As you may have read in my previous post, I decided to make my family a whole host of handmade foodstuffs for Christmas gifts this year. Each of the recipes on their own are simple and surprisingly not time consuming given the high level of flavor packed into each one. This Chai recipe is no exception.
Whereas my previous Chai recipe involved grinding the spices into a fine powder (which I think is what qualifies it as “masala” chai, though to be honest I am not sure), this recipe keeps all of the spices relatively whole. After roasting the spices in the oven and letting them cool, I crushed the larger spices so that they would be more manageable in a tea cup.
I titled this “Darjeeling Chai” because I chose a 2nd flush Darjeeling tea to mix with my spices. The original recipe I found called for black tea, which is so incredibly vague, but also allows you to choose a tea that suits your preferences. My take on chai is that while you can go loosely off of a recipe, a person just can adjust the spices, tea, sweetener, and really any other element of the recipe to suit their mood.
This chai recipe is particularly interesting to me because when the roasted spices and black tea are mixed together, some chopped candied ginger is added to the mix as well, which not only adds an extra element of spice but adds in the slightest amount of sweetness.
As with my other tea, I placed a decent amount into a cute glass jar, and tied it up with a ribbon and tag before I gave it away as a gift. I got these jars very inexpensively at IKEA, though you can find many similar jars online at stores such as Amazon, or even at a crafting store such as Michaels.
I found several recipes that seemed to follow this ratio of spices, though I added in my own adaptions and to tell the truth I can’t tell who first created the recipe or who has ownership. Because of this, I am not going to link back to any of the sites where I found the recipe, particularly because it is not an exact copy, though do keep in mind that my recipe is an adaption of one floating about the internet and I am not claiming ownership over the original recipe.
18 green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon red peppercorns
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 Tablespoons chopped candied ginger
½ cup loose black tea (Darjeeling)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place everything except candied ginger and tea in a pan and toast for about 5 minutes. Cool slightly, then crush spices with a rolling pin. You may need to crack the cinnamon stick by hand. Combine the spices, ginger and tea together in a bowl, then transfer to an airtight container. To prepare, use 1-2 teaspoons of the chai for each cup of hot water. Alternately use half milk/half water and sugar or honey to taste for a creamier tea.