Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chai (not for dinner)

I can't quite decide how to tag things that aren't for dinner. Lately, as I've been a little bored with our meals and frustrated with the cookbook, I haven't been as inspired to post dinners, but we're still having fun in the kitchen. Like this Chai that I make for us on the weekends - it's so simple, but so wonderfully warming on these dreary days. I keep the extra in the fridge and microwave it for my morning tea the next day. Buying the spices in bulk, and using tea that's not as nice as what I drink just plain, keeps this really inexpensive. Thanks to Elise for introducing me to the recipe (which is adapted from this Gourmet, I think).

Homemade Chai
fills two16oz mugs
Instructable version

3 scoops/teabags black tea (Darjeeling, English Breakfast, etc...)
1 inch fresh ginger, cut into rounds
1 cinnamon stick
2 t black pepper corns
10 or so whole cloves
5 cardamon pods
3 cups water
1 cup milk/soy (I use whole milk)
1/4 c brown sugar

  • Put all of the spices in a sealable plastic bag and bruise them well by pounding with a rolling pin or hammer. Don't go crazy, though, you're bruising not destroying.
  • Add the spices to the water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. It helps to partially cover so you lose less liquid, but that's optional.
  • Add the tea and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the tea and how strong you like it.
  • Strain the Chai into a bowl and then add the liquid back to the pot (I usually have to give it a rinse to get out all the bits).
  • Add the milk and sugar and bring back up to hot.
  • Serve with cookies on a rainy day.
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