Monday, January 24, 2011

Chai Tea - Guest Post

Please welcome Rivki Locker of Kosher Cooking for Ordinary People and Healthy Eating for Ordinary People.  Rivki describes herself as "just an ordinary Jewish mother who tries to cook and eat healthy, and who wants to help other people" like herself.  Rikvi is a hard working mom with four children. She says she never seems to have time for any extras, but somehow finds time to cook and photograph food for her blog.  You can follow Rivki on Twitter @ordinaryblogger.

  Chai Tea
It's rare in the life of a full time working mother of four.  But it happens every once in a while. The older kids head off to school or to friends, the baby goes in for a nap, and I find myself with a half hour of quiet time on my hands. Time to read the paper. Time to take out my crocheting. Time to call a friend. Time just for me.

It’s at times like this, so few and far between, that I reach into the spice cabinet for the cardamom, fennel seeds and star anise. Because there’s nothing like a cup of fresh homemade chai tea to complete the feeling of relaxation and luxury.

Here’s my chai tea recipe. I’ve perfected the technique over the years, borrowing from lots of different recipes I’ve seen. It’s my own unique blend, and I think it’s just perfect.

 Chai Tea (serves one)
If you can get a hold of it, please use loose black tea. I use the best I can afford (I like Darjeeling), and it's worth every penny. Yes, you can use plain old English teabags as noted in the recipe, but once you've had the real thing, you'll never go back. 

¾ cup milk
¾ cup water
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
3 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 piece of star anise
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
a 1-inch knob of ginger, cut in a few thin slices
1 teaspoon loose black tea leaves, or one teabag
(honey or agave nectar, optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, uncovered. Turn the heat off immediately and cover the pot. Let all the ingredients sit and steep for about 30 minutes.
Prop a wire mesh strainer over a nice large mug. Pour the tea in, so the spices and tea leaves remain in the strainer. Give the saucepan a quick rinse and pour the tea back into it. Gently reheat to the temperature you like. Sweeten with a bit of honey or agave nectar if you like.

Sit back and enjoy immediately.

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