Indian Chai Tea Recipe

Sitting by the porch, I’ve always imagined sipping a cup of aromatic, spicy and exotic Indian Chai Tea, looking at the sunset, surrounded by friends, just like it was during my pilgrimage to India years ago. Except, then I was in a roadside nipa-hut-like pit stop overlooking a dusty road, surrounded by friends not used to exotic flavors but needed to rest and stretch before continuing on our pilgrimage thru India. Still it was an adventure, thru one of the most culturally rich and artistically beautiful country I have ever been. Our guide, A-lung, generously serves us Chai Tea on every pit-stop and I’m one of the first in line to partake of this respite. Then and now, for me, Chai Tea embodies lndia.

Recently, I have had the pleasure of meeting a friend, of Indian descent, who makes the most authentic Chai Tea I’ve ever tasted this side of Manila. Here’s how she makes it.

Ingredients: (can be found in most Indian groceries)

Indian loose leaf tea
cinnamon bark (NOT cinnamon sticks)
cardamon seeds
milk
water

Directions:
Measure about 1 tablespoon loose leaf tea per cup of water and bring to a boil. Then add cinnamon bark, not cinnamon sticks but cinnamon barks. (Barks are more aromatic and beneficial especially to women.) Add about 2 cardamon seeds per cup and make sure to split them open, by pinching between thumb and forefinger, before adding. Bring to a boil.

By this time the kitchen would have smelled wonderfully cinnamon-y spicy. Add fresh milk and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and start “pulling” the tea mixture by ladling the tea mixture as high as you can. Bring Chai tea to another boil whilst “pulling”.

Pass Chai tea thru a strainer and serve immediately. Enjoy as soon as possible to savor the exotic scent of cinnamon and cardamon infused chai tea.

Definitely brings back memories of exotic India.

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