Introduction: Antique Chai Recipe
Runner Up in the
Indian Cuisine Contest
Before my grandparents moved to Norway during the 60's and 70's, their ancestors had been living on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years. With them, they brought this recipe for chai, passed down through generations since medieval times. I find this to be the best chai I've ever tasted, and think that more people should have the possibility to taste it. Therefore, I'm sharing this recipe with y'all. So, yeah, let's make chai!
Step 1: Ingredients
There are two ways to brew chai. You may brew it in milk, which is most common in India/Pakistan, or you may brew it in water. In this case, I chose to brew in water. Later on, you add milk to taste. The ingridients are simple, but they include spices that you may have to track down before you can make the chai. Powdered spices do not give the same taste, so whole spices are recommended.
- About 5 dl/2 cups of water.
- 1 star anise. (If you can't track it down in "normal" grocery stores, try International food stores. They are almost certain to have it, if not you can order it cheap on the Internet. Try for example iHerb)
- 3 pods cardamom.
- A small piece of cinnamon. (About 3 times 3 centimeter/1 inch times 1 inch)
- 3 spikes of cloves.
- 3 teabags. (Not pictured)
- Milk. (No exact amount, use as much as you want)
- Sugar to taste.
This recipe makes enough tea for two-three persons.
Step 2: Bring the Water to Boil
There are plenty of ways to do this. Gradually increase the heat until the water boils, put the pot on high heat from the beginning, add cooking water to a pot already sitting on the stove, whatever! Just bring it to boil.
Step 3: Add Spices&Simmer
Once the water is boiling, add all of your spices. Now at this point, you have to resist the urge to throw in any other spices. I know that it's a bit hard, since many other spices go well with the four I have listed. If you still want to add other spices, be careful, the taste may get a bit overwhelming. Therefore, it's nice to rely on a few spices to infuse the chai. When you've added the spices, cover the pot with a plate or a lid. Let simmer at low heat for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Add Teabags&Simmer More
Plop your teabags into the pot. (Black tea works best. I recommend Lipton or PG) A question that many people often ask is: "How many teabags should I use?". I tend to follow an Arab saying: "One for every guest, including one for the pot!". In other words, one for every person, plus one extra. Put the lid back on your pot once you have added the teabags, and simmer for a few minutes. When the tea got a reddish-amber color, it's ready. Discard the teabags, but leave the spices in the pot. (Teabags were invented in 1903, so they obviously did not use them in the Middle Ages. If you want to make this recipe more authentic, you may brew it with loose tea, and strain it afterwards.)
Step 5: Serving
Pour tea in a cup, until it's about half full. You may add the spices to your cup for more aromatic tea. Add milk until about 3/4-4/5 full, put it on a plate and serve. Biscuits go very well with this chai. Relax, and take a sip of your own, homemade chai. Think about the fact that little has changed with the recipe for this divine drink through many centuries. If you have any questions, suggestions, tips or comments, please write them! I would love to read your thoughts. Oh, and if you find this Indian recipe handy, you may also want to check out my recipe for quick and easy naan breads: https://www.instructables.com/id/Quick-n-Easy-Naan/. Thank you for reading! :)
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