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Chai Tea Mix

This is a lovely mix for Chai or Masala spiced tea.  The commercial alternative is Hari Hai Original Chai Blend which is a little hard to find in supermarkets, but worth the search.  In my experience, most of the chai tea bags are not worth buying and the powder mixes are a bit bleah so loose leaf is the way to go.

My recipe is very similar to the Hari Hai blend and doesn't take long to put together once you have the ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 4-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon dried ginger stem (see note)
  • 1/2 cup loose black tea

Method:

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, crack open the cardamom pods.
  2. Add all the spices (not the tea) into a shallow glass dish and microwave on high for 1 minute.
  3. Stir then microwave again until the spices become fragrant.
  4. Pour the spices into a mortar and pestle and pound almost to a powder.
  5. Add the spices to a jar with the tea leaves and give the mix a good shake to distribute the spices.

Making a cup of chai:

  1. Shake the jar well to redistribute any finer spices that have settled to the bottom of the mix.
  2. Use one tablespoon of the mix per cup and steep in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat 1/2 cup milk, pour in the tea and sweeten to taste - I use 2 teaspoons.

Note about ginger:

You can buy dried ginger at Asian markets but if it's not available, you can dry your own.  Finely chop fresh genger stem (no need to peel) and spread it out on a microwave proof dish.  Dry the ginger using the defrost setting on your microwave until it's a rubbery texture. 

An alternative is to use about 3 tab of very finely chopped glace or crystalised ginger.

Tips:

If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you could use a blender or a small food processor - my stick blender has one. Last resort is to put the spices in a bag and pound them with a meat mallet or rolling pin.