Monday, October 25, 2010

Chai on the parlor floor

This past weekend consisted of unpacking, moving boxes from one room to another, and cleaning our new apartment. To take a tea break, I decided to try a 'masala tea' that had been a gift from a friend who recently returned from India. I'm a big fan of masala chai, I would make it with whole spices when I had more free time on my hands. If I remember correctly, the recipe I used contained cardamom pods, a piece of cinnamon stick, a piece of ginger (when available), peppercorns, and a couple of cloves, along with black tea, sugar, and milk. I'm not sure what spices were with the tea inside the pink bag I was given, because they appeared to be ground up. According to the label there was cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, saffron, and black pepper. But the whole mixture just smelled strongly of cardamom. I should have boiled the tea and water together with milk, but I absentmindedly put the kettle on and put the tea in a strainer. So I just added the milk afterwards. I couldn't find the sugar (I thought we had unpacked all of our food?), so I added honey instead. Again, not the best choice, but it's what I had on hand, and I was eager to try the tea.

I don't know what authentic masala chai should exactly taste like, but I know how I like mine to taste. The tea basically tasted like cardamom and honey, which isn't really a bad thing, but I would have preferred a few other spices to come through. It was very thoughtful of my friend to bring back tea from India, so I'm sure I will continue to brew it. Perhaps I'll doctor it up with a few extra added spices when I have a little more time to spare.

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