As the weather cools down (yes, even in the always sunny San Diego), I crave masala chai even more than usual. Masala is a generic term for “a spice mixture” while chai is a generic term for “tea.” Nothing against Starbucks, but homemade masala chai beats their version any old day. In my childhood home (as I’m sure in most Indian homes), chai is offered as a way to welcome guests. Nowadays, a steaming pot of masala chai is a daily ritual. No guests required (though welcome!).
INGREDIENTS: serves 4
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
- 6 cardamom pods, opened
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp. sugar (or according to taste)
- 2 tbsp. loose black tea
- In a medium saucepan, add the water, ginger, peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, and cardamom pods, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture stew for 5-7 min.
- Add the milk and sugar to the mixture and keep it on medium heat. Once the mixture starting bubbling, add the loose tea and let it steep on the medium heat for 3-4 min (or a little longer if you want a stronger brew).
- Remove the pan from the heat. Strain the mixture into tea cups. Enjoy!
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