Thursday, December 4, 2014

Masala Chai / Spicy Indian Tea Masala

It is raining incessantly here in San Francisco, CA for the past week. All I want to do is snuggle up in the couch with a good book and a steaming cup of tea. A small plate of samosas or vadas to join the company wouldn't be bad either. OK, the couch and the book thing is not happening right now. But the tea is sure to comfort your soul on days you need a warm hug. My MIL makes this delicious chai masala and always packs some for us when we visit India. This is her recipe.

Ingredients for Tea Masala:
Whole Dried Ginger / Sukku - 1 cup (approx 150 g)
Whole Black Peppercorns - 1/3 cup
Cloves - 1/3 cup
Green Cardamom - 10

In a pan on medium heat, dry roast the spices one by one. Spread on a plate to cool completely. In a blender/mixie or a coffee grinder place all the ingredients together. Grind to form a fine powder. Transfer to an air-tight container. A refrigerator is a great place to store the tea masala.
The Dried whole ginger is easily available in any Indian grocery store or whole foods store.
Ingredients for Masala Chai:
Milk - 360 ml (12 oz) *
Chai Masala - 1/2 tsp - 3/4 tsp
Tea leaves - 2 tsp of Orange Pekoe brand *
Sugar - 2 tsp
Heat milk in a sauce pan with the chai masala. When it starts to bubble, add the tea leaves. When the milk boils over, remove from heat and steep covered for 2-3 minutes. Filter with a fine mesh tea filter. Mix with sugar, stir and serve hot.
I used low-fat milk which is little thin, so I use all milk and no water for making tea. Substitute water in the ratio of 1:2 (water:milk) if you like that way.
The Orange Pekoe is a grading of teas and I find Red Label/Chakra Gold or any Assam tea brands of Orange Pekoe variety. I personally like to use 3 Roses brand and 1 tsp should work well in this recipe.


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