Making Masala Chai
As it’s Christmas and those of us who have come home for it might be a little jet-lagged, I thought it only appropriate to write up a post for my friend Pei who runs the Chaya teahouse in Notting Hill. If you haven’t been you simply must go, it is a very special place and Pei is a very excellent chef.
Before I left for India, I went for tea at the Chaya teahouse with some of the London contingent. Pei asked me most enthusiastically if I could find someone who would give him an authentic recipe for Masala Chai. He explained that every Indian he had asked had always said it was their grandmother’s or mother’s recipe, and it would be impossible for him to replicate.
So I asked my friend Manoj to explain,
‘Two cups of water, one cup of milk for the two cups, if you want it strong, two spoons of tea leaves, if weaker one spoon of tea leaves, add sugar to your taste, boil together until you get a browny colour, then put ginger or cardamom in and that’s it.’
Of course Indian milk is thick and creamy, so perhaps you’ll be wise to get real cow’s milk if you want to get it right, but that’s it.
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Condensed milk is often used, which gives a sweetish flavour and I know white pepper is used sometimes.
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