February 27, 2011

MASALA CHAI LATTE


The gorgeous produce at the Berkeley Farmer's Market inspires me to make veggie tarts, pesto, and big salads. In Bali, the market greens are lush, the fruit exotic, and the spices plentiful. Check out these meter-long cinnamon sticks and the pile of star anise at the Ubud Central Market....


Chai, made from an array of such flavors, seems a perfect celebration of the abundance of locally-grown Balinese spices. I have always been a fan of chai, but the Starbucksification of the drink has turned me off. Some buddies and I recently had the chance to cook with a very cool, smart, young Ayurvedic doctor and she taught us how to make Chai from scratch.

After Dr. Kekada's cooking class, I had a good excuse to buy all sorts of spices at the market. I have since made many pots of masala chai, played around with her recipe, and now am making a chai that P and I really love! My mom, a huge chai fan, comes to visit us this week and I cannot wait to make some for her.

While you might not find these spices at your local farmer's market, you should be able to easily get everything you need at the supermarket.





INGREDIENTS
adapted from Amrta Siddhi cooking class
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed in mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 pinches fresh grated nutmeg
  • 6 pieces star anise
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • assam or darjeeling tea- 6 teaspoons of loose tea, or 6 tea bags
  • sugar, as desired (I like to add a couple of tablespoons of coconut sugar into the spice mixture)
  • optional for serving: cinnamon stick and star anise
Place water, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon powder, nutmeg, star anise, and black peppercorns in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat.

When the liquid comes to a boil, add milk. Let everything return to a boil. Then add tea and simmer for 1 minute.

Pour your chai through a strainer into a clean bowl or a metal pitcher like the photo below. Then pour the chai back into a clean pot/bowl. Check out Dr. Kedada in the photo below: if you continue to pour the chai back and forth like this a few times, you will froth the milk a bit - thus the "latte." I found out that in India, this is the technique the chai vendors use. Clever.


Have fun playing around with the spices and flavor combinations until you get a chai that you love. Who needs to buy packaged chai after knowing how easy it really is to make yourself.

Enjoy!

serves 4, or makes 2 big lattes

37 comments:

  1. So jealous of those beautiful spices! I made chai for the first time from scratch recently too - so delicious. That recipe had the tea included from the beginning - I might try putting it in later to see how that changes the balance.

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  2. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it out!!! If only I had everything right now!

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  3. Hi, The photos of the chai and ingredients look fabulous, but I didn't see a recipe, was there supposed to be one? I've been to the Ubud market and it is fascinating. Love to you and happy trails, Holland

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  4. Hi,
    This sounds so delicious that I sent this link to my son to try. He loves Chai.
    Oli

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  5. Poires au chocolat - so good to hear from you! Isn't it fun experimenting with chai? Endless delicious possibilities!

    SometimeSoon, Thanks!

    Holland, is that you SF Holland? Great to hear from you! I hope you and your gang are well. Yes, the recipe is there. If you are on the main page, you will find a recipe link below the large star anise/cinnamon photo. Isn't the Ubud market fabulous!

    Oli, I hope your son enjoys the recipe. We are making chai almost every day here:)

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  6. gorgeous (i love the first photo)....i am going to try it! drove past your house today....the magnolia tree is in full bloom:) monique

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  7. The glimpses of the markets and other sights in your posts have a way of transporting me. The discovery of it all must be so exciting. Another "must try" for me.

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  8. Ohh...I love the addition of the floating star anise! I started making masala chai a few months ago. Still tweaking my recipe...and I'm excited to give star anise a try! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  9. brilliant photo. makes me want to make the recipe. nice job.

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  10. Thank you for this recipe! Looks so delicious

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  11. Thanks for this -- I'm probably one of the few who have not tried chai. Hard to believe, but so true. Can't wait to try this now that I understand it better. Gorgeous photography!

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  12. I am a chai fanatic, but I have never made it from scratch. You photos are beautiful, and have inspired me to try. Thanks!

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  13. i love the frothing trick. and beautiful photos as usual. bella loves chai. we're going to try it. lots of love to you all!!!!!

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  14. slightly off topic, but i've just gotta say how gorgeous your skin is! lovely photo. :)

    as for the recipe, cannot wait to try it. :) saving it to http://cookmarked.com for a rainy day.

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  15. Laura,
    Wish I could claim that skin to be my own, but it belongs to gorgeous Dr. Kekada:)
    -E

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  16. I thought I'd tell you that I brought the stuff to make this at work the other day and everybody loved it. So delicious and so much better than starbucks

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  17. Stephanie, your sweet comment totally made me smile. I'm so glad you liked the recipe!

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  18. you also charmed by Indian spice.This is one of the mastered art that we are so fond of.

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  19. That star anise is amazing!!

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  20. Oh, I'm having fun reading about your travels while waiting for the "rewatch" of the CREATIVELIVE workshop on wedding photography to begin. This chai latte looks so good. I can't find star anise at the grocery so I guess I have to venture to the Mexican market on the other side of Houston! They also have those super long cinnamon sticks there too.

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    1. Try Penzy's in the Heights on 19th street! Big bags of star anise and any other spice imaginable. I also think I've seen it in the Mexican section at HEB.

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  21. I saw the picture posted on pinterest. I made the chai tea, and I have to admit, it's amazing! The aroma that comes from it is almost as good as drinking it!

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    1. Thanks so much Stephany!

      I know what you mean... I love the smell of the spices, and visually, I so enjoy their varied shapes. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the recipe. It's been a while since I made some chai, I need to take a trip to the market for supplies:)

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  22. Thanks so much! I will make this instead of egg nog during the holidays.

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  23. I made this after I found this from Pinterest!!! The first time drink and cook by myself!!! It is wonderful! I cannot believe I didn't try this before! Haha

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  24. This looks absolutely heavenly!

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  25. This looks absolutely heavenly!

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  26. That looks beautiful. I'm going to try to find a market that I can get some of these things fresh from.

    Do you have a recipe for Chai (not the latte variety)? As in a loose tea mix that I can keep? I'm finding that I love it,but am diabetic and trying not to have too much sugar and losing weight, so can't have every cup a latte. I can buy a Twinings Chai and Vanilla tea. But it can only be bought 10 bags at a time (it's not that cheap, though I wouldn't mind paying), but I'd like to spice it more, it's a little too mild.

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    1. Hi Melissa, I don't happen to have a brand of chai I like, that's why it was so fun to actually make my own. You could make a version of this recipe with water instead of milk and it's good unsweetened as well. I think you can also just play with adding real spices to your Twining Chai. Have fun experimenting.

      E

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  27. Hey Melissa,
    Replace sugar with honey that should take care of diabetes. Masala chai without milk and with honey is wonderful in cold season. You can use loose tea mix rather than tea bags for the same recipe. In India most of the households use loose tea only :)

    PS Erin: try adding a medium or small size Bay leaf in the contingent of spices you use for your masala chai... Tastes awesome.

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    Replies
    1. Prapti, Thanks for all the helpful info. And I'm sure a bay leaf is wonderful!

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  28. This looks incredible! Can't wait to give it a try, must be so warming and delicious to drink in the winter months. I hope you don't mind, I found one of these images on Pinterest and have used it as a cover photo for my blog post of today. I've credited you and linked back here to this post. I really hope you don't mind! If you'd rather I remove it, I completely understand! My email address is enquiries@ciderwithrosie.com if you wanted to get in touch :)

    I'm so glad to have found your beautiful blog!

    www.ciderwithrosie.com

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  29. Wondering if I can make a chai concentrate using these spices that I could quickly add to hot milk in the morning as I'm running out the door. Any suggestions?

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    1. kc, such a good question! I haven't tried such a thing, but you might consider making up a jar of the spice blend in advance (using powdered ginger instead of fresh). That could speed things up quite a bit, making this a good, quicker morning option.

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  30. Just made this! I used regular black tea bags. I thought 6 made it a bit dark and strong. Is the assam or darjeeling tea a lighter tea? Can't wait to play with the spices in my next batch! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  31. Hi Gail, thanks for your note! Feel free to play with the tea type, amount, steep time. And maybe give Darjeeling or Assam a try for fun.
    After you experiment I'd love to hear about your favorite blend.
    Xo
    E

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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