Spiced tea & Recipe
Since it has become sort of a ritual, that I enjoy a cup of masala chai while working at the computer, I thought it would be only appropriate to open my blog with a recipe for this tea.
Spicy, yet mild, it tastes, smells and feels like a warm blanket, that unfolds with every sip.
People who have been to India may already know this pearl among spiced drinks, as it is one of the most popular in India and beyond South Asia. But as I have not been to the continent yet, I was completely unaware of the tea’s existence.
A few months ago, I watched the Indian movie “The Lunchbox” by Ritesh Batra, wondering what that interesting looking drink was, that the protagonist played by Nimrat Kaur, prepared so enchantingly calm and beautifully on the stove. Thinking it must be a smaller, Indian version of a café latte, I searched the internet using key words like: “famous Indian drinks”, and “traditional drinks”. I came across pictures showing the masala chai, and immediately felt a bit ignorant, thinking that- as an open minded person, interested in all cultures- I should have known this tea earlier.
Aside from drinking it, the preparation of masala chai, is a sensual experience in itself. I started with a simple, traditional recipe, using cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and a few other spices. The more ingredients I added to the black tea, the more the scents filled my kitchen as if I had brought a colourful piece of India right into my home. Unlike many fragrances that quickly give me a headache, the smell of masala chai was delightful and calming.
For a few weeks, I experimented with different ingredients and amounts of spices, until I found my personal favourite.
Knowing that it’s flavor and texture appeals to me like no coffee drink known to me ever, I wanted to find out more about the health benefits that are often linked to spices, herbs, and ultimately traditional teas in general. Little was I surprised to come across online sources, that praised chai, to be the drink of choice for those who want to give their immune system a boost, as well as their energy, and bonus:
Could use some natural assistance in weight loss.
It is no surprise to me, that many coffee bars on other continents have picked up this delicious trend, and western folks enjoy their chai more and more often as well.
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.“ - Henry James
Options of spices / ingredients for your tea: Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorn, nutmeg, saffron, chili, coriander, rose, black cardamom, nutmeg, turmeric and cloves.
Boil water in a pot and add black lose leaf tea. Add the spices you like and lower the heat. Add the milk (or almond / soy milk) and boil for a few seconds. Then give the mixture through a strainer into a tea glass, or cup.