|Clockwise from top: whole black pepper, star anise, cloves, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, whole cinnamon, ground cinnamon, ginger, cardamom pods|
She served this chai (or something similar). It was mid-day and I enjoyed it with black tea, a nice caffeine pick-me up in addition to the energy-boosting kick from the spices. She enjoyed hers with rooibos red tea. The nice thing about this recipe is that a tea bag is added to each individual cup at the end, rather than boiled together with all the chai spices. The chai spices infuse as they boil in water to make a spicy, deeply fragrant and flavorful base that is poured over the tea bag of your choice.
|Chai with a green tea bag, milk and honey|
Another reason to love this recipe is that it's flexible: ingredients can be eliminated, increased, decreased or substituted based on your taste and/or what's in your spice collection. How do you like it?
makes 4 - 6 cups of tea
1 Tablespoon whole black pepper
2 star anise pods
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 or 2 sticks whole cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 2-inch knob of ginger, cut into 4 - 6 pieces
6 - 8 cardamom pods
8 cups water
1. Heat the water with all the spices over medium-high heat until water comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 30 minutes to an hour or more -- the longer the more flavorful.
2. Place the tea bags of your choice into mugs. Strain the chai tea mixture into each mug. Steep for the appropriate amount of time (about 5 minutes for rooibos; 1- 3 minutes for green; 3 - 5 minutes for black).
3. If you want, add a splash of milk and some honey or other sweetener to taste.
Keep warm and enjoy in good company!