Comforting Chai

chai_tea(2)Chai is a real comfort drink I think. At least I love to curl up with a good book, a cup of Chai and a nice throw on a cold winter day. I feel instantly cozy and peaceful.

There are gazillions of recipes for Chai. It’s a drink that is probably made in each family a bit differently, according to a recipe that has been passed from mother to daughter.

Most have basic similarities of course. This is a lovely one.

Some of the spices are ones not usual in most Western cooking, so the initial cost may be a bit more than you expect, but you don’t use a lot, and these will last for a long time and make you dozens of cups of wonderful Chia over the months. Do try it and avoid the stuff they sell in the supermarket “premade”. It will not have at all the fresh taste that you deserve to experience.

I got this recipe from Simply Recipes (Chai). I have altered it, especially in the making to suit my needs. I also added a bit of extra ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 of a star anise
  • 10-12 whole cloves
  • 6-7 whole allspice
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon bark or 2 short sticks
  • 6-7 whole white peppercorns
  • 1 cardamom pod opened so seeds are exposed
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly finely minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 teabags of your favorite regular tea (I love Darjeeling)
  • 1 c milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a saucepan, add the spices and honey and 1 c of water. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Steep for several minutes at least.
  2. In a separate pan, heat a cup of milk to just short of a boil. Pour into a cup, add a tbsp or more of the spiced water, and 2 teabags or 2 tsp of tea. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Enjoy.

Serves: makes about 4-6 cups.

NOTES: If you wish to make just a pot of tea all at once, then add the milk and tea to the spice water once it has steeped, cover and steep for the ten minutes. You can also use milk substitutes such as almond milk which works great. Omit the honey if you don’t want the sweetness. Some recipes call for a vanilla bean or part of one. You can store the remaining spice water just covered on the counter if you wish to make it a cup at a time.

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