There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
Whenever I pick up my cup of masala chai, first I breathe in the soothing aroma of mixed spices, I take a sip and the calm begins to spread through my nerves, banishing fatigue and stress out of my body. The sweet, spicy, creamy embrace of masala chai is like hugging an old friend in the time of distress.
Originating in South Asia, this mixed spice tea is a beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic spices and herbs. From being a royalty drink and herbal medicine to a popular entertainment beverage, masala chai recipe has evolved enormously over the centuries and includes many variations.
The concoction we know now as masala chai recipe , complete with milk and sweeteners is a staple in the lives of most South Asians. It is sold all day long at street corners, bus stops, train stations in small ceramic or tin cups by vendors, called chai wallahs ( tea persons). It is one of the most popular drink prepared to welcome guests into the home. It is the most widely consumed beverage with the afternoon snacks like samosas, pakoras and local sweets. Gossip with friends loses its flavour without masala chai!
Bags of mixed tea spices also make great gifts for the festival. With this wonderfully revitalizing cup of tea, I wish all my friends a great weekend and joyous holiday season ahead!
For Masala Chai :
2 cups water
2-3 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
4-5 black peppercorn
1/2 inch piece ginger
3 teaspoons loose black tea leaves
(Preferably a strong, inexpensive brand)
1 cup milk
2-3 teaspoon sugar or to taste
This Is What You Do :
In a kettle or saucepan bring water to a boil, add all the spices and ginger.
Reduce heat, let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add tea leaves, milk and sugar.
Bring to a boil, again reduce heat to a simmer and leave for another 5 minutes on heat.
Take off heat and strain into cups or a kettle.
Makes 2 cups