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First Things First:
Tea in India is traditionally made with black tea, and I use the Orange Pekoe cut black tea that is available in the market in the USA. In India we used brands like Wagh bakri/ Girnar or BrookBond Red Label tea. Strong tea for the morning.
1. Plain tea with milk
3/4 cup of water per person.
1 t loose leaf black tea
less than 1/4 cup warmed milk
Heat the water in container. When it comes to a boil, add the milk. Heat till the mix rises. Turn OFF the heat and add the tea leaves, cover and let steep. In about a minute you can stir the tea with a spoon. If the brew color and fragrance are appropriate, you can sieve the tea and pour it into cups to enjoy.
If it is light, then you can turn on the heat and boil it for thirty seconds. Remember the bitter tannins generate from the tea leaves after steeping so hesitate to boil.
Instead if you like stronger tea, I would suggest adding more tea leaves earlier. Or if using teabags, use two instead of one. If I use lipton, Brook Bond or tetley brands I always take two teabags per cup.
2. Masala tea
Here measure 1 cup of water per person because you will boil it down to 3/4 cup per person after adding the masala.
The ‘masala’ in the tea can be made up of either one or two or a mixture of certain spices. However I am always amused that the one spice which we never ever added to Indian tea is Vanilla, and that was originally the starbucks vanilla chai latte flavor! It was quite distasteful at first, but do you know what, either they changed the formula or we go used to it!!
Anyway the most common tea masala that you can find in the Indian stores can also be made at home.
Take one teaspoon powdered ginger
3 small seeds of cardamom (not pods)
crush together and keep in a jar.
When making tea, add a pinch to the water as you start to heat it. You can add more or less as you prefer. Boil this masala with the water and THEN add milk and tea leaves later.
You can substitute fresh grated ginger for the powdered variety. Start with smaller quantities. You can substitute mint leaves for ginger and cardamom, or cinnamon instead of anything. In the northern regions of India fennel is sometimes the masala in the tea. Or even ajwain or carom seeds (though I dislike that taste in tea).
Hope this will help you to make Indian masala Chai at home. And since we are more similar than different, when I say ‘Indian’, I would most certainly include all of the neighboring countries as well. Our tastes unite us in more ways than one.
Even though I would like to change the situation, the winter is coming. Sooner or later there will be sharp winds, frost and unpleasant moisture. I don't know how you like to warm up at home, but on the first cold day I dust off my home recipe for hot and yummy winter teas.
You can use my recipe or come up with your own proposals for fiery mixtures. Only one thing should be the same: your favourite tea must be strong and hot.
Ingredients (for 2 teas)
a piece of cinnamon
2 grains of cardamom
4 slices of orange
2 teaspoons of honey
your favourite tea
50ml of raspberry juice or 30ml of raspberry juice and 30ml of raspberry liqueur
Add 4 of the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of orange with honey. Add the raspberry juice or a mixture of juice and liqueur to the tea. Next add the honey with orange. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and orange.
3 slices of fresh ginger
2 grains of cardamom
50ml of ginger syrup or 30ml of ginger syrup and 30ml of ginger-lemon liqueur
4 slices of lemon
2 teaspoons of honey
Add 4 of the cloves, ginger and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of lemon with honey. Add the ginger syrup or mixture of syrup and liqueur to the tea. Next add honey with lemon. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and lemon.
Enjoy your drink!
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