me a line...