It’s mid November and an unusually cold day in Lahore! The wind chimes on my front porch and terrace are going crazy in the wind, the sky is the greyest of greys and the cat is hiding under the sofa throw.
I was planning to make some omelette, toast and black coffee for breakfast but the weather inspired me to add an extra pinch of love and dollop of warmth to the breakfast to give my family a cosy start to their day. So I changed my plans to making Shakshuka (a North African eggs and tomato breakfast) and upgrading my Chai Latte Recipe with Marshmallows and Cardamom.
Masala Chai or Spiced Tea is a popular hot beverage in South Asia. Black tea simmered long with milk, sugar and spices, to a warm and comforting concoction, is considered a perfect way to relax while taking midday break from work or unwinding at the end of a busy day.
Unlike the Starbucks version of Chai Latte, the real thing is not overtly sweet. It is more ‘kadak’, as we call it in local dialect, which means a strong brew of tea, made thick and creamy because of long simmering with milk. My Chai Latte recipe is exactly like that – strong, spiced and mildly sweet, usually with honey. For special occasions, like holidays, and very cold days I make a treat out of it by topping it with some whipped cream and toasted marshmallows.
What I like most about adding marshmallows to hot drink is creaminess and the sweet aftertaste that gets stronger and stronger towards the bottom of the drink. Every warm slurp of this drink will give you the rich flavour and aroma of tea leaves and spices, with a hint of creamy caramelised sweetness from marshmallows and maple syrup. It is simply love in a cup and your family will tell you it’s one of the best cups of tea they’ve ever had!
2 cups water
1+1/2 cup whole fat milk
2 tablespoons whipped cream (optional)
3 teaspoons black tea leaves
4-5 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
10 pieces marshmallows
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
This Is What You Do:
Heat water with cloves and cardamom seeds.
Add tea leaves and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to minimum and let the spices and tea simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Add milk to the pan. Once again raise heat to bring just to a boil. Don’t let it boil over. Reduce heat again to a simmer for another couple of minutes.
Meanwhile thread marshmallows onto a skewer and hold right above the flame to make them slightly charred and soft.
Strain steaming hot chai latte into tea cups, top with whipped cream and toasted marshmallows.
Finish with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.