Friday, August 15, 2008

James' Chai Recipe

My sweetie makes the best chai -- he did a lot of research and experimentation into what makes the most traditional, balanced chai. He's had to modify since I'm dairy-intolerant and can't handle a lot of caffeine in tea.

I've learned to make his recipe over the last year or so, but I now do some modifications of my own like adding more ginger or some star anise. Here's the basic recipe and instructions.

James' Chai
  • 1 carton Pacific almond milk (vanilla if you want it sweet)
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 thumb size piece of cinnamon -- about 1/2" of a stick - not a lot though maybe more if you use Ceylon (soft sticks) than if you have Cassia (hard sticks).
  • 4 white peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 thin slices of fresh ginger
  • scant 3 Tb of loose Assam tea -Recommended: Brooke Bond Red Label Tea or Taj Mahal Tea (available at Indian markets). Large leaf teas do not work as well, but usable in a pinch, as are tea bags, though not recommended.
Process:
  1. Pour almond milk into pot.
  2. Turn heat on full.
  3. Crush spices in mortar/pestle or on cutting board with knife handle (careful not to send peppercorns and cloves flying across the room).
  4. Add crushed spices, tea and ginger to almond milk.
  5. Bring just to steam -- you don't want it to go past "just starting to simmer" because the almond milk will separate.
  6. Turn off heat and put on lid, allow to steep 15 minutes.
  7. Heat on medium to steaming, then remove from heat and serve. Pour through fine metal mesh tea strainer or into a teapot with a fine metal mesh insert.
  8. Enjoy!

2 comments:

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barbara Gallo Farrell said...

This sounds like a wonderful recipe, Jenn. I love chai. I've been making a recipe for Yogi Tea for years and often package it as gifts for friends around the holidays. Here's the link, if you'd like to see for yourself:

http://dishnthat.blogspot.com/search?q=yogi+tea

and, of course, you will find photos of my two handsome boy cats, Giacomo and Carlos! ;-)

I'm happy to have found your blog!