Every month as part of the of the Blissology Project Commitment #4, Food Awareness we are publishing easy, quick and healthy recipes for food high on the Blissology Pranameter.
Here Insiya checks in from Bombay India to show us how to make the perfect cup of Ayurvedic Chai. You can make it with or without caffeine or with or without milk. Check out how to make India’s ubiquitous and tasty drink. No, you don’t just add steamed milk to super-sweet syrup at a cafe. It’s done like this:
Whole Cardamom Pods – 6 to 7
Whole Black Peppercorns – 4 to 5
Cinnamon – ½ “ stick
Cloves – 2 or 3
Fennel – few seeds
Fresh Ginger – ¼ “ grated or thinly slicked
2 – 3 cups water
Organic milk – 2 cups or Organic Almond Milk if you’re vegan or milk intolerant
Tea – Robust English Breakfast or Assam Tea – 4 tsp
(Roiboos tea is a nice option if you prefer to drink a de-caf version of chai, and Green Tea works well too for a milder taste).
Crush the spices to a coarse consistency in a mortar and pestle. Add spices to ginger and water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for up to10 minutes or so. Then add milk, let simmer for five minutes more. Finally add tea-leaves, bring to a rolling boil. Strain and serve. (I like adding the tea at the end, so you don’t end up with a chai that tastes of bitter / over-steeped tea. Instead, I let the spices really sing).
Finally, to sweeten, you can add pure maple syrup; raw, organic sugar; or a bit of agave nectar. A little bit of sweetness helps bring out the flavor of the spices.
Serve in teacups with a garnish of a pinch of freshly ground cardamom or cinnamon powder. Enjoy!!!
If you like a more milky chai, have the milk/water ratio be 1:1, if, as I do, you prefer a more watery chai, have your milk/water ratio be 1:2.
For tea, try the perfect blends at The Urban Tea Merchant.
For spices, I prefer using organic, non-irradiated spices: Whole Foods / Capers or any organic grocery store should have them. I also love shopping at theSouth China Seas Trading Company on Granville Island.
And if you’re just itching for some home-made chai that you didn’t slave over yourself, my favourite chai in the city is still at East is East with locations in Kitsilano and on South Main. However, do try a sample first, as the chai seems to vary each day!