I spent half of my adult life working formal catering gigs. I have worked very large events (2,000+ people) to small, intimate dinner parties. After awhile, I went “freelance” and found my own clients, who faithfully called me for all of their dinner party needs.
One family was from India. They ranked up there as one of my favorite clients. They had a beautiful home, a great kitchen (I’m a kitchen geek) and they taught me how to make some wonderful, authentic Indian dishes. There are several that I love, but my heart belongs with a hot cup of chai.
I admit it, before working for this family, I would purchase Oregon chai in the box, add some milk and call it a day. How could I have ever known the difference? One night, while working a dinner party for this family, the wife showed me how to make chai for the guests. Now she used the microwave to heat the milk, I prefer to use the stove. Either way works, it’s just your preference really.
I have to say, I used to use 1% milk in the past, but these days, I’m working on limiting my cow’s milk intake for health reasons. However, my chosen substitute of Almond/Coconut milk has yielded very nice results.
Simply take your cardamom seeds (about 5-6) and a cinnamon stick and place into the mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can put the seeds and cinnamon stick in a plastic baggie and roll a rolling pin over it. You just want to open the seeds up a bit and break the cinnamon stick into smaller bits.
Next, warm your milk and add the cardamom seeds and cinnamon stick and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Add hot water to the tea bag and steep until desired color. Mix half a cup of tea and half a cup of the milk (after straining). Enjoy!
I drink tea every so often, but chai, by far, wins (and warms) my heart.