“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” -C.S. Lewis
Is there an Indian home that doesn’t start its morning with a steaming cup of chai? Chai seems to be the start of every desi’s day. Basic chai is made with loose leaf black tea or tea bags (although I prefer loose leaf). And even though it’s one of the most basic and popular South Asian beverages, there are a few tricks that help bring out it’s best flavor. Always add the milk while the tea is on the stove and not after you’ve brewed the tea. You can use any cow’s milk form of your choice: full fat, low fat, skimmed, condensed or evaporated. I personally love the creaminess that full fat milk brings to the chai so that’s my milk of choice. Sugar can be added directly to the chai after the addition of milk or to the cups after you’ve strained the chai. I prefer the latter as you end up using less sugar.
In our early days of dating my husband would always convince me to stay a little bit longer by offering me a cup of chai. After being shocked by the fact he didn’t have a channi (tea strainer) and running out and immediately getting one for him, he admitted he never drank chai before he met me and was hooked because of me! Nowadays the tables have turned and I find myself bribing him with a cup of chai in exchange for errands I need him to run. Funny how the tables have turned!
Recently Tea India sent me their loose leaf mamri black tea for making kadak chai and I knew I had to try it. Because I wanted to enjoy it’s true flavor, I stuck with only cardamom and avoided additional masalas. Kadak Chai is a stronger version of the traditional Indian tea and is as bold as it sounds. Made by adding additional loose leaf tea and boiling it longer than usual, it’s a popular choice after a busy weekday or when you need a quick boost of caffeine. As I’ve been busy moving into a new house, mothering a toddler, and traveling across countries, you can be sure that I’ve depended on my fair share of kadak chai to get me through the days (and nights). Sharing a traditional yet easy kadak chai recipe below!
- 2 cups of water
- ½ cup of milk
- 2 teaspoon loose leaf black tea (I use Tea India's Mamri tea)
- 2-3 cardamom freshly pounded or crushed
- 2 teaspoon sugar per cup; adjust to taste
- Pour water in sauce pan. Place on high heat and add crushed cardamom. Boil for 3-4 mins on high heat.
- Once it starts bubbling add the loose leaf tea. Let tea boil on medium heat for 4-5 mins, ensuring the tea doesn't overflow.
- Add milk and boil again on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the heat and strain the tea with a strainer. Mix in desired amount of sugar and enjoy!
This post is part of a sponsored campaign on behalf of the South Asian Bloggers Network for Tea India and I have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.