Saunf wali chai | Fennel infused tea | A four ingredient tea that is perfectly sweet with the lingering aroma and flavor of freshly ground fennel seeds.
Last year while away from home on a holiday we had dinner at a family owned Indian restaurant. Our little one is a true Desi baccha (Indian kid) in all respects, especially when it comes to craving ghar ka khana (homemade food). Not wanting overly heavy, cream laden food, we opted for a small local joint that patrons seemed to love. Dinner was buffet style with a mix of popular picks and off beat saabzis and daals. Upon finishing dinner my husband noticed there was a chai station. He asked me to try it, knowing chai is one thing I’m particular about and if I liked it, he would as well.
As soon as I tried that chai, it was love at first sip, a familiar taste that I hadn’t relished in years. My husband called it pind wali chai because of how homely it tasted. This was no ordinary chai, it was creamy, smooth and perfectly sweet with the lingering aroma and taste of saunf/fennel.
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon loose black tea
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, freshly crushed
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar or powdered gud
- In a saucepan, add water and heat until simmering.
- Crush or grind the saunf/fennel sends in a mortar-pestle or with a rolling pin. Add in crushed saunf and bring to a rapid boil for 3-4 minutes, until the color of the water changes to a mild minty hue. The saunf releases it’s flavors in the water and thus the color of the water changes.
- Add loose black tea and boil for about 3 minutes.
- Pour in the milk and adjust heat to medium high (to a rolling boil), allowing flavors to mix well for about 6 minutes.
- Mix in the brown sugar or gud and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and sieve the tea through a strainer right, divided into two cups.
- Serve hot.