I got to know and love chai during my time in India. Despite the hot weather there, the spiced tea had a stimulating and strengthening effect. Later, when I was trekking in Nepal, I appreciated this delicious drink again: it warmed not only my cold fingers but also my entire body, and gave me strength for the mountain trek. The milk for the drink had been taken from a water buffalo shortly before and gave the chai a particularly creamy flavor. Instead of water buffalo milk I like to add a dash of cream to my chai. As soon as winter starts, I drink my chai with galangal root to prevent colds.
a pot with a lid or a hobo oven
6 1/2 cups water
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, squashed
1 slice fresh ginger, about 1/2 cm thick
1 generous tbsp black tea leaves (Darjeeling or English tea)
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup milk or milk-cream mixture
- Put the cold water and spices in a pot with a lid. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the tea leaves and sugar and simmer without the lid for a further 2 - 3 minutes; if necessary, stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Finally, add the milk and bring to a boil. Strain and drink hot.
Instead of ginger you could use galangal root (also called laos and available in Asian food shops). Both ginger and galangal root stimulate the body's defense mechanisms, protecting it from colds and flu.
Fire with low flames or a Swedish log fire.
Recipe courtesy of Cook Wild by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi
India [ print this recipe for Chai Tea ]