A hot cup of masala chai at the end of a meal or as a pick-me-up after a long hard day is simply divine. It is simply a drink made by brewing black tea with a selection of spices.
In Hindi, chai means 'tea' and 'masala' means spice; referring to the combination of a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices which often includes cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, fennel and star anise. Every home has its own unique combination of spices which they prefer in their masala chai and hence, there is no one 'right' way.
There are many health benefits to consuming masala chai. The caffeine content in the tea and cardamom can reduce mood swings and has an uplifting effect. Ginger aids digestion and is known to reduce nausea and vomiting in some expecting mothers. Ginger, pepper and cinnamon are some of the best-known remedies for relieving cold symptoms. Most, if not all, of the spices used have antioxidant properties that can promote heart health.
If you'd like to enjoy masala tea regularly, it is good to know how to make them. Its ingredients are just tea and inexpensive spices that are available in all Indian home-kitchens anyway. Otherwise, a trip to the grocery store will solve the problem.
MASALA CHAI RECIPE
• 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
• 1 piece cinnamon stick
• 4 black peppercorns
• 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 2 cups whole milk
• 3 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, or to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 2 cups water
• 5 teaspoons loose black tea
1. Grind together cardamom, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and fennel seeds with mortar and pestle or coffee/spice grinder.
2. Bring milk just to a simmer in a saucepan. Stir or whisk in brown sugar, ground spice mixture, ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes to infuse flavors.
3. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in another saucepan, add tea, and boil 1 minute.
4. Pour tea through a fine-mesh sieve into hot milk mixture (discard tea leaves) and cook over low heat 1 minute. Stir before serving.
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Source: Indian Healthy Recipes
Photo Credit: Namhah