Masala Chai (Spiced Tea)
I have a large mug of tea every morning, without which, I cannot possibly function, alternating between Masala Chai and Teh Halia (tay aleea), the latter a milky ginger tea identified with South Indians in Singapore and Malaysia. Masala Chai or Cha, as you all know is spiced milky tea, a drink loved by the North Indian and Pakistani Singaporeans and Malaysians.
Most mornings, regular as clockwork, I get my kids breakfast going while getting my tea and George’s herbal tea going. In my opinion, tea leaves are the only way to go, tea bags just do not make a good cuppa. The type of tea is really up to you. I like my tea strong and my favourites are Kenyan tea and a local Yorkshire Gold Blend but I still make my own mixes adding just the right amount of Russian or Oolong to give it an edge.
There are 2 versions to this. One utilises fresh whole milk and the other, the way it’s made in Singapore and Malaysia, with condensed milk and evaporated milk. I know, sounds sickly doesn’t it? I love it!
This recipe calls for 2 heaped tsp of tea leaves per mug. Now, that’s the way I like my tea – very strong yet very milky, I know, a bit of a juxtaposition. Feel free to reduce the amount of tea used to suit your taste.
Split the cardamoms slightly to reveal the seeds as it’s the seeds that provide the flavour, this is a trick my granny taught me one morning when she saw me making it.
In the second picture, the one with the light blue mug, the tea has been “pulled”. This is the way they do it at Indian stalls in the 2 countries. It’s called Teh Tarik, literally, tea pulled. Essentially, you pour the tea from one cup to another, allowing some distance between the 2 cups. Yes, if you’re not an expert, it’ll spill, so do it over the sink! The end result, is a frothy cup/mug of tea. Lovely taste. I’ve tried using just a frother but the resulting taste just isn’t the same!
Masala Chai A
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 heaped tsp black tea leaves
200ml fresh whole milk
sugar, to taste
2 cardamons, split slightly
1 black peppercorn
small piece cinnamon or a light sprinkle (cinnamon sweetens)
pinch of fennel seeds
small piece of fresh ginger, grated or sprinkle of ground
1. Place everything in a milk saucepan and let it come to boil, watching it very closely as it will boil over easily.
2. Reduce to a simmer and live to simmer for no more than 4 minutes.
3. Strain and serve hot.
Masala Chai B
Just as above but replace the fresh milk with 4 tbsp of condensed milk and 5 tbsp of evaporated milk.