My Husband's Famous Chai Tea

Chai makes me think of so many things.  It reminds me of my first experience in India and Pakistan, drinking chai in every home we visited.  It reminds me of college and friends, of cold weather, of cozying up next to my husband on the couch with a big warm mug in our first home.  It's a taste of comfort and good times.  With Fall weather rolling in, I'm craving it's creamy spiced flavor.

Tedd is a learner.  He's one of those types that willingly accepts advice, seeks out learning opportunities, and asks questions of the pros. 

The pros in this case?  Blushing housewives in a traditional Indian kitchen.

When Tedd humbly asked the women to show him how they make their typical chai tea, a staple in any Indian home, (especially when having guests in for a visit), the women giggled with embarrassment that a man had any interest in the goings-on of the kitchen.

This man certainly has interest in the goings-on of any kitchen.  High on his list of passions are food and culture, so this was, well, literally, his cup of tea.

Now, after years of making his famous chai tea on our college campus, in friends' homes, and for large events, he's still giving all the credit to the sweet and humble Indian ladies for the legit...legit...chai tea recipe. (Yes, even more legit than Starbucks, which is a lame excuse for chai - gasp!)

Creamy Chai Tea

Boil 1 ½ cups of water with the following spices:
  • ½ inch of cinnamon bark (this is optional…some folks like it without)
  • 15-20 cardamom pods (seeds and shells both) (can be found in Indian/Asian grocery stores)
  •  ½ inch of fresh ginger root (also optional)
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 clove
After that boils for a few minutes add 1 Tbs. of loose black tea (Lipton yellow label is good as well as Assam or Darjeeling Tea).  Let the tea boil for about  2 minutes.

Then add 3 cups of whole milk and continuously stir the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking.  Heat until the milk begins to boil (note: as soon as the milk shows signs of boiling TURN DOWN THE HEAT IMMEDIATELY OR REMOVE THE POT FROM THE BURNER.  If you don’t, the milk will quickly boil up and over the top of the pot).

Lastly, add 4-8 Tbs. of sugar (I usually use about 6 or 7 but some people like it less or more sweet).

Pour the tea out through a strainer (so you don't accidentally swallow cinnamon bark or cardamom pods ;) and enjoy!  This recipe makes about 4 cups.

Give it a try and let us know what you think!


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