Okay, I'll admit it. I'm an addict. An addict to chai. I need you to know that I'm okay with that. Of course, I'm joking about the addicted part! But I'm okay with fully enjoying this special and simple part of India.
India knows a little something about hospitality.
And it involves chai. Lots of chai.
Indians have their morning and afternoon chai. And you always have to serve chai to visitors. That can add up to a lot of chai in the day....
Some cups of chai make my eyeballs twitch, as in it's sweet. Very sweet. That's how Indians like it.
And then there are some cups of chai that just make you want to curl up and hold the cup and smell its velvety goodness. That would be the elaichi (cardamom seeds) and cloves and ginger.
I love chai because it's so much a part of India. Something shared between strangers sitting on bamboo stools on the side of the road.
Or given to you through the train window in a tiny clay pot.
Or a cup shared between friends in comfortable and content silence. My favorite.
Try it and enjoy the life of chai with us!
1.5 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick, crushed
2-3 cardamom pods, crushed
2-3 small knobs of fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1.5 cup milk (not skim!)
2 tablespoons black tea leaves
1. Put the water on the stove and add spices, bring to boil.
2. Cover and let simmer for a few minutes.
3. Add sugar and milk, stir.
4. Bring back to just under boiling (watch pot, milk may bubble over).
5. Add tea leaves, cover pot, and remove from heat.
6. Steep for 5 minutes.
7. Pour through a filter (tea strainer) to remove spices and tea leaves.
8. Enjoy with butter cookies, Indian biscuits, or some other kinda yummy!
Photo credit: Aaron Nystrom