When Tea Meets Spices
After the British brought tea production into India, many Indian spices were incorporated into tea. Masala means ‘a blend of spices’ and ‘chai’ simply means ‘tea’. So, Masala Chai is literally ‘spiced tea’. Chai Tea is a mislabeling meaning ‘Tea Tea’.
Masala Chai is made using different formulas, depending on the region where it is being consumed. Commonly used Masala Chai ingredients include black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper and clove. Masala Chai is good for you with its high antioxidant load. It also improves digestion, enhances the immune system, fights inflammation and has antioxidant properties. It has also been suggested that chai has anti-bacterial and anti-cancer effects.
A Heritage Masala Chai Recipe
4 Whole cloves
2 Cardamom pods
1 Cinnamon stick (broken in pieces)
3 Cups water
1/4 Teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/8 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 Cup milk
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons black tea leaves. (not tea bags)
In a mortar or coffee grinder, crush/grind: cloves, cardamom pods & cinnamon
Transfer the crushed spices to a pot.
Add water, ginger & pepper to the pot.
Bring to boil.
Remove the pot from heat, cover and leave for 5 minutes.
Add milk and sugar in the pot.
Bring to boil again.
Remove from heat and add tea leaves.
Cover and sit for 3 minutes
Stir the chai and then strain into a tea pot or pour directly into tea cups.
Time : Approximate 15 minutes
Yield : 2 – 3 cups