Chai, chai, chai, chai

India, 2010.

The Palace of Winds in Jaipur, India, 2010.

Masala chai that is. Having mentioned a couple of blogs back the chanting chai wallah serving this invigorating brew on the train, I thought I might as well offer up what I’ve since learned about making it.

There are three options:

1) Buy ready-made masala-flavored tea bags. Tetley does a decent version.

2) Buy loose black tea leaves and a masala-flavor mix–such as Bahshah Kamal Tea Masala–that you add to the black tea leaves and which you can find in a local Indian grocery store or online.

3) Or, and this will produce the best-tasting version, you could go native and add boiling water to a tea pot containing the following (alternatively you could heat up water in a saucepan and then add the following):

• 4 x tsp black tea leaves
• 1 x piece cinnamon (ground)
• 1 x chunk dried ginger
• 3 x cardamoms (their crushed seeds and the husks added to the water together)
• 3 x cloves (ground)
• 2 x black peppers

Let stand for three to four minutes.

Add sugar and milk to taste (In India it’s served milky and sweet–and all the better for it). There’s various recipe versions on line, for a simple guide click here.

Good luck.