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Mmmmmmmm - Chai!


Masala Chai is a traditional drink from India. Masala means “spices” and Chai means “tea”, so Masala Chai is Spiced Tea. This traditional drink is nothing like the Chai served in our big-chain coffee shops. Chai is not made with a syrup, but with a mixture of certain spices and black tea, brewed with water and milk.


In India, every family has their own Masala Chai recipe; but the common spices used include cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, star anise, black pepper, and/or fennel. The combination of these spices is a wonderful digestive aid, enhances the immune system, fights inflammation, and has antioxidant properties.


Try making it at home - you won’t be disappointed. Following is a recipe for Masala Chai, but feel free to adjust the amount of spices to your liking.


Ingredients:

1/2 cinnamon stick

1-2 pepper pods

1 tsp. cardamom or 3-4 cardamom pods

¼” sliced raw ginger

1-2 star anise

2-3 whole cloves

1 c. water

1 c milk (or dairy-free milk such as almond, oat, or coconut)

1-2 black tea bags or 1-2 tbls. of loose black tea

Sweetener of your choice


Lightly crush the pepper pods, cardamom pods, star anise, and whole cloves in a mortar with pestle – or use a coffee grinder that you use only for herbs. Add the spices, cinnamon stick, ginger, and tea to the water in a pot. Bring to a boil; turn off; and let steep for at least 10-20 mins. Add in milk and brew for another 5 mins. Strain and pour the liquid into cups. Add sweetener of your choice and enjoy.


You could also make a batch of Chai without the milk and refrigerate it for up to four days. Heat it up with milk, add sweetener, and serve. Another option is to use only dried spices. Blend a large batch of the spices together and store in a mason jar in your cupboard.


References:

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