Friday, December 10, 2010

Homemade Indian Chai Tea

In many ways, bringing an entire tree, with thousands of dropping needles, into the house and draping it in strings of electric lights, is a disaster waiting to happen. Especially when you have a one year old living with you. But it is Christmas after all. And its the closest my husband is going to get to camping with me in the woods.

picking out the perfect tree to drag into the living room

After dragging our tree into the house and vacuuming a few times, we invited the folks over to listen to Christmas music and decorate the house. I made a pot of Indian chai: creamy, earthy, spicy chai tea. If the only chai you've had is in a cardboard cup from Starbucks, with a splash of non-fat milk, than you won't recognize this special treat.

Whole spices for Chai

A few minutes in the bulk spice bins of the local co-op made the chai inexpensive to cook up at home. You can measure the spices to your own taste. I used plenty of cinnamon, cardamom and fresh ginger. More sparingly, I added cloves, all spice and peppercorns.

I use Tetley British Blend black tea because it is my favorite brand, with a strong and smooth flavor that I never tire of. You can use your own favorite black tea, as long as it is unflavored (do not use Earl Grey or other teas with flavors added).

Simmer the spices in water for 20 or 30 minutes. Add the teabags and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and use the flavored tea to heat with an equal amount of milk. I recommend using whole milk for a rich taste.

Milky Chai tea


Melodie said...

Oh, I LOVE that you make your own chai too! I make mine only using the whole spices without any black tea. I brew it with water and then add milk, but I like your idea of brewing it in milk. Yum! It makes a great Christmas gift too. Love it!

Elizabeth Howes | Saffron Lane said...

I could go for a whole pot of this right about now. Great photos, too!