The recent “snow bomb” event was quite something. The aftermath left NYC blanketed in white with ridiculously low temperatures. All I wanted was something warm to drink that could warm me up. Yes, there’s coffee…but besides the caffeine it doesn’t really offer much. This masala chai is exactly what the doctor ordered. It is packed with whole spices that have numerous health benefits.
This recipe is packed with some great spices – cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon. Lets talk a little about cloves. Cloves are a somewhat forgotten spice. They come into play a lot more in the winter with the roasts etc but given the health benefits, this could be a good way to increase its consumption. Cloves offer many health benefits, some of which include providing aid in digestion, having antimicrobial properties, fighting against cancer, protecting the liver, boosting the immune system, controlling diabetes, preserving bone quality, and containing anti-mutagenic properties, as well as fighting against oral diseases and headaches, while also displaying aphrodisiac properties. Click here to read more about cloves.
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 3 cups water
- 1⁄4 tsp ground ginger
- 1⁄8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar (or any sweetner of your choice as per your taste)
- 2 tbsp black tea (such as Assam)
- In a mortar, crush the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon, or use a coffee grinder.
- Transfer the crushed spices to a small saucepan, add the water, ginger and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Bring the pan back to the heat and add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and add the tea leaves.
- Cover and let steep for 3 minutes.
- Stir the chai, then strain it into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups.
This is what we used to have when we went driving in the hills, or early winter mornings, and stopped for a cuppa. You could order this special at the better roadside dhabas. Nothing could match the feeling after having it in that cold!
Thanks for the recipe.