Monday, November 21, 2011

Do you like chai?  I sure do, but I don't like either the cost of premade, or the ingredients and/or taste of some commercial brands.  So I make my own.  It's easy, takes about 40 minutes, and tastes yummy!

So here's my basic recipe, followed by some shortcuts and variations.  This recipe can be doubled or even trebled without negative effect.

Combine in cook pot:
3 cups water
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
2 small sticks of cinnamon
8 cardamon pods, broken open
ground ginger to taste

Cover, bring to boil, then simmer on low, 30 min.
Add 1 black tea bag & simmer another 3-5 min.
Strain, then return liquid to pot.
Add to liquid:
     1 Tbls. maple syrup
     1/2 cup milk
     Brown sugar to taste

Bring just to boil, then remove from heat.  Serve immediately.

When I triple this recipe, I start with 10 cups of water, a Tbls. of cloves and peppercorn, and 3 long cinnamon sticks, broken into three parts each.  Sometimes I use fresh ginger instead of powdered, and I break the cardamon up in a mortar and pestle, throwing both the seeds AND the pods into the water.

I'm pretty loosy-goosy about the time factor, especially after I've added the tea bags.  Sometimes I use 2 Chai tea bags and 2 black tea, but if using just black, I stick with 3 bags for the triple recipe instead of four.

I haven't had any maple syrup in the house for awhile, so instead, I make my own dark brown sugar by combining pale brown sugar and dark (blackstrap) molasses, and I add it until I like the taste.  I don't add milk at all, preferring to put that in when I'm ready to drink the chai.

The ratio of chai to milk is 1:1, so I fill a cup half full of chai, top it off with milk, then heat the whole thing in the microwave or on the stove until hot.  And SOMEtimes I throw a marshmallow in, too!