"If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty."
This Masala Chai recipe is the most delicious brew you can imagine.
The blend and strength of the spices combined with tea, milk and honey are the ultimate feel good combination.
I used to drink Masala Chai when I lived in India, and the best Chai was the strongest, usually from a street vendor. Although it was crazy sweet, the full strength tea mixed with the spices quickly became a favourite of mine.
Masala Chai Recipe.
( Masala ~ Spice, Chai ~ Tea )
3/4 Tablespoon of Finely Grated Ginger
1 Heaped Tablespoon of Cardamom Pods Freshly Ground
2 Sticks of Cinnamon Ceylon Not Cassia
1/2 Stalk of Lemongrass Chopped
6 Black Tea Bags
2 Cups of Soy Milk ( Use Regular Milk or Almond if You Prefer)
4 1/2 Cups of Water
2 Saucepans, One for the Water and One for the Milk
4 of your most favourite Tea drinking cups.
My premise for making this Chai is to use the best ingredients you can find.
For me, that means using fresh spices and grinding them all up yourself. If you use soy milk, make sure that it is as natural as possible and is made from a good recipe. I use Organic tea and spices where possible.
I also use raw honey to flavour the Chai at the end. It needs to be added at the end because if honey is heated, it becomes toxic for the body. This is according to Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.
You may have noticed I don’t put cloves or star anise or black pepper in my chai, there are many variations of a chai recipe out there that do but this is the recipe I know and love and trust me, you will too.
Prepare the Spices.
Firstly grate the ginger on a fine spice grater. ( If you don't have a fine grater, any is fine)
Cut the lemongrass stalk in half and use the bottom end with the root. I first crush it with something heavy like a rolling pin or you could use a cup. Crushing the lemongrass releases the flavour.
Break up the cinnamon sticks. I use Ceylon cinnamon because it has a softer flavour and is considered better for the body. The cassia cinnamon has a stronger bite flavour and can is considered to not be as good for you.
Prepare the Stove.
Heat up the water and add the spices leaving a small amount of the crushed cardamom aside
(or Your Preferred Type of Milk)
Heat up the soy milk till it simmers and adds in the leftover cardamom. Adding cardamom in the soy milk infuses the milk and gives it a depth of flavour.
I add it in the water also because the spices develop quicker without the milk. So all bases are covered when you put it in both.
Brew the Spices.
Boil the spices for 10-15 minutes. The water will reduce. If you feel it has reduced too much, you can add another 1/2 to 1 cup of water and let it boil a little longer.
Let the soy milk simmer but if it starts to boil, turn it off.
The warm soy milk will infuse with the cardamom. You need to warm up the Soy Milk because if it was cold and you added it to the water, it could curdle. This applies to all nut milk. And it needs to be a good quality nut milk for it not to split and to ensure deliciousness.
Add the Tea.
After the 15 minutes add the tea bags to water and let it simmer for another 5 - 8 minutes for the flavours to develop
Then add the soy milk to the spiced water and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. this allows the flavours to blend and the tea brew a little longer. Strong is good.
When the colour of the Chai has deepened, it is ready to serve.
Strain the Spices.
Strain the Masala Chai through a sieve into a clean pot or a jug. Press the spices and tea bags with a spoon to make sure all the flavour comes out.
Serve and Enjoy.
Pour the Masal Chai into the four cups you prepared earlier. Add honey to taste. I usually use a teaspoon of honey per person.
And now .. et voila .. it is ready ..
Enjoy this nourishing and energising Chai anytime you need a pick me up. I love to drink it after Meditation.
N.B It's good to drink the Chai soon after making it. Do not let it cool down and then heat it up again later as it's not beneficial for the body.