How to Prepare Chai at Home (In the Western World)

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Earlier in the week I posted a recipe for Chai written by a dear friend of mine overseas. It was a traditional Indian version of how to make this yummy milk tea. However, what works in an Indian kitchen, doesn’t always translate to an American one.

Since being back in the US I’ve developed my own version of Chai preparation in a Western kitchen. Unless you have a tea strainer and loose tea on hand…DSC05327…you might want to try this easy version.

All you need is: Milk (2% works best), sugar and a teabag (black tea.) That’s it!

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If you want to go fancy and yummy – add one or a combo of the following: cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick or slice of fresh ginger (not pictured).

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However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, before we dive in we need to address the issue of American-sized mugs compared to Indian-sized teacups. 

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Two Indian tea cups full of Chai fit into One American sized mug. The following instructions will be for making ONE American sized mug of Chai. Double the recipe according to how many mugs of delicious Chai you are making. 

Recipe

  • 1 mug of 2% milk
  • 1 teabag (black tea)
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • spices (optional)

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and place on Medium High heat.

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Allow ingredients to come to a boil (milk WILL boil over, you must watch it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) Once milk comes to a full boil adjust the heat to keep milk at a low boil for about 3 minutes. Color should turn light brown. I suggest swirling the pan occasionally to mix the ingredients, using a spoon to stir often tears open the tea bag and then you’re gonna need that strainer anyway. 

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Isn’t that pretty?

I suggest that you do not rush Chai – it’s better when you allow it to take its time. The entire process takes about 5 minutes. Once done, turn off the heat, remove teabag and any spices and throw them away (unless you lived during the Depression, then you can wash them off and reuse. As you wish.)

Drink! Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

I recommend experimenting with spices til you find your favorite. One cardamom pod is perfect for me.

If you are interested in learning how to make authentic Chai you can visit my earlier post, The Art of Chai or visit the original post by A Living Flame.

FYI: Your homemade Chai will most likely form a milk skin on top as it cools. Don’t be afraid! It’s just milk. You can either: A. slurp it down. B. slurp it into your mouth and chew it up C. blow it over to the side of your cup and let it stick there D. use your finger or spoon to lift it off and discard.

Which do you think I prefer?

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Milk skin. Nothing to fear.

The Art of Chai – By an Expert (Not Me)

After my previous post I was made aware that of some of my beloved readers would enjoy a lesson on making Chai (tea). And then, what do you know, a dear friend of mine who lives overseas, and is also the writer behind the Blog, A Living Flame, has recently written a perfect Indian Chai recipe. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you will continue to visit her Blog on a regular basis. It is so worth it. In the coming days I will also post an American version of how to make Chai tea at home. But until then, I present the authentic Indian version. (And just to be perfectly clear – the following post was not written by me but is being used with permission. Please find the URL for the original post at the very bottom.) Enjoy!

The truth: some days I don’t feel like doing anything.

The other truth: some days I don’t do anything. 

Today is one of those days and you would not want to hear my thoughts on life. (because we all have those days when it is better not to post:) What I would rather do is sit and read and have chai. If you are having one of those days you can do it too. Here is the chai recipe to make the option complete!

Indian chai- you either hate or love it. I have met both types of people. Wait, I am both types! When I first visited India I can remember thinking it was quite odd. Now I may be addicted to it (yet, I will not be mastered by anything…so I quote)

To make a cup of chai you need a med. size pot on a medium hot burner.

2c. whole millk (sorry Americans, your milk is just not the same as India’s)

2t. loose black tea leaves

2t. sugar

1 green cardamon, a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. (all are optional)

Heat the milk and add the other ingredients. Watch and wait for the milk to boil. (If you walk away to do anything it may WILL boil over!) On electric stoves milk boils up very fast and often overflows. As the milk starts to boil, remove the pot from the stove and turn the burner down.

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Add all ingredients and bring to a boil

Let the tea simmer until it is the color of hot chocolate. This can take between 5-10 minutes depending on how strong your tea is and how hot your burner is.

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When the tea is ready, pour through a fine strainer directly into your glass. Throw away the used tea leaves.

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Strain out tea leaves.

In India, chai is ALWAYS served on a tray with biscuits. (we have a bit of British English here). Presentation is very important so if you have guests over you would use your best cups and dishes. Of course, today is one of those days I just want to enjoy this cup, so until next week when I feel like sharing my heart (and life)..enjoy some chai!

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Original post may be found here: http://alivingflame.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/a-chai-kind-of-day/