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A cup of chai

I told xjenavivex we should have a cup of chai today. It occurs to me that many of you might like one too. Tea is such a balm! I'm making this tea the way Jaspreet Kindra showed me when she visited. Jaspreet Kindra is one of my real-life heros--she's done world-class reporting... and she makes an excellent cup of chai.

First, peel a small piece of ginger, and then grate it (actually, Jaspreet grinds hers or pounds it, I think--but I have a grater, so that's what I used)
ginger peeled ginger grated

Then crack some cardamom seeds
cardamom pods

Then smash some cinnamon.1 I have a tiny mortar and pestle, made for mashing baby food, but currently it's holding leftovers in the fridge, so I smashed this cinnamon with a jar of honey--which you will see later in this post.
cinnamon [actually cassia] cinnamon broken up [actually cassia]

As Jaspreet says, you can add whatever spices suit you. This blend reminds me of what I had the first time I ever had chai--when I thought the person offering it to me was mispronouncing the Japanese word "cha" (this was many years ago)--so this is what I make. But she says she sometimes puts in fennel seeds, or you could put in star anise--up to you.

So now add the water. Wait for it to boil.
water added water and spices boiling

When it does boil, add the milk. Stir constantly. You want it to get to that nice, thick stage, but not to boil over.

milk in

When it reaches that stage, add the tea. Jaspreet gave me permission to use plain old teabag tea, so I'm passing that along to you. I put in two teabags, but on the Internet we can all share.

teabags in

Turn off the heat and stir it around until it's milky tea color. Now you're ready to strain it into a teacup or, in my case, a mug. Jaspreet says she's unusual in liking to drink hers unsweetened. I do like mine a little sweet, but you can make it as sweet or as unsweet as you want. I added a couple of teaspoons of honey--from the jar that smashed the cinnamon.
honey from Westfield MA

And here it is, in a mug from the Hot Chocolate Run, which I ran for the first time this past weekend. I'm trying to do things that are hard and take a lot of work, trying to stick with them. Running, for me, is definitely one. I was happy to complete this run in what for me was a pretty good time (though a 20-something-year-old with a severe hangover can run it equally fast--ahh, youth!) It attracts 5,000 runners! And it's for a good cause: a shelter for women fleeing domestic violence, and efforts to end domestic violence.

final product


1As sovay will know, this is actually cassia. But it goes by the name of cinnamon, and it's what I have, and Jaspreet approved it.



( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 9th, 2015 04:31 pm (UTC)
I'm a huge fan of cardomom chai courtesy of my south Indian neighbour! :o)
Dec. 9th, 2015 09:04 pm (UTC)
I love it too!
Dec. 9th, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC)
I have never had chai tea because I assumed that, like almost everything else, it had sugar in it. Thanks for the recipe.

I didn't have a chai tea this morning, but I had a Tazo Zen tea. Does that count?
Dec. 9th, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC)
Definitely counts!

And yeah, you can make this absolutely without sweetener, and it's still delicious.
Dec. 9th, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC)
I am deep into my chai. You are such an amazing, beautiful person. Thank you for your love and care. I needed this today. Also, I have never seen this done before. Very, very cool!
Dec. 9th, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC)
Me too--it's a pleasure to share this with you.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 9th, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for stopping by--having friends to share it with makes all the difference.
Dec. 9th, 2015 09:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, lovely! I'll confess that I buy ready-made chai from Tesco*... I should try this recipe sometime. :) Do you like masala chai?

*and I shall have a cup now! :D
Dec. 9th, 2015 10:43 pm (UTC)
Tea for one and all! Yes, I love masala chai!
Dec. 9th, 2015 10:37 pm (UTC)
I love the photo!

Wishing you much warm chai, and the fellowship that goes with it.
Dec. 9th, 2015 10:42 pm (UTC)
Same-same! Been thinking of you.

If you click under the link, you'll find other photos of the process.
Dec. 9th, 2015 11:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Just right for winter weather, too. :)
(I was always very taken by the description of the drink that Jadis gave Edmund in Narnia: "It was something he had never tasted before, very sweet and foamy and creamy, and it warmed him right down to his toes.")
Dec. 10th, 2015 12:29 am (UTC)
Yes, it's a very warming and very delicious description--and like so many of C.S. Lewis's food-and-drink descriptions, makes me want to go drink something warm and thick.

Homemade chai is thinner than the concoctions you get at someplace like Starbucks, but still lovely and milky.
Dec. 9th, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
Wow, that sounds/looks delicious. Perfect for winter!
Dec. 10th, 2015 12:30 am (UTC)
It's delicious, and the process of making it makes it feel even more special.
Dec. 10th, 2015 12:15 am (UTC)
I was vaguely remembering you owned a cup that said ‘writer’ so I clicked on your writers tag and Isatou Ceesay came up; I clicked five seconds after having watched a video of her weaving a plastic bag into a purse.
Chai looks to be very healthful.
Dec. 10th, 2015 12:31 am (UTC)
It probably is healthful! Ginger is good for you.

The sights you're seeing online are like a game of dominos, with like connected to like.
(no subject) - oiktirmos - Dec. 10th, 2015 12:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Dec. 10th, 2015 11:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 10th, 2015 12:54 am (UTC)
That looks really good, thank you for sharing! I missed chai.

Congrats on your run! I saw a post I don't remember where where runners were talking about what they think about while they run. Mostly it was "wow this is hard. ow. keep going." That's true to my experience with running. Every step was hard.
Dec. 10th, 2015 11:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, I heard that about the thoughts of runners, and it certainly matches what I think!

And thanks for the congratulations. I'm going to keep plugging away at it.
Dec. 10th, 2015 07:21 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing and congratulations on the run! I'm a big fan of running, but I must admit I'm not a fan of hard work...
Dec. 10th, 2015 11:44 pm (UTC)
So running doesn't feel like hard work to you? I'm envious! I wish it didn't feel so hard to me (though then I'd have to do something else to practice doing hard things...)
(no subject) - khiemtran - Dec. 11th, 2015 06:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Dec. 11th, 2015 12:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - khiemtran - Dec. 11th, 2015 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 10th, 2015 01:27 pm (UTC)
Good for you on the run!

I would have to buy an ingredient or two. I've never made homemade chai.
Dec. 10th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)
Sometime when you're feeling like a treat.

Then again, a little cocoa and hot milk and hot water make another delicious treat, so...
Dec. 10th, 2015 02:30 pm (UTC)
Chai is sooooo very good, and homemade is such a pleasure to prepare and drink. The first time I ever had chai, though, was not the spiced Indian variety. It is a common beverage served in Kenya where I visited. It is very sweet, milky-thick tea. Super tasty. :D I believe I've told you that before. Maybe. But I love the spiced version and it is what I make for myself if in the mood for chai.
Dec. 10th, 2015 11:47 pm (UTC)
I do remember! I think it came up maybe when we were talking about the deliciousness of sweetened condensed milk?

All forms of chai are wonderful. Actually, all forms of milky drink are pretty wonderful.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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