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Homemade Chai! Ahhhh….

January 14, 2011

One of the greatest things about this past weekend was the abundance of everpresent homemade chai. The birthday girl has spent a lot of time in India and so chai is a big part of her life. From the moment we arrived in her home in Albuquerque, we’d hear the frequent reminder, “Fresh Chai on the stove!” and we’d all be lined up with cups and mugs, like hungry children.

It was really some of the simplest and nicest chai I’d ever had, and SO much better than the ubersweet stuff from Starbucks because we could add our own sugar (or not).

After about my 4th cup, I asked to learn how to make it and was amazed at how simple it was. Here you go!

Simple Chai

Ingredients: black Assam tea (loose, not in bags), fresh ginger root, water and milk (you choose from nonfat>>whole)

Step One: Cut up ginger root into small slices – about half a thumb’s worth.

sliced ginger root

Step Two: Add ginger and about 2 tablespoons of black tea to about a cup of water. (note: the ratio of water to milk is 1/3 to 2/3, so if you’re making a LOT, 1/3 of the pot is water and 2/3 is milk. Same is true no matter the quantity). Bring to a boil.

Step 3: When it has come to a nice boil, add the 2/3 part of milk. If you put in one cup of water, add 2 cups of milk. It can be whatever kind of milk you want or combo of nonfat, whole, half-and-half. I use 2%.

Step 4: Now bring the heat down to a simmer and watch it closely (this key). When it just starts to foam up, REMOVE FROM HEAT. Look at the picture. One or two more seconds and it would have foamed over and made a BIG HUGE MESS on the stove (I witnessed this one or two times during the weekend).

the tiniest hint of boiling foam!

Step 5: Use a tea strainer or sieve to strain out the tea leaves and ginger.

Step 6: Add the tiniest amount of sweetener (optional) to taste. I experimented with this stuff and it was pretty good. And note that this is an iced tea spoon, so it’s very small. Like half a teaspoon.

THAT is IT. Unbelievably simple, huh? This chai is very simple and delicious and soothing and has a nice little kick from the ginger. You can experiment by adding cardamom or cinnamon or other things (in the first step with the boiling water). I came to love this chai and had it multiple times a day during my snow weekend in the mountains. I am never going back to the commercial stuff!

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From → Food

5 Comments
  1. I love chai tea and make it all the time. My recipe also uses cardamom, fennel, and some cinnamon. But I love the simplicity of this recipe.

  2. Monika Mann permalink

    Thanks for posting this. I can’t wait to make my own . . .
    although something tells me that however adept I become at
    Chai-making, it will never taste quite as good as in a funky
    snow-covered cabin in New Mexico.

  3. I used to have a best friend who was indian, and I learned from tons of time at her house that the correct indian way to make tea is to boil it on the stove, with milk, but im lazy and havent done it in years. I should do that with my chai. But they would always add the sugar in while still on the stove (whether it was chai or just regular tea we were making). No, I definitely don’t like starbucks chai. I had chai first at my friend’s house so one day when I had some starbucks chai right after they introduced it, I tasted it, and threw it out it was so gross. And ive never tried it again, though I do drink chai lattes from different coffee places. Maybe ill make stovetop chai tonite (though I’ll cheat, because I buy masala chai tea leaves from Golden Moon Tea.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I don’t know if I can find that kind of
    tea in Japan or not, but I am going to keep my eyes
    peeled!

  5. That does seem pretty simple. I am a HUGE chai fan and this
    looks SOOO good. I could go for a cup right about now … 🙂 Thanks
    for sharing!

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