I made scrumptious Pistachio-Chai muffins yesterday afternoon. I sat down at my computer this morning, muffin by my side, to write about them. I didn’t get two sentences in before I was stuck. How do I describe the flavor of Chai Tea? I love it. I’ve had it many times since Shelby first introduced it to me several years ago. I know there’s cinnamon, I think there may be ginger and clove, but it’s depth of flavor is far more than that.
Perhaps a little Spice Exploration is in order. And so I did what I do….read at least a dozen Chai Tea recipes, researched the origin of Chai, and had a quick geography lesson from B. What I’ve learned from this mini-research session is that Chai Tea blends are as unique to South Asian cuisine as are Curry Powders.
After doing all the research for my muffin post, there was only one thing left to do…make Homemade Chai Tea. I followed a basic recipe from Whole Foods and only adapted it slightly to create a fuller more bold flavored tea. Delicious and ever so perfect with a nice warm Pistachio-Chai Muffin.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 cardamom pods
- 4 peppercorns
- 1 cube crystallized ginger, or 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 single-serve black tea tea bags
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tbl. brown sugar
- 2 cups water
- Place cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and ginger in a small pot with two cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep for an additional 10 minutes.
- Return pot to heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea and cover. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discard solids. Return liquid to pot, add in milk and brown sugar. Heat over low 1-2 minutes until hot. Pour into mugs to serve.
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