Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homemade Chai

Before moving to Oregon I stayed with Jason in his place in Moab while he finished up some earth building projects. His roommate made up chai from scratch and it was AMAZING!!! Here is his recipe and my thoughts as I sit here and enjoy a cup of my first batch.

4 qt saucepan full of water
2-3 T cardamom pods
3-4 T fresh chopped ginger
1 t black pepper corns
1 nutmeg seed (grind in coffee grinder with black pepper corns)
1/2 to 1 t cloves (the more you put in the more your tongue goes numb)
4 small cinnamon sticks

Boil that down slowly til about 2/3rd water left in pot, then add milk of your choice to fill the pot back up again, and lightly boil down about 1/2 inch or so. Steep in roiboos or tea of your choice, strain into cup, add honey to taste, and serve (if you use black tea then steep in each individual cup as it will turn bitter in the pot).

If you like spice this chai is amazing. It has a great bite due to the ginger and black peppercorns. I would halve the peppercorns and double the clove if you like a sweeter tone. I used soymilk in my brew, but it will work with any kind of milk. I also did not have a nutmeg seed and had to go with pre-ground nutmeg which worked just fine. If you think your chai is not strong enough you can always cook it down more or store it with the spices in. When you heat it up each time it will steep further.

I got all of my ingredients in bulk from the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op here in Corvallis which keeps the cost of the spices much lower than if you were purchasing them in containers. In order to keep my chai spices organized I put all of the baggies into a large mason jar and taped the recipe to the outside.

You can also save the spices from one pot and make another batch. Just freshen it up with a a few bits of each ingredient and make a slightly smaller amount.

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